Days OutFeatured

Animal Adventures

One of the best things about summer and the sunshine is being able to spend more time in the great outdoors, and hand in hand with outside adventuring comes all creatures great and small. 

Wingham Wildlife Park

Kent is home to a plethora of brilliant, forward-thinking animal sanctuaries, wildlife reserves, conservation farms and more, where you can experience these miraculous creatures up close. Learn how and why we need to protect their habitats and what measures these admirable places are taking to ensure these creatures thrive and live safely on our planet. With everything from safari ranger days and stays to bird of prey shows and farming experiences, Kent has an animal encounter to suit everyone.

 

Experience the Exotic 

 

Port Lympne Reserve, Hythe

Explore Kent’s largest wild animal park and breeding sanctuary, home to over 900 rare and endangered species including the UK’s largest herd of black rhino, gorillas, lions, leopards and the county’s only spectacled bears. Step back in time and discover the UK’s largest dinosaur collection, or make your visit that bit more special by booking one of the many onsite experiences; become a keeper for the day, or get up close and personal with one of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ on one of the bespoke safaris packages. Restaurants and kiosks are located around the park providing a variety of hot and cold snacks.

Port Lympne

 

Howletts Wildlife Park, Bekesbourne 

Over 400 animals and 50 individual species, plus plenty of births and arrivals. Marvel at the magnificent elephant herd or gasp at the great gorillas, there’s so many special characters to meet here. Visitors have the opportunity to see real animals up close and to be part of conservation in action. As a dedicated animal conservation charity, your visit directly helps The Aspinall Foundation to protect wildlife here in the UK which in turn enables them to send animals back to the wild. Their commitment to conservation through captive breeding, education and reintroduction into the wild allows us to gain a greater understanding of some of the world’s most fragile environments and the endangered animals that live there.

Howletts

 

Big Cat Sanctuary, Smarden 

Endeavouring to provide peace and tranquillity, combined with habitats tailored to house different species of cats, The Big Cat Sanctuary provides the best possible lives in captivity for these majestic felines. The Big Cat Sanctuary helps to maintain genetic diversity of the captive populations of these endangered and iconic cats, while allowing the public to learn about them and admire their brilliance. Become a Ranger For the Day, delight in a Big Cat Experience or have an Overnight Big Cat Safari Stay to experience these creatures up close and have a hand in ensuring the safe future of their species.

Big Cat Sanctuary

 

Wingham Wildlife Park

Wingham Wildlife Park houses the largest number of animal species out of all wildlife parks and zoos in Kent. Here, you can adventure around the park and spot these exciting creatures up close and even feed the native and exotic birds that roam freely there. For a truly memorable experience, opt for their animal encounters which gives visitors the opportunity to get even closer to the park’s most loved creatures including penguins, meerkats and otters under the guidance and knowledge of a zookeeper.

Wingham Wildlife Park

Native Nature

Wildwood Trust, Herne Bay 

Come nose-to-nose with British wildlife past and present at Wildwood. Set in 40 acres of ancient woodland, Wildwood holds a stunning collection of over 200 British animals in natural enclosures. See bears, wolves, otters, foxes, deer, badgers, owls, wild horses, lynx, beavers, wild cats, bison, squirrels, wild boar, reindeer and many more as you walk around the twisting trails through an ancient British woodland.

Wildwood

Buttercups Goat Sanctuary, Maidstone 

A lovely goat sanctuary caring for between 130 and 150 resident goats. The goats in the care of Buttercups come to the sanctuary for a multitude of different reasons but are mostly rescued goats in need of more space and the company of other goats, as they are highly social animals. Try the Walking with Goats Experience, where you spend an hour-and-a-half walking a goat round the sanctuary grounds.

Buttercups Goat Sanctuary

 

Huckleberry Woods, Faversham

For an animal experience that is like no other, Huckleberry Woods is a small rustic farm devoted to micro and miniature animals. Home to some gorgeous micro-pigs, miniature donkeys, Teddy Bear sheep and alpacas, your family can mingle with animals all free-ranging around their orchard home. You can even arrange to take them for a walk! With none of the usual hustle and bustle, a two-hour visit to Huckleberry Woods provides a more relaxed and personal experience with limits on numbers of guests booked in at any one time. During your visit, you can relax and refresh with tea and cake, and children are encouraged to let off steam in the little play area.

Buttercups Goat Sanctuary

 

Kent Life and Kent Owl Academy, Maidstone 

Kent Life showcases and breeds traditional farm animals including free-range livestock such as sheep, pigs, horses, donkeys, goats, poultry, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, ducks, geese and alpacas. All animals are housed in historic outhouse barns, so visitors can experience a real Kentish working farm and farmyard. The cuddle corner walkthrough provides the opportunity to get up close and personal to some of the smaller farmyard friends and there’s even an Adopt an Animal Scheme for true animal lovers. Kent Life is also home to the Kent Owl Academy and their 12 owls, who offer experience days, bird of prey shows and more.

 

Curly’s Farm, Isle of Sheppey

For those who want to delight in the less exotic variety of animal, visit Curly’s Farm, a multi-award-winning, not-for-profit working farm that supports the emotional, social, mental health and wellbeing of young people. Curly’s Farm is also a producer of its own rare breed pork, beef and lamb with the ethos ‘Farm Local, Buy Local’. From feeding chickens and handling rabbits, there’s plenty of furry friends at Curly’s to make and lots to learn from the farming experts that work there.

 

Badgers Hill Farm, Chilham 

Badgers Hill Farm is also home to lots of different animals that will welcome your visit. Delight at miniature donkeys, sheep, billy goats, chickens, geese, rhea, mara, peacocks and even wallabies. This is also an exciting learning experience for children, with information to discover about each of the animals they’ll find on their travels around the farm. Adults can bask in the sunshine with a chilled glass of Badgers Hill’s homemade cider, or any other beverage on offer from the cute café.

 

Small but Magnificent 

 

Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch

Set in 100 acres of farmland, enjoy a Meet the Animals session where the children can pet friendly animals of rare and native breeds and ask staff questions. Enjoy a daily bird of prey display, a woodland assault course, a tube maze, zip wire and hill fort, or for a quieter time together, enjoy the tunnel of exotic butterflies and take a woodland walk.

 

Hemsley Conservation Centre, Sevenoaks

A continually growing zoo and wildlife centre that offers visitors the chance to see some of the world’s most endangered, least understood and under-represented species. From beautiful, rare, big cats to squirrel monkeys, capybaras, otters and lemurs, this sanctuary is dedicated to protecting animals, their habitats and caring for the planet while educating and inspiring the public.

 

The Fenn Bell Conservation Project, Rochester

Holding Medway’s very first zoo licence, The Fenn Bell Conservation Project is not only home to a brilliant food venue but also houses rescued meerkats, lemurs, racoons, rare foxes, monkeys and more. Become a zookeeper for the day or take a safari round the grounds to get up close and personal with the furry residents here. After a day full of animal adventure, visit the 17th-century pub which has great beers and ales on tap for thirsty parents, as well as a children’s menu and good pub favourites. 

Fenn Bell

Lower Bush Alpacas, Cuxton

One of the most sought after animal experiences of the past few years is alpaca walking. There are lots of places to do this in Kent, including Lower Bush Alpacas. Take a peaceful 45-minute walk through beautiful countryside while walking your very own sweet alpaca and, on your return to the farm, treat the alpacas to their favourite food – carrots from the vegetable plot. With plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the view, breathe in the fresh country air and take a selfie or two with your new friends, a visit to Lower Bush Alpacas is certain to be good for the soul! 

 

Eagle Heights, Eynsford 

Home to one of the UK’s largest bird of prey centres with over 50 species. As well as incredible bird of prey shows, Eagle Heights is an opportunity to witness the other species that call this sanctuary home. Have experiences with meerkats, servals, fantastic birds, alpacas and more.

Eagle Heights

 

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