The first spring weekend brought the much-needed sun and warmth even to England, so we decided to enjoy it as much as we could.
On Saturday we went for a hike to Edale in the Peak District (more about it in a different post). On Sunday, when we saw it is still sunny, we headed to the Monkey Forest in Trentham.
Monkey Forest is located in Trentham in Stoke on Trent. It is a home to 140 free-roaming monkeys, specifically Barbary macaques.
After you arrive, you buy your ticket at the gate and enter an inside area with a Jungle Shop and a cafeteria called Banana Cafe. There is also an introduction centre. When you are ready to enter the park, you will go through a second gate, after which you can start monkey spotting. They are usually all in the central area, although this time we also saw some monkeys in more distant places of the park as well.
The path will take you to the central area and then a bit uphill where regular feeding takes place. The feeding happens once an hour at quarter past every hour. The staff also talk about the monkeys during the feeding, so you can learn more about the creatures.
The path continues through a forest and along a brook round back to the central area. There are info panels along the path to keep you entertained and informed about the life of the monkeys.
You can spot some other animals in the park as well, mostly birds, since they take the advantage or readily available food. I got lucky this time and managed to get 3 different species into one frame – a squirrel, monkeys and a pheasant.
The park is very popular when there are some monkey babies. Last year they were born in May/June.
The entrance fee is 8,50 GBP (parking included). Considering the only walking route is just 3/4 miles long, I think it is not cheap, but since the park is so unique, I guess it is fine. However, if it was cheaper, I would consider coming back more often.
Nevertheless, Monkey Forest is a perfect place to see exotic animals without cages. Monkey play, socialize, eat or just relax. This time we even witnessed some action when there was some dispute between a few monkeys which began shrieking and chasing around the park.
If you want, you can spend a whole day in the area – there is an Aerial Extreme centre, the Trentham Gardens and a shopping village with a garden centre and the World of Wedgwood. Just make sure you arrive early, later on during the day it is difficult to find a parking place.
Have you been to the Monkey Forest? How did you like it?