Saturday, 21 May 2016

A Fun Day Out at Thorp Perrow

Thorp Perrow Review

A couple of weekends ago was a bank holiday weekend in the UK, and Rich's Mum and Step-Dad came up to visit. As the south coast is so flipping far from us now in North Yorkshire, it doesn't happen very often, and we hadn't actually seen them since we got married in November, so about 6 months!

Bluebell closeup

I'd heard great things about Thorp Perrow from other people who live locally, and some friends, so I decided that come rain or shine on Sunday we were going to go visit.

white daffodils

Of course, it rained. So there isn't actually that many photos of the lovely gardens which we walked through as I didn't want to get my camera wet, but it did dry up enough in the afternoon for me to get a shot of these lovely late daffodils and the bluebells above. The gardens were really pretty and well kept, and I know that Rich and I will be buying season tickets to make the most of them in the summer.

horned black faced goat

Thorp Perrow isn't just about the gorgeous gardens though, they also have an animal section, which has a good variety of animals to look at. The goats were very inquisitive, but unfortunately I didn't get to hear them scream (which is my lifelong wish, ever since seeing this YouTube video: goats screaming).

meerkats on grass

They didn't just have goats though, they had other animals too, such as these cute meerkats which were very sweet, and when a chicken hopped into their pen, they all gathered around their youngest, which was adorable to watch.

wallaby by tree

wallaby and baby in pouch, grazing

The wallaby enclosure was fantastic, because you could go in and interact with them to your hearts content, they were free to wander right up to you and you could stroke and pet them. Visiting in spring was a good choice, as seeing the young in their mothers pouches, but hanging their heads out to eat like in the picture above, made for very sweet viewing.

Bird of prey display crowd

They have a huge area dedicated to birds of prey and owls at Thorp Perrow, and this was my favourite section, as I love owls. I heard a kookaburra's call for the first ever time, and saw many many cute owls. There are free talks and bird displays on twice a day, and we got front row seats for the first one of the day.

Crested Caracaras

Crested Caracaras feeding

The first birds we met were George and Mildred the Crested Caracaras. These were very quick birds who preferred running around on the ground to flying, and would do anything for food, so we were warned to have all food and drink safely put away, or else it would have gone missing. It was interesting learning more about these birds, and their funny story at Thorp Perrow. Crested Caracaras mate for life, so when they got this pair, they were "at it" quite a bit, but they never produced any eggs. Worried, the staff took them for lots of tests, and eventually found that instead of being George and Mildred, they should be called George and George. Luckily for them they decided to train them for displays, and let them live out their days happy together.

European Eagle Owl

European Eagle Owl

European Eagle Owl asking for attention

European Eagle Owl

European Eagle Owl landing on arm

This stunning fellow was a European Eagle Owl, and he had a great time swooping all over the place getting food. He was so affectionate as well, earlier in the day we'd seen someone handling him and he was giving and receiving so many cuddles and snuggles. I've always wanted an owl for a pet anyway, but I want one even more after seeing him. Utterly gorgeous!

Falcon and Handler

The last bird of the show was this falcon, and this is the only non-blurred photo of him that I managed to get, he was so fast my poor camera couldn't keep up with him. The handler swung food around for him on a piece of string, a bit like how you'd swing a poi-poi, and the falcon would swoop down to try and get the food. It was amazing to watch, and really gives you an idea of how powerful the birds are in the wild.

All in all it was a brilliant day out, and Rich and I are definitely buying season tickets so we can go back as often as we can as long as we're living up here.

Have you ever been to a place like this? Do let me know!

Rachel x

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