In the scenic countryside between Lower Basildon and Pangbourne, Beale Wildlife Park offers visitors a captivating escape and a fun day out into the heart of nature. So if you want to know our review summarised in pros and cons, then check out this guide.
Situated in Berkshire, England along the River Thames, this is definitely a place you will want to visit if you are looking for a day out with the kids that has animals, play areas and lots of fun!
As a family, we recently had the pleasure of visiting the Beale Wildlife Park and wanted to share our personal review with you all. That way you can decide for yourself if you want to visit.
Beale Wildlife Park Pros:
1. Variety of Wildlife
Beale Wildlife Park truly lives up to its name and has a fair variety of different animals and wildlife. From bright-colored birds to the cutest meerkats scurrying around their habitat, the park’s animals are great to keep the kids happy.
They also have a small reptile house, wildcats, zebras, and much more. So there was a good range of different creatures to look at.
2. Beautiful Scenery & Walks
The park’s landscapes are really pretty and the park is set within 40 acres, so there are plenty of great photo opportunities. Even the drive there through the local villages was lovely. Our son loved driving past the Lamborgini garage!
There is plenty to see as we walked along the winding paths and through the pretty gardens, which was very peaceful. You can also grab an ice cream from the ice cream van and walk through woodlands, around the lakes, and look around the gardens which are kept a lot better than mine at home!
Beale Wildlife Park is definitely a place you want to take the kids as there are great facilities, including water refill stations.
There are plenty of picnic areas to eat your lunch, huge play areas for children of all ages, and clean toilets making it a comfortable destination for a day out with the little ones.
There is even a pool and splash area for those warmer days!
There is a small train that goes around the park, which is obviously a must to go on if you have kids. You can take the whole family and babies too, as there is plenty of space to leave your pram at the train station.
What we like the most about it was that you only get to go on it once, and it is included in your ticket price. They stamp your ticket once you have used your one go, so this way the queue is constantly flowing and never seemed to get too long.
5. Interactive Encounters
Beale Wildlife Park offers several interactive experiences, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with some of the animals. From feeding sessions to guided encounters, these interactions add an extra layer of enjoyment, especially for families with children.
We didn’t do any of these but I would love to give them a try and it’s definitely a pro in my eyes, getting up close and personal with animals.
Beale Wildlife Park Cons:
1. Maintenance in Enclosures
Although this may have been a pure fluke on the day that we went, there seemed to be a few enclosures appearing empty, or under maintenance. So it seemed like there wasn’t a massive amount of animals. Although as we mentioned in our Pros, there is a good variety, just small numbers of them.
2. Bumpy Paths
Some areas of the park might present challenges for those with mobility issues or with prams/pushchairs due to uneven terrain and pathways.
While it adds to the park’s natural charm, the large tree roots cause the paths to be very uneven and our son did trip a couple of times as well as struggling to push the baby in the pram!
We took our own lunch so can’t comment on all the food and prices. However, we did buy our son an ice cream. The prices on the van will more than likely shock you, but we were told by another parent to pop into the gift shop where you can buy small individual tubs of ice cream for a lot cheaper. We took her advice and didn’t have to spend as much on just an ice cream!
There didn’t seem to be a massive variety of food also. But take a picnic as there are plenty of areas to eat and will save you money.
4. Timing of Animal Encounters
Some visitors may find that certain animal encounters and demonstrations are only held at specific times of the day. This might lead to missed opportunities for those who cannot attend during these set schedules.
We found it to be not very clear when the talks were and by the time we found the board with the information on, we had missed them.
5. Long walk from the car park to the entrance
Normally a bit of a walk does not bother us at all. We are happy to trek from the car park to the entrance. However, with a young baby and toddler in tow, it was a bit tricky!
We parked in a large grassy field and the grass was quite long, so was a bit tricky getting the pram across. It was then quite a walk to the entrance. And on exiting the field we were parked in, you had to cross the road with cars coming from another car park and it was quite busy. It must be even worse going across the field in the rain or wet months!
Overall, Beale Wildlife Park provides a fun day out with the kids and a great experience in Lower Basildon. Its dedication to wildlife conservation, interactive encounters, and captivating landscapes make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and families as well.
It’s quite expensive perhaps for the amount that is on-site, but they do offer promotions and do £5 Fridays on certain dates, at the time of writing this.
While there are some areas for improvement, the facilities, play areas, and diverse wildlife more than compensate for any minor inconveniences. I do personally recommend taking a visit here if you are looking for days out in Berkshire.