A visit to the Welsh Mountain Zoo
Hi! My name’s Amy and I’ve worked at Wales Cottage Holidays for over 5 years now. I know this is meant to be Ginnie’s Journal but I wanted to let you all know about a fantastic day out I had in North Wales this summer.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo is just outside Colwyn Bay, and is now my favourite zoo to visit! Initially I went there to entertain my children – I have a 7 year old son and a 20 month old daughter – but after paying at the ticket lodge, and driving to the car park through the trees, I started to get excited myself, especially when I started to hear the chirps of the birds, the roars of the bears and the chatter of the monkeys. Get me in!!
After parking the car, and attempting to get the kids to stop bouncing from foot to foot with excitement, my partner and I got out the map to decide where to go first. My sister and her family came along with us too, and it was my 14 month old niece that decided which direction we should go in … she’s got a love of penguins already and pointed to the picture of them on the map. Decision made.
As we starting heading to the penguins, we first came across the sea lions, and what a fascinating sight it was. There are two large viewing points to get the best view possible – an area overlooking the whole of the pool, and a section down some steps where you can look through glass windows to see them swimming under water right in front of you. The Zoo do a sea-lion show which I really wanted to see, but unfortunately when the show started, we were at the other end of the park. This is definitely something I will watch the next time I go.
After the sea-lions, we took the short walk over to the penguins. Who knew that penguins could be so noisy? Even so, the penguins were amazing to watch, and we had the same kind of viewing points as we did with the sea-lions.
There were so many different types of animals at the zoo that it would be impossible to write about my experience with all of them. But here are a few more of my day’s highlights.
Walking with lemurs. Wow, was this an experience! After being told by a ranger to ensure there is no food or drink items on us, and to take the toddler’s out of the prams, we stepped into a fully sealed enclosure. When the door locked behind us, the ranger opened the door in front of us. The walk down the boarded path was one of the best experiences I’ve had in a zoo. The lemurs were sat on the handrails at the very beginning of the walk, and walked along the rails with us, never more than 2 foot away. We were in their enclosure with them, with no fences or obstacles in the way. When we got to the corner of the walk, the lemurs decided to take a short cut and instead of the lemurs walking around with us, they leaped over the path and on to the other side. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a lemur jump, but they throw their arms up in the air with their legs open, I can only describe it as a very funny star jump! The experience of walking along a path side by side with a lemur with no fences in the way, was amazing, and after initially being wary of entering an animal’s enclosure, I realised just how friendly they were.
Another favourite of mine was the Alligator enclosure which was inside a polytunnel type thing, with a VERY tropical humidity. I opened the door, and no more than 3 foot in front of me was an alligator looking at me with its beady eyes and nose out of the water. After being scared out of my wits, my partner explained there was no way the alligator could get out. I breathed a sigh of relief, but didn’t take my eyes off it until we left the enclosure.
The great thing about the Welsh Mountain Zoo, is that the animals are all within a very short walking distance of each other. I therefore didn’t have the kids getting tired and bored with all the walking, as just as we left one animal, we came across another.
After an exciting day, it was time for a coffee at the Zoo’s restaurant before we started the long journey home. Even though we hadn’t left the Zoo yet, it was all we could talk about over a coffee and were already planning the next visit.
I would highly recommend the Zoo to not only families, but couples as well. It makes you feel like a young kid all over again!