Great Cotswolds Day Out with the Kids at Birdland

Like birds?  Love dinosaurs?  You’ll have a great Cotswolds day out with the kids at Birdland.

Over Easter we visited Birdland park and gardens, in Bourton-on-Water in the Cotswolds.  It’s fantastic for families with young children as it’s just the right size to have enough to entertain everybody without getting too worn out.  We have actually been to Birdland 3 times now, as my 4-year old son just loves it so much!  Our last visit was at Christmas time, just over a year ago.  Since that visit he has been asking to go back to Birdland, probably about once a week!  So I was delighted that we spent Easter in the Cotswolds, and were able to return on our way back to London.

Arriving at Birdland

Parking near Birdland is easy, as there is a pay-and-display car park right next to it where you can park for £1 an hour, and parking after 3pm is free.  I noticed that on this occasion there was also some parking across the road in a field, which was being advertised as £3 for the whole day.  I am not sure about public transport links but there may well be some!

There was no queue to get into Birdland.  We visited on the Tuesday after Easter, which was an inset day for my children.  At the ticket counter, within the gift shop, you can get your child an activity card for the Jurassic Journey, which is a brilliant dinosaur trail with dinosaurs cleverly hidden among the woodland on the outskirts of Birdland.  This dinosaur trail is the main reason my 4 year old son is such a massive fan of Birdland!

 

Meeting the Birds

One of my favourite activities at Birdland is checking out the King and Humboldt penguins.

Penguins at Birdland in the Cotswolds, great day out with the kids

I really do love them!  There is even a famous penguin called Seth, who featured in “Batman Returns”.  There’s a large information board which has each penguin’s mugshot and name, which tells their date of birth and their story, as well as info about different species of penguins.

Great Cotswolds Family Day Out

There’s a huge variety of different birds to see and learn about at Birdland, including splendid flamingoes and many exotic birds.  Any bird fan will not be disappointed!  A keeper gives a flamingo talk which we had just missed, but we have seen it before and it was very good so try to catch that if you can.

Cafe

It was almost lunchtime when we arrived, so after checking out a few birds we headed to the cafe to eat our picnic, which was supplemented with kids meal hot dogs from the cafe which are served with chips and salad for £4.95.  The cafe serves teas and coffees (as one would hope!) and there are toilets located within.  There are some other toilets near the penguin reserve as well.  Drinks cost about £1.40-£2.50 and you can bring your own soft drinks into the park, so I would definitely recommend bringing some if you can.  There was a selection of the usual sorts of ice creams, that you can buy.

 

Jurassic Journey at Birdland

After checking out some African birds we moved swiftly onto the Jurassic Journey.  About 10 different types of dinosaurs could be seen here, from the Pteranodon and Triceratops to the obligatory T. Rex, though there are a few less well-known dinosaurs too.  We didn’t do the activity this time as we have done it before, but older children might enjoy collecting the “clues” around the trail, which are alphabet letters that can be rearranged to form a secret message.

Although the dinosaurs are static and don’t make any noises, this is actually appealing to my little ones.  They found it less fearsome than Jurassic Kingdom, which we visited a couple weeks ago.  You can also peer through gaps in the fences at some of these dinosaurs.  This adds to the sense of being a seriously adventurous dino-spotter 😉

Dinosaur at Jurassic Journey, Birdland, Great Cotswolds Day Out with the Kids

About halfway round the trail there is a covered shed which has some sandpits with brushes.  Here your children can “discover” fossils.  This was quite a hit with our children and allowed us to sit and chill for a few minutes!

 

Petting Zoo

Finally, with all the excitement of the dino trail over, we headed over to the encounters area, which is like a little petting zoo.  There were guinea pigs, a rabbit, several tortoises, chickens and even some baby chicks to make friends with, under the supervision of helpful staff.  Our toddler was thrilled to pet a guinea pig.  His zeal made me a little nervous, but the keeper was very patient with him.

There were also snakes, spiders, and a rat (not freely roaming!)  Previously they had a little owl here, which the children are able to hold (while wearing a bird-handling glove). But apparently the owl’s keeper was not around on the day we visited so we didn’t get to meet the owl this time.  If you’re keen on this activity you might want to call and check before you go.

 

Playground 

No trip is complete without a stop at the playground, and Birdland has some good equipment here which easily kept the children occupied for a half hour.  Even my 8 year old thinks it is pretty good!

 

Bourton-on-Water

Outside Birdland is the wonderfully charming world of Bourton-on-Water.  It is like a mini Venice, with lots of tiny bridges over little canals.  It’s a little touristy, but if you don’t mind that then you’ll love it.  Many little shops to browse and nice pubs to get lunch!  There’s also a model railway museum which we have visited before and enjoyed.

You can find out more about Birdland on their website at www.birdland.co.uk/

Birdland is open all year round, from 10am-6pm March to November, 10am-4pm November to March.

Current prices are £9.95 for adults, and £6.95 for children age 3 and up.  Under 3’s are free.

You can get 10% off admission if you book online.

Have fun!

Giant Tortoise at Birdland, Cotswolds Day Out with the Kids

If you enjoyed this post you might like to read about our trip to Center Parcs Longleat, in the post linked below.  It’s a brilliant outdoorsy family holiday in the forest, with all the comforts of home, which you can do in 3 or 4 days.

Center Parcs Longleat – amazing family break

What Katy Said
Accidental Hipster Mum
Rhyming with Wine
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Pure Luxury at The Conrad, Nusa Dua, Bali

Review of our stay at the splendiferous Conrad Bali, Nusa Dua

If you’re heading to Bali and you think you deserve a treat (I’m sure you most probably do) then I cannot recommend highly enough including this family-friendly hotel in your itinerary!  (By the way this is an independent review and we paid for our holiday in full).  The Conrad Nusa Dua, while feeling slightly out in the middle of nowhere, is a wonderful place where you and your family can spend a few days (4 in our case) and rest assured that your every need will be catered to.  What attracted me to the hotel when I initially did my holiday research (which I invariably do these days, now that my backpacking days are let’s say, just a few years behind me…) is the enormous meandering swimming pool.  My daughter loves to swim, and this pool did not disappoint her.  It also had a “beach style” gradual sloping entry at the end closest to our hotel room, which started with a sandy area that was ideal for our son (age 20 months at the time).  He was able to wander into the pool from the sandy area, and the pool itself was sandy at the bottom, so there was no worry that he was constantly tracking sand in and out as he paddled.  Bliss.

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We treated ourselves since it was the end of our stay, to 4 nights in a Conrad Suite.  Specifically it is called “Conrad Suite King”.  This is hands down THE best hotel room we have ever stayed in, IN OUR LIVES.

Why?  Because of its sheer size (110 sq. metres), its separate areas (one large room with a king size bed, a dressing room, a bathroom, and a kitchenette/dining room/living room containing a sofa bed), which enabled us to stay very comfortably as a family of 4, and the perks that came with staying in a Conrad Suite.  In priority order these were: daily afternoon tea with a wide selection of complementary teas or cocktails, and free evening cocktails and canapes which could be enjoyed at an adults-only lounge which was ultra-relaxing, or at the bar overlooking the swimming pool, and…wait for it…unlimited free laundry and dry-cleaning!

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Needless to say I took full advantage of this.  I sent them a pile of dirty laundry and it came back all neatly folded satisfyingly wrapped in crepe paper. I don’t think I’ve ever returned home from a holiday with all my laundry clean!?

When we first arrived in our Conrad suite we were also met by this lovely complimentary welcome tray and monkey soft toy for our toddler, which was a really nice touch.  The pack on the left contains nappies.  There was another monkey in the cot (which was all set up with bedding included).  Our daughter quickly adopted that monkey as her own.

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The kitchenette had a proper coffee machine, with lots of those little inserts that you could put in to make espresso based coffees, which gave us a great start to each day.  The bathroom was huge with dual vanities.  Housekeeping kept the suite spotless.

Breakfast was included, and although it was incredibly busy the food was plentiful and great, with all the usual offerings plus things like congee and noodles.  There was also a quieter, smaller restaurant which we discovered toward the end of our stay, where we were able to enjoy our lovely breakfast.  The food at the Conrad in general was all completely delicious.  One of my favourite meals was at the Japanese restaurant, where one night we had an amazing buffet dinner, and I ate an absolute ton of sushi!

I enjoyed a wonderful treatment at Jiwa Spa, which has its own pool you can relax in afterwards.

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And a further pool which is adults-only, which was near the Conrad Suites, complete with “bed” areas to lounge upon.

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Here is the main pool view from the lobby bar area, where we enjoyed cocktails.

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The hotel also has a kids club at one end of the pool area, which we visited but didn’t really use, as my sister and parents were with us and our son was too little, and our daughter was too busy in the pool!  It looked like a good programme of activities was available and there was a large outdoor space for playing.

The beach itself is directly behind the hotel and easy to access.  Beautiful and clean.

Stay at the Conrad Nusa Dua!  You won’t regret it.

If you’d like to book through booking.com, which is what we normally use, you can click on the link(s) in the text above or the one below which will take you through to their website.  I will get paid a very small token amount if you book through the link, but at no additional cost to you.  Wishing you and your family very happy travels!

 





 

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