Many of our English Lakes Hotels, Resorts & Venues guests love animals, whether that is up close and personal, or with a healthy respect from a distance. In the Lake District we have a great selection of Animal Attractions that will educate, entertain and thrill visitors. Here are just five of our favourites…
Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick
Twenty-four acres of parkland, a beautiful setting, and a large selection of wild and domestic animals makes this a great day out. Throughout the day there are lots of presentations which bring you up close and personal with the Lake District Wildlife Park’s favourite animal characters.
There are also experiences that can be purchased and booked in advance, such as Hawk Walk where you are taught to recall, hold and fly owls, hawks and even an eagle. Lemur Encounter is an opportunity to interact with a host of ring tailed lemurs and learn about their inquisitive and gentle nature. You are very likely to be climbed upon during the Meet the Meercats experience – another mob of inquisitive critters.
Conservation is very much part of the agenda at the park, including the development of their own farmland and woodland on the Armathwaite Hall Estate and the active support of six endangered species programmes.
The café serves a great range of home cooked meals and snacks, or bring your own picnic as there are both outdoor and under cover areas for use of visitors.
March to October 10 am – 5 pm; November to February 10 am – 4 pm
Adult £9.95; Concession £8.95
Child £7.95; Under 3s FREE
Butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mini-mammals, Lakeland Wildlife Oasis provides a huge variety of sights and sounds. Plan your trip at the weekend or during school holidays and you will be treated to engaging talks and experiences throughout the day. These include reptile handling, lemur and meerkat feeds, bug talk, snow leopard and reptile talk. A fascinating and educational all-age experience.
Book an extra up-close experience on the day of your booking and have an extra twenty minutes of small-group time with Monkeys, Lemurs, Meerkats when you will be able to feed them and find out much more about their character and personality. Become a Zookeeper for a day and shadow a real life keeper, one-on-one, as he cares for a whole range of animals.
Open 10 am – 5 pm, daily
Adults £8.95; Concession £7.60
Child aged 3 – 15 £6.75
Family 2 adults + 2 children = £26.55
Family 2 adults + 3 children = £29.70
Lowther, near Penrith
You will want to have your camera ready for this fascinating collection of Hawks, Falcons, Vultures, Eagles and Owls from around the world. The Bird of Prey Centre hosts a two hour flying display between 2 pm and 4 pm, and you will be encouraged to take a turn at flying them yourself, closely supervised by the keepers.
There is also a strong focus on birds of prey conservation through education, research and breeding, with a rehabilitation programme for injured and orphaned birds.
Open from 6th April, 12 noon to 5 pm daily
Children 5 – 16 £5; Under 5s FREE.
Family Ticket £25 (2 adults up to 3 children)
Cartmel, near Grange-over-Sands
Predator Experience was voted ‘best magic moment’ on the 30th anniversary edition of BBC Countryfile 2018. Located on a five acre site, this hugely popular experience is run by Daniel and Dee Ashman who have, between them, over 50 years of professional experience with birds of prey and predatory animal management. Their knowledge and enthusiasm ensures an exciting, high adrenalin and memorable visit.
It is advised to book at least a month in advance (and that’s for weekdays!) as the experiences are much sought after. Geared around small groups, you are guaranteed lots of interactive time with the keepers and the animals they care for. Some of the experiences involve walking in the Lake District with the animals, such as Walking with Wolves, Eagle Experiences and Hawk Walks. Others are on a meet and greet basis, such as Wolf and Fox Encounter, where you will get up close to wolf hybrids, Maska and Kajika, and red foxes Fynn and Todd.
The price of experience Days range from £65 to £115
Lakeside, Newby Bridge
Although a relatively small exhibition, with around thirty displays of freshwater and seawater inhabitants, the Aquarium of the Lakes is great for introducing children to life below the water. It has species such as seahorse, salmon, trout, pike, rays and sharks. The underwater Lake Tunnel is a clear favourite, and if you are there at 4 pm, the duck diving is very entertaining. There’s also a good selection of wild fowl, as well as otters, snakes, tortoises, and a colony of leaf-cutter ants.
Make more of the experience by booking a Lakes Cruises, Yellow Cruise & Lakes Aquarium, a round trip from Bowness-on-Windermere, that stops at Lakeside and includes entrance to the aquarium.
10 am – 4.30 pm, daily
Adult £7.50; Seniors £6.50
English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues provide the perfect launch pad for your Lake District adventure. For more information on our rooms, restaurants and facilities take a look online.