My husband and I visited Kirkley Hall and Gardens at the weekend. We arrived quite early, just after ten, and after paying our very reasonable entrance fee (only £6 per adult) we entered the zoological side of the attraction. It was a little noisy and the animals were very excitable as we had just caught them having breakfast. It was lovely to see the capybara munching on whole apples and wholemeal bread as we wandered past. There are several peacocks wandering around the park freely and one just happened to float down into the capybara enclosure to help himself to some grapes as we watched.
We then continued around the park at a calm leisurely pace taking in all of the animals. The reptile house was very nicely designed with sometimes enclosures right to the floor, a little awkward for older people I would imagine but perfect for children. The enclosures were clean and well lit and the animals all seemed happy and comfortable. The information panels too were of a great standard and these themes continued throughout the park.
As we walked around the park with the guide of the map, we realised we were just about to miss lemur feeding so headed on over. The keeper was polite, cheerful and informative (Sammy I think her name was) and I learned the difference between the colouration of the male and female ruffed lemur. Dynamite was particularly energetic when being fed and a pleasure to watch, I really wanted to help groom him as his new girlfriends aren't quite interested yet (poor thing, lol).
We enjoyed seeing the baby ring-tailed lemurs too who were kept inside as they were still so small but my favourites were the pygmy marmosets which have to be the smallest monkeys I have ever seen; so timid yet inquisitive and just beautiful.
My husband went to see the aquarium while I waited outside as I really don't like fish. However, there were gorgeous little poison arrow frogs inside so I braved the aquarium as it is quite small. As we went to leave out of the exit we found it locked and a large group of children were entering via the main door so I did have a little bit of a panic being so close to the fish, however this is my issue I just wish the exit had been open, lol.
After looking at all of the exhibits we enquired at the entrance and found that our tickets lasted all day so we decided to have tea in the Orangery and explore the grounds before returning to the zoo a little later. Service in the Orangery was good and excellent value for tea, treats and gifts. The gardens were beautiful and we really enjoyed our river walk through the red squirrel conservation area although we were not lucky enough to see any red squirrels.
We then returned to the zoo and had our picnic and were surrounded by the free roaming peacocks. It was a little unnerving as they were perched on the roofs around us but they were calm and peaceful and did wander off on their own.
The birds at Kirkley hall are amazing. The pond was undergoing a refurbishment but this did not affect the animals. You really have to go to see the 'Zombie Bird' roaming around in there, very strange looking and a sight to see, and the grouse looking bird that looks like he's trying to be a superhero. (Sorry I can't remember their actual names).
We had a fantastic time at Kirkley Hall and recommend it for a family day out. Take a picnic and time your days walks with the animal encounters to make the most of your day.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.