After staying for a couple of nights in glamping pod at nearby Andrewshayes Holiday Park we took the short drive to Wildwood Escot which is in Ottery St Mary, Devon. Wildwood Escot offers a fun family day out and can be enjoyed by all ages. You can even join for the year and receive membership for as little as £3.50 a month – find out more information here.
Wildwood Escot is well signposted, easy to find and located on the Escot Estate. On arrival, we parked up in the large car park and were warmly greeted by the staff at the entrance. The ladies in the shop told us a little about Wildwood and gave us a list of the day’s animals feeds and talks. We were just in time to see listen to the red squirrel talk so we headed to their enclosure first.
Red Squirrel Encounter
The red squirrels can be seen in their walk-through enclosure. We arrived just as a little red squirrel was nibbling on some nuts being given to her by one of the parks keepers. She soon scampers off though and we had to be quick to try and track her movements! The keeper was friendly and knowledgeable and happy to answer my questions. You can have kid’s parties at Wildwood Escot (how much fun would this be?!) or get up close with some of the animals through private feeding sessions. Find out more on the Wildwood Escot Twitter page.
Peacocks and Roses
Next, we made our way further into the park admitting the roses in the gardens and the beautiful peacocks wandering around. Peacocks are such beautiful birds aren’t they – simply stunning!
Meeting the Inhabitants
We passed wildcats, wild boar and owls to find the wolf enclosure.
The Wolves Dinner
The talk for the wolves was detailed and interesting and we got to see the 7 strong pack of wolves being fed. The wolves soon disappeared once the food had run out, so I was pleased we got to see them – I think if we hadn’t attended the feeding session it would have been unlikely we would have seen them. You can see some awesome pictures of the wolves and other animals of the Wildwood Escot Instagram feed.
After looking at the list of talks for the day we saw there was a little gap before the next talk. This meant it was time to visit the Coach House Café where we sat outside and enjoyed a cheeky pasty and chips each for lunch. The café sells a range of hot food, sandwiches and cakes and plenty of drink options. There’s seating both inside and outside so you have a choice if the sun is shining.
Time for a Show
After lunch, we made our way to the bird of prey area. We took our seats on a bench and before long a falcon was flying around and being fed its lunch. The display began, and we were lucky enough to see four different birds being flown. The presenter was informative and interesting and told us lots about each of the birds and what they liked to eat and how they hunted.
I enjoyed the show but did worry a little bit that a bird would land on my head as this has happened previously at a bird of prey show! The show lasted half an hour and really captured the attention of the audience.
After the show, we went and had a look around the bird’s enclosures and got to see them close up.
We also got the chance to see the otters, lynx and termite pavilion. Each enclosure is accompanied by information detailing more about the animal, their natural habitats and how endangered they are. Aside from the animals, there’s loads for children to get involved in including a drop slide, pirate ship playground and soft play barn.
We took a nice walk along the many woodland paths and admired the beautiful flowers and trees surrounding us. Find out more about what you can see on the Wildwood Escot Facebook page and see videos of the animals on their YouTube channel.
The Saxon Villiage
We visited the Saxon Village but were a little confused by it. It was quite random and seemed possibly a little out of place at the park. Inside the village, there were people dressed up, (I assume as Saxons?) who were standing around a campfire. They didn’t acknowledge us which made it a little unclear as to whether they lived here or were part of the attraction?!
We weren’t too keen on the taxidermy or animal furs. We did play a couple of games of who could knock the most bottles down though, with Nathan winning of course!!
Wildwood Escot has a beech head maze. We attempted it but after the third time of ending up lost and back at the entrance we gave up – it was too hot! We didn’t seem to be the only ones struggling either!
At the end of our visit, we passed through the gift shop which was well stocked with plenty of cuddly animals, Wildwood souvenirs and children’s clothes.
We treated ourselves to an ice cream and enjoyed it whilst admitting the free-roaming peacocks once again.
Entry to Wildwood Escot is £9.50 for adults and £8.00 for children agreed 3-17 years. There’s also the option to get a family ticket for £33.00 which includes two adults and two children. I think the prices are pretty reasonable given the range of animals on display and the additional children’s activities. I think that families could spend a full day here if they wanted too. I really recommend following the timetable for animal feeding and talks to make the most of the entry fee.
We really enjoyed our day out at Wildwood Escot and spent 4-5 hours there exploring the woodland, visiting the animals and listening to the keep animal feeds and talks. There’s lots to see and do and I think Wildwood is a perfect family day out, especially those who are animal lovers and are interested in the conservation of endangered animals. I enjoyed watching the humorous otters and loved the bird of prey display which was certainly a highlight to the day.
Thanks to all at Wildwood Escot for having us and providing us with a fun and informative day!
***Whilst entry to Wildwood Escot was provided to us on a complimentary basis, all through and opinions in this post are entirely my own.***