Friday, 30 May 2014

Monkey Forest

Its bank holiday Monday so it's time for a family day out and Monkey Forest is the destination. The Monkey Forest is on the Trentham Estate in Staffordshire and is home to 140 free roaming Barbary macaques Monkeys. We left at 10.30am and headed up the M1 traffic was good so after a stop off at the services we got to Monkey Forest just after 12pm. We where greeted by a see of cars field's full although there was no problem on the roads getting in we soon found a parking space under a nice old oak tree. We grabbed our packed lunch and made our way to the entrance this is when we realized just how many family's had decided to make Monkey Forest also there destination of choice. It took over half an hour to get through the gate which was a bit disappointing luckily it was not raining but we did manage to eat the contents of the packed lunch while we where waiting to pay.
 At the pay both we where greeted by a friendly girl who took our payment quickly and we where in it was £24.00 for the four of us which i thought was good value. Once inside it did not feel like there was hundreds 
 of people there was plenty of space for every one our first stop was the toilet there was extra portaloos on hand but we headed to the main toilet block no cue even in the Lady's they where also very clean and tidy.
We made our way over to the Monkey enclosure we where given a brief talk on the rules of the enclosure don't touch the monkeys etc. The monkeys are in a mainly oak woodland with an under story of Rhododendron ponticum which was just coming into full flower. We walked through the wood looking up into the tree canopy trying to spot them they are difficult to spot at first as they are nearly the same colour as the bark of the trees. But once you have spotted one you soon start to see the rest as you wander through the woods you come out in a clearing where there was 30 odd Monkeys from baby's to fully grown adults. This is also one of the areas where they carry out the feeding every hour one of the keepers gives a little talk about the Monkeys while feeding them. The monkeys get real close here walking across the paths and swinging through the trees the Girls loved being so close to the Monkeys watching them peel the oranges and bananas. There are very helpful guides dressed in yellow through out the enclosure and are more then happy to answer any of your questions about the Monkeys. It's a really great way to see Monkeys up close with out a wire fence between you like in a Zoo and the girls really enjoyed seeing them jumping through the trees above there heads.
After coming out of the monkey enclosure we went to the Banana cafe for a cup of tea but it was unfortunate that there was such a big cue to get any food or drinks it was all reasonably priced only £1.50 a cup for tea. 
After tea we went over to the play ground area when the girls got to run around and act like Monkeys themselves on the climbing frames. But of cause we could not leave with out a visit to the Jungle shop which contained a vast array of monkey related merchandise so we now have two new Monkeys in our house.
All in all it was a great day out for the family and i would highly recommend a visit but get there early if it's a bank holiday to avoid the cue to get in.

Visit there website for further details

Enterance cost 

Adults: £7.50 each
Senior citizens/students £7.00 each
Children (from 3 to 14 years old): £5.50 each
Disabled/carers £5.00 each
Under 3 years old Free of charge

Opening times for 2014

Open weekends in March 10am - 4pm, last entry 3pm.

Open every day from 1st April 10am - 5pm, last entry at 4pm.

19th July - 31st Aug open 10am - 6pm, last entry at 5pm.

1st Sept - 25th Oct open 10am - 5pm, last entry at 4pm.

26th Oct - 2nd Nov open 10am - 4pm, last entry at 3pm.

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