During October half term, we decided to visit the Fenn Bell Zoo. Located in St Mary Hoo, Rochester on the Isle of Grain.
All I can say is "what a wonderful experience it was for the grandkids". We went on a lovely sunny day with temperatures that were fairly warm for the time of year.
On arrival, we parked in the overflow car parking area, which was a field located a short walk from the entrance point. It was really busy at the admissions desk, as there were several people in line in front of us waiting to get in, and the place was buzzing!
As you pass the admissions desk, the first attraction you reach is the monkey zone.
The monkeys were full of life and great fun, dashing around their compound, climbing the branches, and teasing the children watching them through the glass protection screen.
Walking a bit further, you then reach the children's play area. Beautifully laid out, with lots of climbing structures, slides, and with plenty of wooden picnic tables - it's an ideal place for a rest stop or for the adults to sit and relax while supervising the children playing.
Sophia (7) and Skylar (2) had a great time in this play area; it was hard to get them to leave!
But we had so much to see and do that we just had to get a move on and visit all the animals...
When visiting Fenn Bell Zoo, one thing highly recommended to do is one of the "Experiences" as it's the chance to get real close to the animals and learn about where they come from and all about their habitat from an experienced zookeeper.
Sophia did the Meerkat Experience - which is suitable for ages 6 and above and lasts approximately 30 minutes. Hannah, our guide for the Meerkat Experience, was excellent and so knowledgeable. It was a unique experience for Sophia to get close to the meerkats and feed them.
Doing the Meerkat Experience is also a great way for children to ask an expert all about the Meerkats and why they do silly things, like standing on top of the mound and acting as a lookout!
This was a real highlight of Sophia's visit to Fenn Bell Zoo, as meerkats are one of her favourite animals. The Meerkat Experience would make a lovely birthday present or special treat!
You can book Experiences online.
After the experience, we decided to take the Safari Trek and venture into Bell Wood to meet the witches!
It was great fun and a teensy bit scary at the same time (if you're only 2), watching the witches interact with visitors and discovering they were cooking "bogies and eyeballs' for supper.
The witches are very entertaining and interact well with the audience. Everybody onboard our Safari Trek thoroughly enjoyed meeting the witches of Bell Wood. Plus, when you leave, you are even given a special sweet treat on departure!
The witches are only here during Halloween, not all year round, so pencil in your diary to go during October half term week to meet them!
The Safari Trek is a great way to explore the zoo as you travel past all the various animals.
All the animals you can see at Fenn Bell Zoo have come through rescue or from other zoos. The zoo is well laid out, attractive areas for the animals to live, and they are well cared for.
There are plenty of events and activities taking place at the zoo throughout the year. Whether your visit is educational or pleasure, you will enjoy your time at Fenn Bell Zoo.
Right next door to the zoo is the Fenn Bell Inn public house. It's a great place for lunch, as you can get your hand stamped to return to the zoo to make the most of your day!
For further information, including opening times and prices, visit Fenn Bell's website.
Climb aboard our Santa Safari, we will whisk you away through the zoo and down to our magical winter wonderland where you can meet the main man himself, Father Christmas. Have you been good this year? If so, he may just have a present for you.
To book click here.
No ordinary pub, The Fenn Bell Inn is home to the Fenn Bell Conservation Project for rescued animals.
Located in St Mary Hoo, Rochester on the Isle of Grain, the pub also offers a delicious home cooked food menu and a great selection of beers, premium wines and spirits.