A couple of months ago, my boyfriend and I went on a little trip. He bought me Longleat tickets previously, and there were some cities I wanted to visit.
We decided to stay at Centerparcs Longleat, in a 2 bed chalet/hut, because I didn't want to caravan it, hotels are quite expensive but centerparcs have everything. We had half a day in Bath, two days at Longleat Safari Park and then one day in Bristol.
We set off just after 9am, and we were going to have a little trip to Bath on the way.
Half a day in Bath
We parked up in a park and ride, close to lunchtime and took a 10 min bus into the city.
We took a tour around the city and this was followed by a little boat trip, up the river.
We looked around the cathedral, which has some lovely stained glass windows, floor grates, art installations and roof architecture.
Next, we had a self-guided tour around the Roman baths, which I didn't realise was so big. There is a whole museum, with old coins and relics from the area, then multiple pools, and what they think are old sauna rooms and changing rooms.
Finished the day with a little bit of shopping and a walk up to The Circus (a whole ring of houses with a tree in the middle, (which is the first image) Its a horrible walk...but not as bad as the walk to Clifton suspension bridge. We then had some food at TGI Fridays and then got the bus to the car, and then to drive to Centerparcs.
A day in Bristol
By the time it got to Bristol day, I was pretty bored of walking I have to admit! We got to the Park and ride and got into the city. I really wanted to visit a few handmade shops first.
I tried to get a walking tour.. however realised they don't do tours through the week, while we were waiting outside of the building.
Instead, I navigated us toward the Clifton bridge, I thought we would never get there, it is way out of the city. On the way back down to the city we found lots of art shops and wall art, which I loved.
Then we walked around the docks a bit and found a restaurant to eat.
I really would use park and rides in Bristol and Bath, even though we got stuck in traffic on the way back. There is just so many cars everywhere.
Don't tell anyone but when we got back, my boyfriend realised he didn't lock the car up!
Two days in Longleat
Until we got there I hadn't realised how big and how many animals there is to see. When you enter the park, you have a long drive down to the house, mazes and the smaller animals and then its another drive (or bus apparently) to go around the animal enclosures and see the Giraffe and Lemurs.
There is quite a few opportunities to feed the animals (instead of paying for a big experience. On the first day, we fed some of the deer, nearly got my shoulder bitten off and also could have fed the Sea Lions and some birds. On the second day, we managed to get down to the giraffes in time to be able to feed them, which was really cool to be up close to them.
Currently, (because you don't want a list of everything do you) you drive through Giraffes, Zebra, Camels, Tigers, Lions, Cheetahs, Wolves and many more animals.
On the second day, we went through the Monkey drive-thru (which has warnings that they ...misbehave. Halfway round my boyfriend says something about being disappointed that they weren't getting on his car. They must have heard something because next a monkey and her baby jump on the car and start pulling the jets out of the bumper. So for the rest of the trip we couldn't clean the screen.
Back around the house there is still lots to look at, inside there is a lot of old paintings and heirlooms. Outside, there is opportunities to walk with penguins, meerkats, walk a skunk and pet snakes/tarantulas. There is even some red pandas, Gorrillas Bats, Hippos, and more monkeys!
The Centerparcs Experience
I have wanted to stay at centerparcs for a couple of years now, but I prefer hot holidays abroad (even if I can deal with the current UK temperatures). We stayed at the Longleat Centerparcs Monday to Friday in Mid-May. We stayed in a 2 bed chalet/hut, there a living room area, small kitchen, dining area, bbq and loads of storage.
We arrived at around 9pm so couldn't really see where we were driving to the house, plus its all one way so can be a bit tricky.
Luckily, there was also a road train, so I didn't have to walk soooo much.
One thing to note is you can't park next to where you are staying (unless you have special circumstances), you have to take your car back to the main car park, and then you aren't allowed to drive it into the area until you leave. This I totally get, you don't want to hear cars zooming around at all hours, plus there isn't the room. Our favourite game was spotting cars, that weren't meant to be parked on the site.
The only negative I can think of is that from the website, it sounds like you can bring your own logs for a fire and bbq, but this inst the case. They make you buy them in the shop, luckily we only wanted two BBQs which came to £10 for both and then if you wanted a cosy fire, that's an extra cost.
The one place made centerparcs so great was the water park. There are two huge indoor funnel slides, that you go down in a ring, there is three smaller indoor slides, large pool with a wave machine, jacuzzi, and a childrens area. Outside, there is another large pool with a large rapids section, plunge pool and outdoor jacuzzi
Overall, I loved this holiday (although I did miss the beach, all inclusive drinks and food, I love on a beach holiday). The animals we saw at Longleat were amazing (and apparently there is some even bigger ones coming). Bath is one of my favourite cities and is so easy to navigate around the city centre.
Keep your eyes peeled, the next trip is booked in October: Berlin Bitches! At the rate I go, the blog will be ready February 2019