UK / ENGLAND / STAFFORDSHIRE

Peak Wildlife Park – REVIEW, GUIDE and TIPS for this Staffordshire Peak District zoo

Peak Wildlife Park – REVIEW, GUIDE and TIPS for this Staffordshire Peak District zoo

We take our children on a family day out to Peak Wildlife Park

Name

Peak Wildlife Park

What is it?

A small zoo with exotic and endangered animals from three continents including wallabies, lemurs and penguins.

It specialises in walk-through experiences.

Where is it?

Peak Wildlife Park is in Winkhill, Leek in the Staffordshire Peak District.

What did we think?

We had a lovely time here, it’s a nice size attraction to explore, not too big to tire out little legs.

Being able to walk among some of the animals, without enclosures, is fantastic.

Lemurs eating at Peak Wildlife Park

Lemurs

Highlights

*The lemurs

You can walk among the lemurs, who entertained us with their playing and swinging, especially a cute baby lemur.

*The wallabies

You’re allowed go gently stroke the wallabies, which resemble small kangaroos.

Wallabies at Peak Wildlife Park

Wallabies

*The penguins.

The penguins can be seen from three different vantage points, including through a window to watch them swim under water. You can also get right up close to them and they may even cross a path in front of you.

*Play areas

There are different play areas including an indoor soft play which is free to use. Outdoors is a bouncy castle, sandpit and more traditional play equipment.

An outdoor play area at Peak Wildlife Park

An outdoor play area at Peak Wildlife Park

Top tips

*Don’t miss any of the site 

We thought we had explored everywhere but when we were near the exit, discovered an extra bit with more animals and play areas past the cafe.

Food orders

You can pre-order food and drink from your smart phone and collect at a time that suits you by following this link.

We hadn’t done this so ordered, in person, a pizza to share and used the 20-minute wait time while it cooked to explore more. Staff give you a buzzer to carry which alerts you to when your food is ready if you don’t go too far out of range.

Animal experience

If you want go get even closer to the animals or it’s a special occasion, you can buy an Animal Experience.

Where did we stay?

We stayed at a beautiful five-star, spa hotel, the Buxton Crescent, read our full review of it next.

Peak Wildlife Park information

Food

*The Courtyard Cafe serves stone baked pizzas, sandwiches, crisps, cakes and ice creams. There are gluten-free and vegan options.

*There are outside picnic areas and a family room you can eat in.

*Another area serves ice cream.

Opening hours: Peak Wildlife Park opens at 10am. It closes at 6pm in the Spring/Summer season and at 5pm in the Autumn/Winter season.

Cost: Adults aged 17 to 64 pay £12.95.

Children aged two to 16 are £10.95. Under-twos are free.

Concessions – senior citizens from aged 65 and students with valid card photo IDs pay £10.95.

Carers are free.

Annual pass: Peak Wildlife Park offers an annual pass which entitles you to visit as many times as you want for a year.

It costs £35.99 for adults (aged 17 to 64), £29.99 for children aged two to 16 and also for concessions (senior citizens from 65 and students with valid ID cards).

Best for: All ages who like animals but especially two to 10-year-olds.

Time needed: Two to four hours.

Access and restrictions: The park is fully accessible and wheelchairs are available to borrow for free. The paths are wide enough for mobility scooters.

There are disabled toilets.

Baby changing facilities: Baby change facilities are in the ladies toilets, disabled toilets and baby change rooms next to the family room.

Are dogs allowed?: No, dogs are not allowed at Peak Wildlife Park. Foxtwood Kennels, situated 10 minutes from the park, is happy to take dogs for the day, you can call them on 01538 266 667 to make a booking.

Address: Peak Wildlife Park, Winkhill, Leek, ST13 7QR.

Sat nav users should use the postcode ST13 7QR.

Parking: Parking is free

Website: www.peak wildlife park.co.uk

Email: info@peakwildlifepark.co.I’m

Book here: https://www.peakwildlifepark.co.uk/tickets

*Our visit was organised with help from Visit Peak District and  Derbyshire, the official tourist information hub.

For more great ideas of family activites in the area, go to the VIsit Peak District and Derbyshire website.

 

Tittesworth Water/Reservoir, near Leek in Staffordshire – our review and tips

Tittesworth Water/Reservoir, near Leek in Staffordshire – our review and tips

We take our children for a picnic, walk and play at Tittesworth Water in the Peak District National Park.

What is it?

This family day out is around a water storage reservoir with walks, a good outdoor play area and cafe/restaurant.

The reservoir, fed by the River Churnet, is run by Sever Trent Water and was built in 1858.

The water from it can supply up to 45 million litres a day to homes and businesses.

The reservoir

The reservoir

Where is it?

It’s in the village of Meerbrook in the Peak District National Park, just off the A53, three miles north of Leek.

What did we think?

A wooden seat at Tittesworth Reservoir

This was a lovely day out, with a good mixture of walking and fun for the children in the play area. It was a sunny day and we took a picnic. We also had a snack later at the café, where you can sit inside or out.

The café/restaurant

The café/restaurant

Our highlights

*The walk – there are two main, signed routes – a red one of 1.5 miles or a yellow one of five miles, they both start out the same so you can decide further into the walk.

A stream at Tittesworth Reservoir

We did the red route – it’s not a circular route around the lake, the first part (which you also travel back along) is open and the second part through woodland. The longer, yellow walk is said to  have wonderful views and is hilly but the red is billed as wheelchair and buggy-friendly, but is narrower and certainly not flat in places.

The toddler play area at Tittesworth Reservoir

*The play area – a good size with some exciting equipment for different ages and a sand pit.

The play area at Tittesworth Reservoir

The play area

Top tips

*Some navigation systems (including Google Maps when we visited) take you to a farm. Helpfully they’ve put a sign up explaining it is not the reservoir.

*You can’t swim in the water but if you want to get on to it, go to Tittesworth Water Sports and Activity Centre. From there you can try sailing, kayaking, raft building and paddle boarding. For more information see this link.

*If you want to plan a walking route before you get there you can download a map of the site here.

Tittesworth Reservoir information

Food: There are plenty of areas for picnics (barbecues are not allowed). There is a nice cafe/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. It has a lunchtime children’s menu, with meals like pasta or sausages for around £4.25 or a child’s lunchbox, available all day, for £4.35. There are baby’s food and bottle warming facilities in the restaurant too. You can also buy ice creams from a kiosk in the corner of the play area.

Opening hours: Open every day except Christmas Day. Visitor centre opening hours are: April to September 10am to 6pm. February, March and October, 10am to 5pm. November, December and January 10am to 4pm.

Cost: Entry is free, car park is £3 for two hours and £5 for all day.

Best for: All ages.

Time needed: As much as you want depending on the child’s age, you could easily fill three hours.

Access and restrictions:

*The red route is signposted as suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

*Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

*There are toilets around the site, including those with disabled and baby changing facilities.

Address: Tittesworth Reervoir, Meerbrook, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8SW.

Thomas the Tank Engine proves just the ticket for a boy’s birthday break at Drayton Manor hotel and theme park

Thomas the Tank Engine proves just the ticket for a boy’s birthday break at Drayton Manor hotel and theme park

We stay in a Thomas-themed hotel room before trying out Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire

I wake to find a giant Thomas the Tank Engine staring at me.

Then my son’s excited face pops up over the top.

What a wonderful way for a boy to wake up on his birthday – in the top bunk of a Thomas bed.

A boy looks over the top of his Thomas bed at Drayton Manor Hotel

Thomas-themed bedroom

We are at Drayton Manor Hotel near Tamworth in Staffordshire. It is on the same site as Drayton Manor Theme Park and our stay-and-play package includes breakfast and tickets to the park.

Our Thomas-themed room has no less than four television screens and a railway line printed on the floor which continues into some of the corridor.

We choo choo our way along it and make our way down to breakfast before skipping into the park.

A Thomas-themed room at Drayton Manor hotel

A Thomas-themed room at Drayton Manor hotel

Thomas Land

First stop – and our main reason for the visit – is Thomas Land. Having heard tales of long queues over the holidays, on this term-time day, the place is blissfully quiet.

James and the Red Balloon Ride

James and the Red Balloon Ride

And with the sun shining, we go quickly from ride to ride, enjoying such delights as Cranky’s Drop Tower and Jeremy’s Flying Academy. And the quite exhilarating Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster is clearly enjoyed by us adults as much as the children.

The rest of the park

Then we climb aboard a Thomas the Tank train at “Knapford Station” and ride to another part of the park. Here, our two children enjoy all the birds and animals at the zoo and take the Dino Trail where there are model dinosaurs.

We then try out the handful of bigger rides suitable for younger children in the rest of the park, like the big wheel and the water rapids, which I scream my way through, much to everyone’s amusement.

Daringly, we board the very fast (I think) Accelerator (formerly known as The Ben 10 Ultimate Mission Coaster), suitable from aged four.

We alight full of happy laughter.

And it is this, not just Thomas, which is the theme of our stay.

People ride Shockwave the stand-up roller coaster

Drayton Manor is also home to the stand-up roller coaster Shockwave

Accommodation: We stayed as guests at Drayton Manor Hotel for the purposes of this review. All views are our own.

Activities: Drayton Manor Theme Park.