The Peak Wildlife Park is based in Winkhill, just outside Leek. It offers the opportunity to come face to face with a variety of animals from different continents. It includes animal walkthroughs, keeper talks, indoor and outdoor play areas plus an onsite cafe which offers amazing pizza amongst other things. The wildlife park also offers additional animal experiences which are available to purchase. If you are looking for a great day out that brings you close to animals, this is the place for you.
Our Day Out – About Peak Wildlife
We visited the Wildlife Park for a special reason. My son turned 5 in July and I’m big on experience gifts over more toys, and this year I bought a “Mini Keeper Experience” at the Peak Wildlife Park. I was so pleased to find somewhere that offers an experience for him as most places their experiences are only for older children. I will start with the great things that are on offer as part of general admission before I tell you about our keeper experience.
We had no issues parking when we arrived, there were staff directing people into parking spaces. It was efficient and we had no delays even though it appeared to be fairly busy being the school holidays. The staff were all very friendly and helpful from the outset explaining where we would need to go and what was available when and where.
Things to do at Peak Wildlife Park
We first explored the wildlife park, making a beeline for the penguins in penguin paths as they are an absolute favourite. On route, we met the warty pig, the meerkats with their very own summer deck chairs! Before zooming to the penguins.
We were so impressed with how much space they had. Some places we visit it feels almost not enough space but here they had a beach a large pool and could wander freely over the paths. We had different viewing options including an under pool tunnel, over pool viewing area and a beachside viewing point. The Penguins have some chicks this year and we saw them pestering their mum for fish. I did feel a bit sorry for her as it felt just like when I get “‘muuuum” a hundred times a minute! We spent so long watching them from every available place.
Once my son had his penguin fix we explored the park at a little less speedy pace. Overall the feeling of space exists for all the animals which is so nice to see, and the other thing I was impressed with is the amount of information available. There is plenty of staff available who will happily answer your questions but there are information boards and signs so you can learn about the animals, they also had a “plastic” information series so there was lots of information about the impact on wildlife.
My son really liked being so close to so many animals, the lemurs were another highlight. You can visit them in a walkthrough and sit and watch them. We sat on a bench where we could see babies and adults sleeping and some playing. We’d obviously sat for too long as I ended up with a Lemur on my lap! He was very friendly and took a real interest in my camera.
From the lemurs, we went next to the Wallabies which again you can get close too as this is another walkthrough enclosure you can stroke them and feed them if they come to you. Unfortunately, none visited us but we still had great fun being so close to them and seeing if any of them had anything in their pouches. We caught the otter feeding and watched them eating their fish. The keeper provided great information about how they use their claws and can’t move them independently like we can with our fingers and various other interesting facts. You’ll be able to find feeding times and talk times when you arrive and there are certainly plenty of opportunities to see and learn.
There are other animals you can get close with are the goats, we gave them a good brush! and lots of attention. They also have Cameroon sheep in the same area who seemed a little less enthusiastic at having a 5 yr old say hello but still friendly (some people found the goats over friendly as they tried to steal things from bags!) You can also walk through bunny town, which my son loved. He now thinks all rabbits should live in little houses like that.
We had lunch at the onsite cafe, it’s always a risk as we have allergies and some places it doesn’t go well but I was very very impressed. The allergy information was clear, they had free from alternatives (like vegan cheese, non-dairy milk options) and it was so easy to order. We went for a dairy free stone baked pizza and I’m so glad we did it was very nice and very quick considering it was busy.
Following lunch, we were booked into our experience but we quickly visited the outside play area. It has a play frame, a large sandpit with toys and normally a bouncy castle which wasn’t up on that day (we were told at the entry kiosk). It’s the perfect place for kids to be able to charge around and play. They also have kids cars available and an indoor play area and a second park closer to the entrance. We didn’t have a chance to visit the indoor play area but did look in and saw that it has slides, bridges, ball pit and ride ons to cater for younger children as well as older you might also spy the otters from there too
Overall with the wildlife park, in general, I was very impressed, the interaction with the animals, the close encounters, space and friendly staff. We would certainly go back and recommend to anyone looking for somewhere with children. Unlike big zoos it’s also perfect for small children when long days out with little interaction I found often not so successful, this would be the perfect place.
I had pre-booked our experience prior to our visit as this was a gift for my sons 5th Birthday. It was the best gift ever, his words and I happen to agree with him. We were met by our first keeper and like all the staff she was very friendly, and really interacted so well with my son our second keeper was exactly the same.
The first task she set was to collect branches and leaves for the sheep, and he was in love from that moment getting to go into an animal enclosure and doing work! Because of my son’s age, I also got to join in with the experience which I was very pleased about.
We got to feed sheep, giant rabbits and the tortoises before going to take the pigs for a walk! It was so much fun. Every day they do the pig walk outside the experience and I would highly recommend getting there early to do it. Not only is it enjoyable to follow the pigs as they head through the park but watch the zebra when you get there they get so excited seeing the pigs and start prancing around and it is really nice to watch them.
After the pigs we headed onto penguin beach due to my son’s age he wasn’t able to give the Penguins the fish but they let him into the beach and stand with the keepers which he thought was very special. To end our experience we visited some secret lemurs and it was amazing! We were literally sat on the floor in their enclosure whilst feeding them. My son found going into enclosures via secret doors one of the most exciting things, he had told everyone he met since that he knows secrets in the wildlife park.
The keepers we met are the reason for that as they made him feel so special being able to go inside adding to the magic. My son got a certificate at the end and a special gift a peacock feather as he’d mentioned them on the way around and I loved that they did that for him. Thank you to the keepers who made this should a special day for us.
Amazing, I absolutely loved our day here and so did my son we will be heading back soon.
The Peak Wildlife Park is open from 10am -6pm every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Ticket prices are £11.95 for an adult and children aged 2-16 £9.95 (under 2 is free). The park also has an annual pass available which is £29.99 for adults and £25.99 for children. Concessions are available.
There are several keepers experiences available and prices vary accordingly. The experience we did was the Mini Keeper experience which was £95.
Full information and latest pricing can be found on the Peak Wildlife website.
Disclaimer: Michelle was provided with 2 complimentary tickets for entry into the park. Her son’s Keeper experience was paid for by herself and his entrance to the park was included in the experience. All words, photos and opinions are entirely her own and must not be reproduced without prior consent.
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