When we lived in California we loved the Safari West visit we did in the wine country, and thought that we should check out the local offerings for wild animals parks. I found out that the Aspinall Foundation has two parks nearby – Port Lympne and Howletts, and the first destination for us was Port Lympne by the seaside. There is no single ticket, but an annual one, so we chose tickets that cover both parks as the price difference wasn’t much – therefore a Howletts visit will be going into the calendar also.
The setting of the park is beautiful – forests full of bluebells this time of the year, fields – or rather they have been made to reminiscence savanna. You see Rhinos grazing under blooming English trees. Very pretty, but a bit surreal at the same time! And it was so heartwarming to see my twins for once not fighting, but enjoiyng the place together, walking hand in hand.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the manor inside the park as I am huge fan of pretty houses and gardens. One cannot visit the house (but it can be hired for functions) but parts of the garden – including a fun maze were open to the public.
The park has a couple of routes to enjoy – walking loops and a safari ride (but be prepared to queue about an half and hour for the latter).Some of the pros of the park are the large enclosures for the animals, but it als becomes a con as it’s hard to find many of them.
The facilities are also good, and there are a few strategically positions playgrounds also, where kids can play and parents can recharge their batteries with a cup of coffee or food.
I asked our kids what they thought of the place and the feedback was good. The favourite animals were all different kind of monkeys, the playgrounds and the ice cream! There were no complaints despite us walking around some two good hours (but they all fell asleep in the car so it was good exercise clearly for them) and mom got to enjoy some gardens and pretty scenery too. So a great day (weather-wise also) and we’ll be back later on this summer as we now have annual passes.