A Day with the Monkeys at Monkey Forest Trentham
When you think of Stoke on Trent, its easy to think of negative headlines, run down areas, low income stereotyping and a couple of questionable football teams… ok so the last one is true (I am a Leicester City fan after all) but as for the initial observations, having lived in “The Potteries” for near on 14 years now, I can safely say them not to be true and there are some wonderful hidden gems in and around Stoke on Trent, one of those being the Trentham Estate.
The Trentham Estate is made up of two area, Trentham Gardens, one of our favourite parks in the area, of which we are annual ticket holders and The Monkey Forest which is home to the aforementioned and Aerial Extreme, a high rope adventure course.
We visited the Monkey Forest for the first time as a family of four and had a fantastic time. Opened in 2005, the 60 acre site is now home to over 140 Barbary Macaques (monkey species) roaming freely between paths and visitors. The site is split into two areas, a picnic/park/cafe area with plenty of open grass and space (not with monkeys) and then the monkey park itself.
The park has a near on mile’s worth of pathway for visitors to wander around and watch the two groups of monkey tribes in their nature habitat and roaming from area to area, fooling and playing around. There are also a series of feeding displays as well as park rangers producing several educational talks about this endangered species.
Both H and D really enjoyed wandering around and watching the adult and very cheeky tiny monkeys playful rolling around and teasing each other. I was worried D might be a little frightened but the bold fearless nature of our youngest meant that if anything, we had to be on our guard for a D style attack on the monkey’s themselves. Watching H’s amazement on his face as monkey’s strolled across our path as we walked around was fantastic, both little ones really enjoyed the experience and D walked the whole route round without going in her buggy once.
Afterwards we spent some time enjoying a family picnic in the cafe / park area as well as enjoying some time on the multi aged wooden park of which was ages appropriate for both H and D in their own various ways.
Tickets are £8 for Adults and children over 3 years old £6. There are also joint tickets available for Trentham Gardens which I would highly recommend. Like majority of outdoor attractions, many of them are so much better if the weather is at least dry and incredible if sunny so plan your trips wisely.
But if you’re looking for something different to do in the half term holidays which involves more outdoors than in and will guarantee your little ones will be ready for a good nights sleep at the end of the day, then this is for you.
Until Next Time
NB: I was not compensated in any way for this review, and paid for the visit ourselves, all opinions as always, are my own.