Yorkshire Wildlife Park and an overnight stay at The Carlton Park Hotel, Rotherham.

Every so often we like to do what Henry calls a “mini holiday” and seen as we aren’t planning on going abroad this year, we thought we would get a little trip in early in the year.

I decided Yorkshire Wildlife Park looked fun for all ages and after a quick browse on Booking.com I secured a ‘pay on arrival’ deal for the following weekend at http://www.carltonparkhotel.com/ which was roughly 20 mins from YWP.

Pretty decent deal id say too! It was £112.50 for 1 night, family room, breakfast included and a swimming pool which opened at 7am, even on Sunday! (We were in it by 8.10am due to Leo’s 5am starts to the day! Zzzz)

The following weekend after absolutely stuffing the car with unnecessary crap we never use and a picnic no one ever eats we set off.

30 million lots of “are we there yets” later and a small tantrum over the “mini holiday” not including a transatlantic flight we finally arrived just as the boys dozed off. TYPICAL!

We were ushered smoothly into a car park slot and joined a short que a little after 11am. (an hour after the park opened.) I paid £48 in total which included entry to the park, a donation and a guidebook. At first I thought that was quite expensive. However once through the gates we knew we were in for a great day.

On first glance YWP was clean, modern and being a conservation center the place was HUGE. I’m no habitat expert but I felt like YWP had put so much thought into the natural enclosures and the welfare of the animals. There was plenty of information on the animals as individuals and how they were rescued which was a really nice personal touch rather than just bog standard facts.

During our time at YWPthe boys enjoyed seeing some amazing animals such as Lions,Leopards, Polar Bears and Tigers. The boys found a cute little Armadillo hilarious as he kept running a lap of his enclosure, popping into his  bedroom then back out again to repeat the same process.

There were also gated areas where you can “walk with wallabies and lemurs.” However Leo did try to crawl under the barrier in attempt to walk on wallabies, rather than with them, so we didn’t spend too long in here.

As well as lots of animals YWP has some amazing play areas, both inside and outside. We visited the Oasis Adventure play area which had zip-lines, sandpits, slides and more and the Jungle Lookout play area which was made up of wooden climbing frames, high ropes and slides.

The play areas were so much fun that we couldn’t get the boys out of these play areas and it was nearing 4pm. (the parks winter closing time) I had to use the bribe of “getting something from the shop on the way out” to entice them.

But before the gift shop we headed over to the indoor play areas. We only had time for one go on one of the

three awesome slides in Zoom, the slide barn. Two of the slides were vertical drops and obviously Henry raced towards these as he has no fear but in the end we convinced him the wavy slide would be more fun. Phhewww!

I did manage a quick look in the Monkey Playhouse and again it looked great fun but we had to get into the gift shop before closing time.

Ive missed off food at YWP, but as Ive mentioned I took a picnic to save on expense and found there were plenty of benches around. There did look to be some lovely places to eat there and plenty of shacks offering do-nuts, ice creams and drinks though.

Gifts bought, car reloaded we set off to find The Carlton Park Hotel, stopping at Toby Carvery (our new favorite easy dining eatery) on the way.

Once checked in we headed to our room which was clean, bright and welcoming and set about putting the boys to bed as they were exhausted and so were we!

We really enjoyed our ‘mini holiday’ and family time with the boys and will ‘jetting off’ again in April to Center Parcs. Yeyyy!

PS. You can now find more days out near you at http://daysoutnow.co.uk

Love Kathryn, A mum like me xxx


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