You may have noticed that Elodie & I spend quite a lot of time at Marwell Zoo, we are lucky that it is just down the road and the Peachicks’ school is on our way home! Thursday afternoons are our time together where the other Peachicks are at school late and come rain or shine the pair of us go and visit the animals. We are given Annual Passes for Christmas which have already paid for themselves this year, in fact mine & Elodie’s have probably paid for everyone elses too! The other great thing about the passes (£60 adult, £40 child) is that they give you one free visit each year to each of a list of zoos around the country and we regularly build these zoos into our holiday to Cornwall & use them for cheap weekends away the rest of the year! At Easter we do Newquay Zoo and then Paignton & Living coasts for the weekend on the way back. Colchester Zoo in Essex is one of our favourites and is a great place to go with older children at Halloween as they do extended opening well into the evening on their Fright Nights; seeing the wolves on Halloween prowling around in the dark is not something to be missed! Bristol is our annual May Day bank holiday trip as it is Millie’s favourite and its her birthday!
Anyway, the other weekend, Daddy Peacock was well enough to go out so we took the opportunity to enjoy the glorious sunshine as a family, which is something we have missed over the last few months with Hubby’s resident kidney stone! **Stone has now been evicted… only took 4 months!**
This is Elodie’s ‘zoo outfit’ that she more often than not wears to the zoo when we go. It is a bright pink skirt covered in zebras, a sparkly elephant t-shirt and blue/pink hoodie complete with cute giraffe! When Elodie and I go for the afternoon, she often falls asleep in the buggy, I can walk the entire zoo footpath network in around 2 hours so with stops to look at animals, venturing into the animal houses and the Wallaby walkway there is more than enough to keep you there from open until close. The zoo opens at 10am but closing time depends on season, currently 5pm but earlier/later in winter/summer!
In the middle of the zoo stands the old house, which can be hired for special events but is otherwise not open to the public. This is the back of the house, looking over the Okapi paddocks but I could be wrong!
The house has a lovely walled garden you can walk around and a large lawn at the back complete with grass bank, apparently rolling down and running back up it is compulsory for each visit! *Mummy runs up but draws the line at rolling down this bank!
This is the view from the top of the bank, overlooking the water fountain and down onto the very large, very old tree!
This area of the zoo is a lovely sun trap around lunchtime, if the sun is out the back wall at the top of the bank is the perfect place for a picnic. There are benches and we always try and sit in this recess in the brick wall, its out of the wind and in full sun so absolutely perfect for a winter/spring picnic!
Picnic is not essential as there are lots of places to find food, the soups are espcially lovely! We usually take the majority of a picnic and then top it up with a coffee/juice/snack from the shop. This particular picnic featured sweet potato & onion pasties (fill a circle of puff pastry with thinly slice sweet potato & onion, fold & crimp edges and bake for around 30mins!) made just before we left and wrapped in double layers of greaseproof paper and foil to keep them warm! Other good warm picnic ideas are these sausage rolls, homemade pizzas, or these apple & sage sausage rolls.
And then there are the animals! As a once-upon-a-time Zoologist (mostly Marine to be fair) I do love the fact the Peachicks are very interested in learning about the animals, their habitats and conservation. The information around the zoo is good but they always want to know more, fortunately with the free wi-fi Alys is able to use my poor old knackered phone and ask Google!
Here are a few photos from our day.
Alys’ favourites, the Okapis, second only to the Fossa as far as she is concerned! They are beautiful!
Alys at the park, this is pretty much the only photo I have of her from that day as she didn’t want any photos taken!
View from the truck over the Wild Explorers enclosure. The rhinos were hiding indoors, I think they heard the Peachicks coming!
Who doesn’t love the giraffe’s??
This is Mei-Mei the Red panda in her temporary home. She had gate-crashed the coati enclosure while her’s was being refurbished but usually you can find her up the top of her large tree sleeping or eating!
Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought the Peachicks were a little noisy!
It was a very long day but as always lovely! I am sending this over to #WhatevertheWeather Wednesday’s over at Monkey & Mouse and Life Unexpected! As well as #BloggerClubUk over at Mudpie Fridays & Cuddle Fairy. Hop on over and have a look, between them there is loads of ideas for days out, recipes, reviews!!
And finally if you have enjoyed this post, consider nominating The Peachicks’ Bakery for a MADaward, we have been nominated in Best Food Blog!