Few family activities can surpass an exotic safari for sheer wonder and excitement. Luckily, you needn’t travel as far as the African plains to catch a glimpse of these striking creatures, only to a grand stately home in Bedfordshire. First opened in 1970, Woburn Safari Park is one of the UK’s oldest wild animal parks and offers the chance to come face to face with all manner of exotic beasts hailing from every corner of the world. Established by the 13th Duke of Bedford on the grounds of his family seat, Woburn Abbey, the park has a long history of species conservation dating back more than 100 years.
Star attractions Extremely close encounters of the animal kind are sure to be had during Woburn’s road safari. Cruise through the wide open spaces of the park marvelling at Asian elephants, desert camels and giraffes of the Savannah. Follow the winding road from the Northern Plains, through the Savannah and into the African Forest.
Family X-Factor Animal magic aside, Woburn has a host of exciting activities on offer for families seeking a jolly day out. Surrounded by 3000 acres of deer park and beautifully manicured gardens, the magnificent Abbey houses a vast private collection including silver, gold, furniture and priceless famed artworks. Children will relish taking part in the treasure hunt style quizzes and hiding out in the crumbling 17th-century grotto.
Not many people know this, but… Woburn is the home of the original afternoon tea. The wonderfully superfluous meal was devised around 1840 by Duchess Anna Maria who complained that the time between luncheon and dinnner was just too long. If you happen to suffer from afternoon peckishness yourself it is possible to take tea in the Duchess’ very own tea room.
Don’t forget to pack Your camera, to capture those amazing animals and to provide evidence in your lawsuit against any windscreen-wiper thieving monkeys.
Special events It is not often that you can spot a pair of giant pigs at a safari park... On July 31 Peppa Pig and her brother George will be appearing at intervals throughout the day to meet and greet their young fans.
Cost £19.95 (adult) £14.95 (child) £17.50 (concessions) Under-threes are free.
Woburn Safari Park, Woburn Park, Bedfordshire MK17 9QN
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