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Visit some alternative wildlife parks in Wiltshire

Posted on 20th November 2014

While the likes of Longleat Safari and Adventure Park make most of the headlines when it comes to wildlife parks in Wiltshire, there are plenty of other parks in the county for nature lovers to enjoy.

So if you are staying in classic Wiltshire holiday cottages this winter and want to find some great parks and gardens to visit that are not as busy as the likes of Longleat, then read on.

Ravensroost Wood

Wiltshire wildlife thrives in Ravensroost Wood as parts of it have been under woodland cover since the 1600s.

This has meant that a variety of trees, rare plants and flowers, as well as a variety of birds, insects and butterflies, have been able to call the wood their home.

The Ravensroost Wood, which is owned and managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, was used as a royal hunting ground in medieval times and due to its conservation importance is a legally protected “Site of Special Scientific Interest”.

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens 

Image Credits: Airwolfhound (flickr.com)

The Cotswold Wildlife Park boasts 180 acres worth of garden and woodlands that surround an impressive-looking Manor House.

If you don’t want to travel all the way to Africa to go on a safari expedition then visit Cotswold Wildlife Park; you can see animals from all over the world strolling along the grounds.

Resident animals include giraffes, crowned sifaka monkeys, crocodiles, Humboldt penguins, meerkats, grey wolves, white rhinos, zebras, Brazilian tapirs, lions and wolverines.

For keen gardeners, the walled garden and tropical house are great places to visit as they boast rare plants.

Barbury Castle Country Park 

Image Credits: Peter Turvey (flickr.com)

The fact that the area is rich in wildlife habitats, has an ancient hillfort and is home to some stunning scenery make Barbury Castle Country Park a favourite with some renowned writers.

History buffs will be delighted to hear that the country park is home to some ancient burial mounds and one of the oldest surviving roads; the ridgeway National Trail.

Langford Lakes

People on Wiltshire cottage holidays in Salisbury should visit Langford Lakes, which is close-by to the city.

Langford Lakes is a perfect destination for bird watchers as the nature reserve’s four lakes attract a variety of bird species.

There are many great trails for visitors to walk along and the Langford Lakes nature reserve is a great day out for families, with its two educational centres offering some fun activities for children.

The 31-hectare reserve also has five bird-watching hides dotted beside its lakes that allow visitors to watch birds feed and fly about.

Bush Farm Bison Centre

Image Credits: USFWS Mountain-Prairie (flickr.com)

The Bush Farm Bison Centre in West Knoyle is not just home to Bison, but also allows visitors to get up close to elk, raccoons, rhea, guanaco, prairie dogs and chipmunks.

Guests can also explore the 30 acres of oak woodland that offer visitors a number of picnic areas and play areas for kids to enjoy.

The Bush Farm Bison Centre also boasts Native American art and other items, as well as a visitor centre that explains the history behind the bison and some of its other resident animals.