Penguins Penguins Penguins (at Lotherton Hall)!

Lotherton Hall Map
Lotherton Hall Map

Recently I, Clare and N went to Lotherton Hall (link here). Lotherton Hall is an Edwardian county estate with large grounds located east of Leeds. Within those grounds is a bird garden called Wildlife World (including penguins – an obvious winner for Clare!), deer park and children’s play area.

We’ve recently become annual members of Lotherton Hall as we felt it would give us a great place to take N, especially for the time Clare is on her maternity leave.

Wildlife World

Lotherton Hall Wildlife World
Lotherton Hall Wildlife World

There’re a lot of birds within the Wildlife World. It’s well arranged and laid out in an interesting and inviting way with curved pathways and good signage. Birds include penguins, flamingos (soon) and a whole host of others. They also have Tapirs and Capybaras.

Penguins at Lotherton Hall
Penguins at Lotherton Hall

Clare loves penguins, and I mean loves them a lot. We’ve got two shelves in a spare room overflowing with stuffed penguins. Then there’s also more penguin paraphernalia dotted around the house, so this is a great place to take Clare, let alone N. It’s a great penguin enclosure with lots of room. As you can imagine we spent a lot of time there!

There are a lot of other birds to look at too, too many to mention but enough to keep you entertained for 45 minutes to an hour.

There was a lot of room around the Wildlife World to push the pram which is great as it makes it easy to get around. Most of the ground in this area is made of pebbles, with a new wooden pathway/bridge over some animals. This is much improved since my previous visit where it was muddy in many areas. They also have a new gift shop in the entrance/exit to Wildlife World. It’s a good gift shop to be fair too with lots of different items.

Children’s Play Areas

Under 13 Playground
Under 13 Playground
Ungated Playground
Ungated Playground

 

 

 

 

 

There seems to be two main play areas, one which is gated and for kids up to 13 years old, and the other is a larger open area for older kids. The younger children’s play area had climbing frames etc for them to enjoy in a safe environment (see first image above). The open area is on a relatively large grassy area (see second image above) and is spread out with wooden swings etc and picnic benches. I would imagine it would be really nice in the summer, and I’m sure we will find out.

Walks

There are a number of walking trails in the grounds and gardens which is good. As Clare is recovering from a C-section we didn’t think it was wise to go on long walks so I’m not really able to tell you much about these. However, you can look at the first image above to see the layout.

Practicalities

The terrain in most areas was flat tarmac in relatively good condition. It was only the Wildlife World that we visited today which was different (pebbles) as explained above.

Disabled parking is right next to everything which is good. There is a small amount of parking in the same place as the disabled parking but other parking is a little further away and is on a field according to their signs. You pay for entry and not parking. An adult entry is £5.50 and a child is £2.70 (see here). At that price I think it’s good value for money, especially with children able to use the playground facilities which will entertain them for quite a while!

For babies the changing facilities we used were in the ladies and gents toilets in the restaurant. They were of good quality and clean which is a must in my opinion.

The restaurant itself did a variety of food which you can see in the image below. We had a ham and cheese panini and a spicy chicken and chorizo jacket potato. It was ok. You can’t expect Michelin star food in such places but it was good enough. The coffee was average. My wife did have a nice looking hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows with a flake in it. Yum! Cost wise the restaurant was fairly good actually. £5.45 for my jacket potato isn’t bad.

Lotherton Hall Food Menu
Lotherton Hall Food Menu

The restaurant did have a microwave to heat food and were happy to provide hot water for a bottle for N which was good. There was also sufficient room in there for a pram. In fact it seemed to be the place to meet for mums on maternity leave today, there were about six prams in there when we arrived and still plenty of room to move.

Around the grounds there were also some benches to sit on if you needed a rest or had to feed your little one. Perhaps not as good in the winter though as they’re all wet!

Overall, the practicalities were pretty good for babies, people with disabilities and children at Lotherton Hall.

Summary

There has recently been a lot of work undertaken at Lotherton Hall in the Wildlife Park. Since the last time I visited this has much improved including better pathways through the bird area. I’ve described it above so I won’t repeat myself but it’s much better than it was. We have an annual membership and have already been four times  and we will go a lot more before the year is out I’m sure. It’s a great place to go for adults and kids alike.

Any questions about Lotherton Hall you want to ask? Have you been? What did you think?

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