We were invited along to the Monkey Forest, Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire and I was really looking forward to taking the kiddies when it opened again in February half term. It is somewhere that is right on our doorstep, yet we have not visited for years. The weather was cold and dry at the beginning of the February half term week, so the girls donned their warm snowsuits and we headed out to meet the monkeys.
The Monkey Forest is part of the Trentham Estate, and is home to 140 barbary macaques living freely in the 60 acre woodland. It is completely unique as there are no cages, bars, and the monkeys live freely around the estate.
We got up and decided to head out fairly early while the weather was still dry. We live fairy close the Trentham Estate and therefore we arrive about 10.30am. The monkey forest and Trentham Estate is clearly signposted off the main roads, so really easy to find. On arrival there were plenty of spaces in the large carpark with the added bonus that the car parking is free. Once we parked the campervan we took the short walk with the double pushchair to the entrance, where you purchase your admission entry tickets and a guide if you wish to.
We entered the forest, and found the toilets, a cafe and an outdoor play area immediately to the right.
Lil_E was so excited to meet a monkey of two, so we decided to head straight in to meet the cheeky chaps (and ladies). It didn’t take long to spot the monkeys as they were all running around freely, and swinging in the trees. The path around the forest is really smooth and very pushchair friendly. I had put the girls in their wellington boots but considering all the rain that we had had, there was hardly any mud around the path.
We found the walk is great for little legs, just long enough for kids to walk without getting too tired. It is quite steep in one part but there are lovely wooden benches all around the walk to rest and take a break, and just observe the monkeys resting, playing, eating, swinging in the trees, play fighting, posing for the cameras and just generally having fun interacting with one another.
Much to my own joy, we managed to catch sight of a few of the baby monkeys. The guide told us that there had been a few babies born at the monkey forest last may, and they were still rather small and cute and mischievous.
There are a number of knowledgeable staff dotted around the walk and on hand to answer any questions that you may have. M wanted to know where the monkeys were from, (they originated from North Africa but the monkeys here at Trentham are from Germany and France.) M was intrigued as to how you could tell which ones were from Germany and which were from France…. ” you can tell the difference by their languages mummy!!” Oh to have the mind of a six year old 🙂
We met this dude today ! We had a lovely time at the monkey forest spending a bit of time with the Barbary macaques. Not sure the feeling was mutual.. He doesn’t look quite so happy about it does he 😉 #daysoutwithkids #familytime #travel blog #monkeyforest #lovelifeoutside #myfamilyadventures #ukexplore
Moving onwards, we made it to the 12:15 feeding talk and the talk was really informative. We all found it captivating, and interactive, and the guide managed to keep the little ones interested throughout the talk. The girls loved watching the monkeys eat and steal the food off one another, and baby S seemed to enjoy the view.
By this point Lil_E was eager to hit the play park, so we wrapped up and sat outside the banana cafe with a cup of tea and you guessed it.. a coffee for Mr S. The girls spent a considerable time in the play park. M had completed a quiz throughout the walk and was really eager to enter the competition to win a monkey (the teddy version we are hoping!) and there was one question she had missed, so Mr S took her back into the walk area to find the answer. That is the lovely thing about the walk, you can take as long as long as you like, and you can also do the walk as many times as you like.
Need to know;
Children 3-14 £6.50
Children under 3 – free
You can also make a day out of it and buy a joint ticket for Trentham Gardens/Monkey Forest.
Opening times vary throughout the year therefore please see website for details.
- Arrive early – particularly during peak times as the monkey forest does get busy.
- Plan around mealtimes – remember no food is allowed in the enclosure – so plan the walk around mealtimes for little ones.
- Attend a feeding talk – staff are really knowledgable and informative – and the monkeys come out for all the fresh fruit and food.
- Allow plenty of time – remember you can buy a joint pass to attend Trentham monkey forest and the gardens. Allow enough time to enjoy without rushing.
We had a lovely day out at Trentham Monkey Forest. The grounds are beautiful and the monkeys are so entertaining. All of the family really enjoyed the day. We would definitely like to return in the Summer for more fun – it is well worth a visit.
**Disclosure – We were given complimentary tickets to the Monkey Forest in exchange for a review. As always all opinions and thoughts are of my own and my family**
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