Yesterday we went to Cotswold Wildlife Park for what is turning into an annual family tradition! In this blog post I will share my honest review of Cotswold Wildlife Park for 2019 and lots of photos of the animals we saw.
Cotswold Wildlife Park review + FAQs
I think we’ve been to Cotswold Wildlife Park every year since Bella was born and she’s now seven! We’ve been on our own, with Ben’s late mum at least twice and with my mum and sister at least twice too!
Bella also went on a school trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park when in reception and I think Reuben will do the same trip this year as he has just started school. So the kids love the place and have lots of fond memories going with school and also with different family members.
I think Cotswold Wildlife Park is probably the best wildlife park/zoo within the Cotswolds and near to Gloucestershire. The park is located in Burford. We live on the very edge of Gloucester and it’s around a 40 minute drive through lots of lovely countryside and ‘tree tunnels’ which we like to call the lanes lined with trees where we drive under their branches!
How much does it cost to get into Cotswold Wildlife Park?
As a family of four it cost us £47 for two adult tickets and two childrens tickets which we booked online the day before. Cotswold Wildlife Park don’t ever offer cheaper ticket deals on other websites or in local magazines, as far as I can tell.
The only way to get a cheaper ticket price is to book a ticket online on their website before the day you wish to attend.
We saved £6 on our Cotswold Wildlife Park tickets by booking e-tickets the day before.
The gate price is £16 per adult ticket (ages 17+), or £14 for an e-ticket.
Children aged 3-16 years are £10.50 on the gate or £9.50 with an e-ticket.
Children aged 0-2 are free.
Senior citizens aged 65 and over are the same price as children: £10.50 on the gate or £6.50 with an e-ticket.
The only clause is that you can’t buy your e-ticket on the day you want to attend. They must be purchased before the day of your visit, right up to midnight the day before. Once purchased, the e-tickets are valid for 30 days so you can rearrange your visit if for any reason you can’t go.
The park is open every day except Christmas Day and in all weathers!
Car parking is free. I’ve noticed some UK attractions have started charging a car parking fee which I personally think is ridiculous. If the car park is purely for an attraction and you’re paying entry anyway then you should at least be able to park at the attraction without extra costs. Luckily Cotswold Wildlife Park offer a free car park on site.
Cotswold Wildlife Park opening times
I’d advise going for the whole day if you want to see everything, especially if you are going with kids who want to stop and play!
This time we definitely didn’t allow enough time. We were meeting my mum and sister there as the trip was arranged for my sister’s birthday which was earlier in the week. Me and Bella already had haircuts booked that morning and I desperately needed my hair cut so I didn’t want to rearrange. It can take quite a while to get another Saturday hair appointment!
This meant we didn’t arrive until almost 12pm. The park always opens at 10am and we usually arrive at this time to make the most of the whole day.
It closes at 6pm in the summer, but the cafe and shop close by 5pm and some of the animal enclosures are closed earlier.
In the winter the park closes at 5pm or dusk.
Cotswold Wildlife Park animals and things to do
There are so many different animals at Cotswold Wildlife Park and we didn’t even see all of them on this visit! We have seen them on previous visits though and like I mentioned above, if it’s your first or only time to go to the park, then make sure you go for a full time so you have enough time to see everything!
Driving into the park we saw ostriches and alpacas. This entertained the children as there was a long queue to the kiosks. It was a very sunny day and perhaps the last warmest day of the summer with rain predicted for at least a week after, so I think we picked a very busy day to go!
We first saw the adult rhinos when we walked in from the far end of the car park, so stopped for lots of photos. Bella took some photos of me and Ben for the first time! I might start getting some more photos of me and Ben on outings if Bella can take some with my phone! We don’t have an awful lot of photos with both of us in.
There are three giant tortoises at the entrance from the carpark to the main park which are always amazing to see! They are so huge! We were lucky to see them at feeding time and they were almost standing on their back legs to reach the food. It was the first time I’ve seen a giant tortoise almost standing up!
We went to see the penguins first as the kids absolutely love the penguins! They have a webcam on the Cotswold Wildlife Park so the kids were watching them at home the night before when we booked our tickets online.
The kids were pretty hungry as we always have lunch at 12pm and we didn’t arrive to the park until 12pm (oops), so we whizzed around that section with lots of ‘I’m hungry’ coming from Reuben and decided to go and have our picnic and explore the animals after.
We stopped for a picnic under a large tree on the lawn near the mansion and with the rhinos and tortoises in view. It’s great being able to picnic with the animals so close. There is a restaurant and food vans on site so there are plenty of options if you want to buy food there. It’s an ideal picnic spot though with lots of picnic benches throughout the park and lovely large lawns with shaded areas under trees or sunny spots.
After our picnic we went to see the baby rhino!!
A baby rhino was born this year and it was so small! I’ve never seen such a small rhino before. It was very cute.
Next we headed to the wolves, past a pelican which had come out of the lake and seemed like it was posing for photo opportunities!
We went to the farmyard area where there are plenty of opportunities for the children to pet to animals. There’s even an entire petting enclosure with goats. Just watch out for all their poo droppings everywhere!
Reuben was keen to go on the train and we were not sure at first as the queue seemed so long, but he really wanted to ride the train so we queued. The train actually fits a lot of passengers, so we didn’t have to queue for as long as we thought. The Cotswold Wildlife Park train costs £1 per person and is around a five minute ride around the park. The kids love to wave at everyone from the train and spot all the animals.
It was now time for the Africa part of the park where we saw zebras, giraffes, lions and leopards!
Then we saw some camels, monkeys and red pandas. There’s a Madagascar walkthrough, but we missed it this time.
Finally, we nipped back to the penguins so the kids could have one last look before we headed home (well, after carrying a tired and tantruming Reuben out of the gift shop as we wouldn’t buy him a huge dinosaur!)
Cotswold Wildlife Park review 2019
As always, we are very impressed with Cotswold Wildlife Park still in 2019. It never disappoints. It’s always very well kept, clean and tidy. There are always lots of animals to see, in fact too many for our visit this time. We didn’t even go in the Madagascar walkthrough or any of the reptile exhibits!
There’s also a huge wooden adventure playground which the kids absolutely love. They perhaps had twenty minutes to play this time. I climbed up the biggest wooden treehouse with Bella and it’s pretty amazing! They could have spent a lot longer playing in the park, but we had to rush them to get around all the animals!
There are lots of beautiful plants around the park which are always so well kept. I love the cactus garden! They have a huge greenhouse too with lots of different tomato varieties growing and several different vegetables growing around the park. We spotted a pumpkin patch and even purple sweetcorn!
For children and adults alike it is an amazing wildlife park with plenty of animals to see and interesting flowers, plants and vegetables to spot as you wander around.
It’s definitely worth a visit and for us, as we’re so close, I’m sure Cotswold Wildlife Park will continue to be one of our most memorable outings each year or two as a family.
More things to do in Gloucestershire with kids!