Longleat Safari and Adventure Park Days Out Review
In a nutshell
An activity-packed day out with a drive-through safari and main square attractions for families to explore, but you may need more than one day to see it all
What we tested
- Fun for kids
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Fun for parents
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Family friendliness
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Get close to some incredible animals; good for all ages, beautiful grounds, friendly staff, interactive and educational, lots of fun for children
- Queues in some areas, animals may damage vehicles, quite expensive
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COVID-19 safety update
There may be additional safety rules or pre-booking requirements. Please check Longleat Safari Park before travelling or booking.
When we visited:
Claire visited with her husband, plus children Teddy, 11, Donovan, 9, and Gisella, 5, on a sunny Sunday in July.
Journalist, Gabrielle, also visited the park with her family – Tyler, 9, Rocco, 6, and Amaya, 3, plus their dad, this time on a sunny Saturday in May.
What age is Longleat best for:
Best for: Children aged 2-12 years
Still good fun for: Children aged 13+ years
Avoid if: Your baby hates their car seat
How much does it cost in 2023?
- Online prices: Adults £39.95, children 3-15 £29.95, under 3s and carers free.
- Pre-booking tickets online in advance is essential.
Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for Longleat Safari & Adventure Park?
- Picniq are currently offering 5% off tickets – although this may be a time-limited offer.
- You can use your Tesco Clubcard vouchers to buy Longleat Safari & Adventure Park tickets – every 50p in vouchers turns into £1.50 to use towards the ticket price. Just make sure you give yourself at least one week for the tickets to arrive. Take a look at our Tesco Clubcard days out for families roundup to see where else you can use your Clubcard points.
- Check out Kids Pass for any special offers.
- If you’re considering staying overnight, look for deals combining accommodation and safari tickets on Holiday Extras.
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What does my ticket include?
- Longleat Safari Park
- On-foot animal attractions including Koala Creek, Jungle Cruise and Family Farmyard
- Main Square adventure attractions including Adventure Castle, Rockin’ Rhino, Jungle Cruise and the Hedge Maze
- Longleat grounds and gardens
- Special seasonal events across the Park
Do I need to book in advance?
Yes! Booking in advance is essential as on-the-day tickets are not available. When you book, you’ll be asked to choose your preferred entry time. Choose from between 10am and 12pm, between 12pm and 2pm, or between 2pm and 4pm. You may enter the Safari Drive-through at any time during your chosen slot and you may visit the main square attractions both before and after your Safari adventure (subject to Park opening hours); the choice is entirely yours.
You also have the option to book a guided House Tour, for an additional cost: Adults: £3.95; children: £2.95; Under 3s: Free
Any extra charges once I’m there?
- If you don’t arrive by car, or you don’t want to risk your car getting damaged by the monkeys, you can tour the safari park on a special double decker bus. Tickets are bookable at Guest Services in the Main Square on a first-come, first-served basis, and cost £8 per person for anyone over 3 years old (under 3s go free but still need a ticket). Busses leave around 11.30am and 2.30pm and tours take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on how busy the safari park is.
- As you would expect, there are numerous gift shops to tempt you. Some, situated within exit areas from a ride for example, are hard to avoid but they did at least include pocket-money options.
- There is also an option to buy a photo package after the boat trip, but this would be easy to decline for those not interested.
- It’s worth noting this is a cash-free attraction, so only accepts debit card/credit card/smartphone payments on site, including at animal feeding experiences, catering areas and shops.
Are there any special VIP animal experiences you can book at Longleat?
Yes, there are some incredible VIP experiences you can choose from. Most of these are really in the very special treat price range – they start at £85 per person for the chance to meet and feed the two giant otters and peak at £365 per person for the opportunity to feed the big cats and wolves from the safety of an armoured feeding wagon. If you’re able to splash the cash, you need to book 6 to 12 weeks ahead as they are very popular.
How long will we spend at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park?
We had planned to be at Longleat when it opened, but busy Sunday traffic delayed us slightly. We ate lunch as we walked round Longleat, but still struggled to fit everything in before closing time. We would all have happily spent 2 days enjoying everything on offer. Fellow reviewer Gabrielle agreed that you need more than a day to see all the attractions, saying: “Ideally, you’d spend the night on-site or nearby and see all the attractions at a leisurely pace over 2 days.”
What does Longleat offer for families?
Longleat is a fantastic day out for families. In short, you have 3 main elements – the safari park, the attractions around the main square, and the grounds and garden of the house.
What shouldn’t be missed?
We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip, even with our range of ages.
Highlights for us were:
- We started by parking at the African Village (accessible on foot), and before we’d even left the car park, we could see a new baby giraffe close by with its mum.
- Don’t miss the chance to get up close to the giraffes from a brilliant viewing platform that they feed from.
- There’s also a lemur walk through in this area and a conservation centre.
- A highlight that has to be booked in advance for around £90 per person is the Bronze VIP jeep safari through the animal paddocks – about 2 hours long and worth every penny if your budget stretches that far.
- The main safari drive, guided by a free app, which you can download from the App Store or Google Play. This gave a handy commentary through the whole safari park and described the occupants of each enclosure, but it does require a decent phone signal.
- Nothing is guaranteed with animals, but when we visited we were able to get great pictures of many of the residents. Reviewer Gabrielle drove around mid-afternoon and found all the big cats snoozing in the sunshine but the rest of the animals walking around in full view.
- The boat tour was a magical opportunity to see a range of animals, including some friendly sea lions, with an expert.
Is it easy to navigate?
Yes – we weren’t offered a paper map as visitors are encouraged to use the app. You don’t need a map to get through the safari park, but it does help you plan the rest of your day. It also highlights where the toilets are, although we found plenty sign-posted in all areas.
Fellow reviewer Gabrielle found that although she could download the app, the lack of Longleat’s own strong Wi-Fi signal and the lack of her own network’s coverage meant she couldn’t use the interactive map or listen to the commentary while she and her family were driving around the safari park. “It was disappointing not to be able to hear about the animals while we were driving around the park, but we found the safari drive easy to navigate without any prompts besides the roadside signposts and, in other places, the friendly staff who are were always happy hand to point us in the right direction.”
We followed the herds when we got there and decided to head to the safari park first, as this was the main attraction for us. However, you can avoid some queues, especially for the boat trip, if you head to the main square first and do the safari park later in your allotted session.
What’s the Longleat VIP jeep safari like?
Great. All 5 of us fitted comfortably in the zebra-patterned jeep with our driver. Before we entered the monkey area he spotted the park’s resident elephant, Anne, in prime position, so drove us up to meet her first.
Once we were inside the monkey enclosure, we were able to sit back and watch without the worry of our own car being damaged and we were able to spend more time in this area. I’m not sure I can remember the last time we all laughed so much. The monkeys were great fun and I’d highly recommend this additional outlay – it’s worth every penny!
What is the Longleat safari like using your own car?
“Amazingly good fun but nerve-wracking in parts,” said fellow reviewer Gabrielle. “The children loved watching the monkeys race across the roof of our vehicle through the glass sun roof, but I was quite nervous about driving through their enclosure, especially as they surrounded our van and it was hard to see if any were in front of us. At a few points, we had to wait for the wolves to stalk across the road before we could continue and once, I had to squeeze the car between a gate post and a massive ostrich!”
Is there a risk of the animals damaging your car?
Yes, but if you are concerned about the condition of your car there is an option to bypass the monkey area. We went through on the Jeep tour, but we saw many cars had lost wipers and bits of trim.
Gabrielle and family decided to experience the safari park in their own vehicle – a modified Mitsubishi van. “It’s been carefully designed to cope with tough terrain, but the monkeys took great delight in seeing if they could peel the rubber seal from around the windscreen. We soon had monkeys hanging off the ladder at the back, and watched them through our sunroof as they raced over the roof.”
Can you get out of your car during the safari at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park?
In most areas your doors and windows need to be firmly shut – but there are more relaxed opportunities too. For example, there is an option to buy deer food to feed the occupants of the deer park.
Be warned though – I’m an animal lover and fairly unshakeable around four-legged furries, but a couple of deer were fairly persistently nibbling at my shoulder when their feed pellets didn’t appear quickly enough. I found this funny but anyone less confident with animals might feel a bit on edge at this point.
Your car is also likely to be left a little muddy and deer-dribbled if you chose to stop off here. Again, you can bypass if this isn’t for you. Fellow reviewer Gabrielle and her family thought the deer feeding stop-off was a highlight of their visit: “The children giggled with delight as the deer approached our car and began to eat pellets out of my husband’s hand and Amaya and Tyler were soon feeding them too. It was a lovely opportunity to interact with the animals and a good contrast with the rest of the safari park, where you can only observe them.”
What’s the Jungle Cruise like?
This was where we could have benefitted from some inside info. We queued for about 40 minutes for our boat. It’s not a huge length of time, but the kids went from a real high of their animal encounters to a bit of a low here, waiting a little bored in the heat.
Once we were on our boat the boys quickly forget about this, excited by close encounters with the lakes’ sea lions and the 3 gorilla brothers you can see during your trip. But, unfortunately, for my 5 year old, the magic had been lost a little in the queue, so I would definitely recommend doing this part before you head off for the main safari drive.
Conversely, fellow reviewer Gabrielle caught one of the last boats of the day and found the queue to be much shorter. “We waited around 15 minutes to get onboard and the children’s excitement was peaking. Any longer, and I fear our 3 year old would have got bored and wanted to leave. But the wait was well worth it as the cruise was brilliant. Our guide, Becky, was knowledgeable and genuinely funny – keeping both children and adults entertained while pointing out the different animals: from our seats on deck, we saw sea lions, the lake’s resident hippos, Spot and Sonia, and a colony of gorillas on their own special island.”
Another tip for this area – you have the chance to pose for pictures before you join the queue. Politely decline if you don’t want to be tempted to buy the photo package when you come off the boat.
What other activities are there at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park?
There are a lot of additional attractions packed around the Jungle Cruise area, including more animal enclosures, penguins, rays, a batcave (not for those who don’t like things flying close by) and a family farmyard. There’s also a train ride (again, try to do this before the queues build up), Adventure Castle (a good play area for children up to 12), and a Rockin’ Rhino ride, which even the adults can enjoy.
Fellow reviewer Gabrielle visited the newest attraction to open at Longleat: Koala Creek, which is home to the furthest-travelled residents, a group of Southern koalas. “We were looking forward to seeing the baby koala, the first to have been born in Europe, who was incredibly sweet and gently snoozing, along with the other koalas. Perhaps because the animals were all asleep, our children didn’t want to spend much time in here, but it was magical to see these furry creatures up close and, thanks to the information cleverly dotted along the exhibit, possible in a short time to learn a little about these animals, as well as the marsupial residents, including wombat and potoroos.”
What are the food and drink facilities like at Longleat?
You won’t go hungry or thirsty at Longleat. We bought a sandwich lunch before the safari from the Watering Hole Café African Village area, which cost about £30 for the 5 of us. There were vegetarian options in the café and my kids were pleased to see some healthy extras, like cucumber sticks, carrot sticks and grapes.
Before closing time, we bought dinner at the new Chameleon Tree Restaurant and coffee house – around £60 for the 5 of us. There was a reasonable range of food on offer with options for younger diners and vegetarians. There’s a choice of side dishes with the main courses, but the mixed veggies and corn on the cob options might have been a bit more appetising earlier in the day.
There are also lots of opportunities to buy snacks, drinks and ice creams. Fellow reviewer Gabrielle found all the restaurants and cafés were closing up by the time her family had left the boat ride, so they opted to buy food from the stalls which were still open. “Two hot dog meals, three cookies and some soft drinks set us back around £35, which is probably typical at an attraction like this.”
Can you take a picnic?
Yes, we spotted a few outdoor picnic areas if you are taking your own food.
How well does it cater for disabled visitors?
This is a great day out for all ages and people with restricted mobility:
- Much of the park is accessible by car and the remainder is relatively flat, making it passable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
- We saw a number of accessible toilets and there is changing facilities with an adjustable changing bench and hoist near the Main Square.
- There was also a wheelchair area on the boat.
- For more information see Longleat’s accessibility information.
Opening dates and times:
Longleat is open from 10am until 5pm, with the last safari entry at 4pm. During peak times, including summer and Bank Holidays, Longleat is open from 10am until 6pm, although last entry to the safari is 4pm. When we visited, it was open from 10am until 6pm (early and late summer times). Off peak, mid-week, it is open from 10am until 5pm. Longleat closes on weekdays at some periods during the winter, so do check the website for full details.
How to get to Longleat:
Longleat is just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury, and most visitors drive.
- The website advises you to ignore your SatNav (postcode BA12 7JS) when you get close to the park and follow the brown tourist signs instead. We did this without a problem.
- If you do arrive by train you will need to get a taxi to the park, but, once there, you can tour the safari by bus.
- Frome Station is the closest station to Longleat and has a good service from Bath and London.
- Warminster station is about 5 miles from Longleat and is on the Cardiff to Portsmouth line.
- Westbury station is about 12 miles from Longleat and is on the London Paddington to Penzance line.
Do you have to pay for parking?
No, parking is free of charge.
Worth a long car journey?
Yes. It took us 3 hours to get there, and around 2.5 to get home, but the kids would jump in the car to go back again tomorrow if they could.
Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Longleat?
There are plenty of accommodation options nearby, including:
- You can stay in a luxury cottage, lodge or house on the estate itself, listening to lions roar as you head to bed.
- Book into Center Parks Longleat Forest holiday for family-friendly lodge accommodation inside the estate and surrounded by Giant Redwoods.
- Book your little angels a family room at the Angel Inn (7 minutes), in the quiet Wiltshire village of Upton Scudamore – the 16th century coaching inn has a bar and restaurant
- For a home-away-from-home feel, look for deals on Vrbo and Airbnb.
- Find family-friendly hotel deals near Longleat on Booking.com
Nearby attractions for a longer day out:
Check out the natural wonder of Stonehenge, less than 20 miles away, where there’s plenty of room for little ones to run around before getting back in the car. There are also several castles in the area, including Old Wardour Castle, a 30-minute drive away.
We’re a family of animal lovers so absolutely loved our day out. Considering everything on offer the ticket is not bad value and my children are desperate to go back. We would definitely do the boat trip earlier or much later in the day next time though to avoid the queues. Dinner was the one and only time we really stopped all day. Even with that, we hadn’t quite packed in everything on offer. If you like animals, this is a great attraction for all ages – our whole family really enjoyed our visit.
Fellow reviewer Gabrielle agrees and added, “We were absolutely enthralled by the animals and very impressed by the layout and spacious feel of Longleat, from the safari drive through to the boat cruise and all the attractions in-between. Though we’d definitely make the most of a future visit by coming for the whole day or, better still, spending a night on the estate or nearby and enjoying everything on offer over two days.”
Visit the Longleat Safari & Adventure Park website
See more reviews of Longleat Safari & Adventure Park on TripAdvisor