The weather this Half Term break was absolutely beautiful, especially for February, so we weren’t surprised when we drove along the A34 in Trentham, Stoke on Trent to see the car-park of the Monkey Forest was really busy – but don’t be fooled by the crowds! The car-park is so huge that we immediately found a space and the queue for tickets was really small and moved very quickly. Once we’d got through the entrance gates, although there were lots of people, the area is so large that everyone is spread out so it didn’t seem too busy at all, which was great!
The Monkey Forest is divided into 3 main areas: the actual Monkey Enclosure; the Banana Cafe area with outdoor and indoor seating, toilets, a gift shop and an outdoor play area; and another adventure play area with picnic tables and a hidden trail. We decided to eat lunch before we went in to the actual enclosure and were pleased to find that although the cafe was busy, we didn’t have to queue for long and the food was priced very reasonably and of a good quality. Bean read to us from the guidebook over lunch and both children had a look at the activity sheets they had been given.
After lunch it was time for the main event…meeting the monkeys! You feel as if you’re entering Jurassic Park, as you walk through the gates into the enclosure which is home to 140 Barbary Macaques. The monkeys roam freely through the ancient woodland and we humans follow a 3/4 mile path, watching them live as they would in the wild. You can listen to one of the hourly feeding talks to find out more about the monkeys and there are very knowledgeable members of staff dotted along the paths ready to answer any questions you may have.
There are also lots of information boards teaching you about the monkeys, which kept the children interested and taught us more about the monkeys’ antics, behaviour and habitat.
Our favourite information board was the one telling us about the different facial expressions they use to communicate. As you can see from the photo below, the Drama teacher in me just had to try out a few of the expressions for myself…although I think perhaps I should have left it to the monkeys!!
The children loved following the path through the beautiful woodland, watching the monkeys on the ground and spotting them up in the trees. The terrain is easy to walk along and we saw quite a few buggies. It is also mostly wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly, although some wheelchair users may find the steeper areas inaccessible. Our youngest managed the walk easily and didn’t ask to be carried once, which is a very rare occurrence and shows how much she was enjoying herself!
There are no cages or bars at all throughout the enclosure and if you’re lucky (which we were a couple of times) a monkey may actually wander onto the paths right in front of where you are walking – a truly unique experience!
Not only is Trentham Monkey Forest an interesting and educational place to visit, you’re also helping with the conservation of the endangered wild Barbary Macaques. It’s a really great family day out for all ages to enjoy and we highly recommended it! The admission prices are really reasonable too (see below) and once you’ve paid you can enter the enclosure as many times as you like! You also get £1 off a ticket to the wonderful Trentham Gardens which is just up the road (read more here) so you can really make a day of it!
OPENING TIMES AND ADMISSION PRICES, 2019:
|Weekends in |
* 16th-17th, 23rd-24th
|10am – 4pm|
Last entry 3pm
* 10am – 5pm
Last entry 4pm
|30th March – 19th Jul 2019:|| |
10am – 5pm
Last entry 4pm
| Summer Holidays 2019:|
20th Jul – 1st Sept
|10am – 6pm|
Last entry 5pm
|2nd Sept – 26th Oct 2019:|| 10am – 5pm|
Last entry 4pm
| October Half Term 2019:|
27th Oct – 3th Nov
| 10am – 4pm|
Last entry 3pm
|ADMISSION PRICES |
correct March 2019
|On the |
(aged 3 to 14):
|Under 3 years old:||Free|
For more information, you can visit the Monkey Forest website here.
DISCLOSURE: We were given 2 complimentary tickets to the Monkey Forest in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
N.B. All photos on this site are the property of typicalmummy.co.uk unless otherwise stated. Please do not use without permission.
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