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Chris Dee
/ Categories: Cotswolds Attractions

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Nr Burford, Oxfordshire

Cotswold Wildlife Park and GardenCotswold Wildlife Park, which is definitely not to be confused with the Cotswold Farm Park, is near Burford in Oxfordshire. At this one you’ll see rhinos, monkeys and giraffes rather than sheep, pigs and goats. In fact we're told that a small but steady stream of visitors do turn up at each venue having confused the two attractions. 

There are four main areas; birds, mammals, primates and reptiles/amphibians.  Zoos and Wildlife Parks tend to divide opinion these days, but there’s a pleasant atmosphere here. Animals appear as well looked-after as possible, with space in enclosures, participation in breeding programmes and a general sense of purpose and wellbeing on site. 

The park is a large one, paths lead around the site and you can also take a train ride for an extra £1. Unexpectedly perhaps, much of the site is dog-friendly. 

The Birds section include penguins and ostrich - the zoo has several bird breeding successes to its credit. The mammals section big draws include Asiatic lion and camels - and white rhinos, which offer a surreal sight on a Cotswold lawn. Crowd pleasers include African pygmy goats, anteaters and reindeer. 

The Wildlife Park’s small mammals and primate section includes Pallas’s Cat, wolverines, lemurs and ever popular meerkats. You’ll find black mamba snakes, giant tortoise and the something called blue poison dart frog, which we don’t want to think about too much. The park is the only collection in Europe to have bred Morelet’s Crocodiles.

Over and above the animal collection, the Wildlife Park has a remarkable garden - think of it as their fifth collection, an inspirational plant and tree collection designed to showcase some of the wonders of the plant kingdom. 

Allow a full day to look around here. You can save a couple of quid by booking online in advance.  There can be queues at peak times such as Bank Holidays. Be aware that some animals may not be on view at certain times - on the other hand, try to arrive by mid-morning for penguin feeding.

Cotswolds Finest Hotels Nearby

Artist Residence, Swan at Bibury and Village Pub are all nearby.

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Bradwell Grove, Burford
OX18 4JP

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