After what seems like forever in lockdown, Minnie and I were so excited to visit all our favourite dog friendly places again! We packed our bags for a great big adventure to the Cotswold Wildlife park, one of the UK’s only dog friendly zoos.
Phone, keys, personalised Lick and Flow water bottle all went into our Dog Mama Insta rucksack from Minnie’s closet. With a little tail wag from Minnie, we were ready to go!
Firstly I was pleasantly surprised by the prices, I found them to be very reasonable. When we arrived at the park we didn’t have to queue to park which was great, we were also guided by parking attendants to our parking spot.
Now I’m not going to lie I was a little apprehensive on what Minnie would make of the park. Mainly because there were so many new things for her to experience, as well as plenty of animals she has obviously never encountered before. But my good old Minnie dog was as bombproof as ever.
Rhinos? Boring! Lions? Boring! Penguins? Boring! Meerkats? These were her favourite, they managed to hold her attention for all of 3 minutes! Everything else my trusty dog acted as if she had me them all before on our daily walks in our neighbourhood. She is such a little star.
The whole park is plenty of fun though! Everything was laid out and signposted clearly and super clean and tidy. Benches were placed at regular intervals throughout.
Great Fun For Families
Have children? There’s an amazing play park for them to enjoy! I can’t wait to take my children along next time as they will love it there! There were also so many beautiful grass lawns to sit on, perfect for a picnic with plenty of room for the kids to run around. However, this visit was all about Minnie having quality child-free mama time.
We sat on the large lawn with the stunning Bradwell Grove Manor House behind us overlooking the rhino enclosure. We tucked into some chippies from the food kiosk. They even sold me a hotdog sausage on its own so Minnie could enjoy her own cheeky lunch!
Due to COVID restrictions, you have to pre-book your tickets online 24 hours in advance. We attended on a weekend and the tickets were sold out so we prepared for a very busy visit. However, everything is so nicely spaced out that it was pretty easy to social distance ourselves. It did tend to get a bit more congested around the animal viewing windows, but we were so surprised at how much space there was!
The Cotswold Wildlife park is really dog friendly, I mean how often does your dog get to come nose to nose with a lion?! There are a few places dogs are not allowed, but you can still enjoy an amazing day out without visiting those places. There is a walkthrough that you enter through a gate which leads you to the wolves, leopard and some other animals, which In one part has some loose wallaby so for obvious reasons this is one of the areas that are off-limits. The reptile house, Lemur walkthrough, Bat house, restaurant and gift shop are also off-limits for dogs, but there is so much that they can access!
Minnie and I are completely smitten with this place! It is such a beautiful day out for singles, couples, families or friends. You can easily make a full day of it and there are so many animals to see. Minnie loved all the new smells she got to discover and there were so many new experiences for her.
When looking at the lions, the male made a few calling roars to the Lioness whilst walking across his enclosure to go lay with her and the look on Minnie’s face was amazing! Her little ears were pricked as she was looking around watching him and wondering what on earth he was. I would love to know if her natural instincts told her he was a big dangerous animal, as her body language defiantly didn’t signal that. My friend’s dog didn’t even react she just continued to wag her tail and look pleadingly at some nearby children as if she was completely deaf!
Our Paw Rating
If you’re looking for a completely new experience for your dog, or you just want a proper family day out at the zoo that includes the four-legged member, then definitely give this place a visit! We give 4.5 paws out of 5, Had the restaurant and gift shop allowed dogs it would defiantly have got 5 paws!
Please bear in mind dogs have to stay on a lead throughout their entire visit. We walked Minnie on an adjustable lead so we were able to have her on a fairly long lead on the grassy/woody areas and a short lead around the animal enclosures.