Advantages decent sized car park, plenty of animals to see, interesting facts listed, plenty to do in/outdoor
Disadvantages up a mountain so elderly/disabled/children may struggle to walk round it
|Is it worth visiting?|
Whilst staying at Presthaven Sands Haven caravan site near Prestatyn, my boyfriend Robert and I visited this Welsh Mountain Zoo on the way back to the caravan site from Llandudno. We had driven halfway up the Great Orme at Llandudno (to the ski centre area) and found that my little Vauxhall Astra car was able to do serious hill climbs, which was just as well when visiting this area of Wales!
Anyway, we drove from Llandudno onto the A55 and followed the brown signs to the Zoo – we liked the idea of following the White Elephant symbols that were painted onto these road signs – a good idea for any kids to look out for.
It was well sign-posted and we arrived at the gate – only to find that you have to pay on the gate not in a visitor centre. This was a slight problem as I had a money off voucher from the Top Ten Attractions Booklet of North Wales to get us a slight discount (if 2 adults paid full fares).
Unfortunately it was not easily accessible so I tried to park the car out of the way of any other visitors whilst we found it – only to promptly stall my car! Typical woman driver I hear you say – well actually my car had been overheating and burning oil the previous week so I was more concerned about what damage I might have done driving it up two really big mountains!
Anyway once I had found the voucher and restarted the car, we paid to get in (just over £18 for 2 adults – 2012 prices, with the money off voucher).
Parking the car in a large car park and leaving her to cool down, we went off to explore the Trading Shop, Cafe, toilet block, and saw the kids adventure playground. I really wished I was small enough to have a go on that – it looked absolutely brilliant and for the first time in ages we had not gone on holiday with any of our friends who have kids – it was just the two of us, so we did not get chance to try any of the kid’s attraction features out. What I will say though is that the WMZ had a great idea of putting loads of seats in the area for the worn out parents and grandparents!
After exploring this small area of the zoo we went in search of the tigers, squirrels, ravens and some other birds that were down a very steep path – it warned that the elderly, infirm and children may struggle to use it. As an asthmatic, I struggled at times on this site – especially as I had not got my inhaler with me that day.
The WMZ is creating new areas near the squirrels/ravens so there were plenty of good warning signs that the road might be slippery when wet or used a lot, in that particular area.We found it strange that there was a private dwelling in the middle of the WMZ (with a rather large Alsatian dog looking out at us).
On getting back up the hill we visited lemurs, camels, horse, donkeys, deer and ostrich – again having to stop to look at the views or catch our breath as the hill was so steep. We tried to visit the small cafe near the chimpanzees but it was closed on that occasion. They looked like they were renovating/cleaning it up ready for the season. We went the last week of March so it was not fully open – in my opinion.
We saw lots of families having picnics on the grass and enjoying the unusually warm March sunshine. There were plenty of picnic benches and ordinary benches to use in the area and lots of child friendly things to do and see.
There was a petting farm where you could see the macaws, sheep, goats, guinea pigs, etc and this had a buggy friendly route to use.
Occasionally there were steps and steep sections but most areas had ramps for buggies/wheelchair access and the crocodile area was extremely hot – so if you dislike extreme dry heat avoid going in there! Although it was nice to feel cooler when you came out – even if the sun was blazing down on you and we found a shaded area with picnic benches for when it rains with a wonderful mosaic picture of animals on it – it looked like Noah’s Ark.
I think that this zoo was well worth the money we paid to get in. We did not see everything and spent several hours at this location and really enjoyed ourselves. We only left because we were getting tired and hungry and had to drive back to Prestatyn to have tea.
Well worth a visit!
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