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“good day out”

Kirkleatham Owl Center
Ranked #3 of 16 things to do in Redcar
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Good way to spend a few hours with the kids. Not that big but plenty to see and the flying displays are excellent.

Thank Chuck186340
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"flying display"
in 23 reviews
"guinea pigs"
in 15 reviews
"birds of prey"
in 11 reviews
"bird show"
in 5 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 16 reviews
"all ages"
in 9 reviews
"animal encounters"
in 3 reviews
"different species"
in 3 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 5 reviews
"meer cats"
in 2 reviews
"per adult"
in 3 reviews
"very helpful staff"
in 2 reviews
"a hoot"
in 2 reviews
"nothing is too much trouble"
in 2 reviews
"she loves"
in 3 reviews
"short break"
in 2 reviews
"run by volunteers"
in 2 reviews
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176 - 180 of 202 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2014

Went on a Groupon deal for the owl/meerkat experience which I thought fantastic. All the birds/animals extremely well looked after and all the staff encountered very caring and informative. Feeding the meerkats was amazing and coming into such close contact with owls and a bird of prey was something i never thought I would experience. The visit ended on a high when a pair of baby emus, which the centre had only recently acquired, were brought in to meet us.Their antics had all of us in stitches. A super day out which I would highly recommend to anybody.

2  Thank Gail S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

Cost less than the price of a pint to get in & massively exceeded expectations. Intelligent & friendly staff, animals very well looked after (a lot of them were eating salmon!), fantastic array of beautiful birds & all the enclosures looked comfortable & spacious. Actually cannot believe i didn't know this was here! So easy to find & it's also next door to an excellent museum that is free.

2  Thank petermckeone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We booked the owl/meerkat experience as a Groupon deal, and didn't really know what to expect. Arriving early gave us the opportunity to look around the place, and certainly all the animals and birds seemed to be in suitable enclosures - with shelter and aesthetically pleasing environments. I was a little concerned that they had a (very large) raven in one enclosure, but later learned that it was hand-reared, and never would cope with being free. At least it had toys to stimulate its intelligence, and there was a lot of obvious first-hand interaction with the staff. The more we learned about the animals and birds (and I asked lots of questions!), the more I was satisfied that this was far more than a zoo.

The morning started off with feeding the meerkats, and we were handed a plastic cup full off things too horrible too inspect too closely - and (thankfully) a pair of tweezers to feed the delightful little creatures. We were taken into the enclosure, and a hatch opened to release a stream of extremely enthusiastic and cheeky meerkats and mongooses. Much to everyone's delight, they clambered over us to be fed, and were obviously very used to people. They look so gorgeous from photos, but do wear old clothes, because you will end up with sand and pieces of raw meat all over you; you can even expect a meerkat to sit on your head - and boy, do they smell bad!!!

After that, we had a bird of prey flying session, where a large bird (a caracara, I think) flew from one end of the grass area to another, taking meat from people's hands. It was an awesome experience to feel a 6' wingspan touch your face as the bird landed!

After a very welcome cup of coffee and a few biscuits, several species of owls (from small and cute to enormous) were brought into the visitor's centre for quite a lengthy interaction with the guests. Some of the owls were not keen to be stroked (which is fair enough), but one almost fell asleep on me whilst I stroked his back - what a truly amazing experience! These birds are spectacular creatures, and it’s impossible to appreciate their bodily structure from a photo or by looking into an enclosure. Being gazed at by two bright green or amber glass-like eyes, and having a huge beak several cm from my face was a little disconcerting, but we were told that it’s the talons that tend to do the most damage... That was ok then; we wore thick gloves!

I was particularly impressed with the friendliness, dedication and knowledge of the staff. All of them were volunteers, and nothing was rushed or too much trouble. All questions were answered in detail and with enthusiasm, and I have to say that the whole team were a credit to the centre. At one stage we got talking to one of the staff members about rats (which they use for displays and to take out on visits). At the end of the session, the gentleman bought out two of the rats for us to have a cuddle, which was beyond the call of duty and finished off the experience wonderfully!

On the way out, we visited the museum, simply because we were there. Museums aren’t really my thing, but it was free, and I must say that I enjoyed that experience too. This was followed by coffee and home-made cakes in the tea-room, which couldn’t be faulted (for both quality and value for money).

All in all, a wonderful day out. One of the reviews mentioned about staff being rude. We found all of the staff members to be completely dedicated to the work they did, and both people-friendly and animal-friendly. I would imagine that if they had to choose, the animals would come first. But in my opinion, that’s exactly how things should be.

Well done, everyone, and thank you for a fantastic day!

4  Thank Michelle158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 January 2014

There was a small group of us. We were made very welcome. Unfortunately the wheelchair had a flat tyre but chairs were available at strategic points so we managed. After looking round the owls and the meerkats and other small animals and birds,we were treated to a short talk about the centre and then had the opportunity of meeting some of the baby owls,who were on their way out to schools for a visit.The little creatures hopped about the floor of the hut, unable to fly and we even had the opportunity of stroking them. They were incredibly soft and it was a wonderful experience..

Thank Emily386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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