MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.

Woburn Safari Park review for families

Our rating 
3.9 out of 5 star rating 3.9
User rating
Woburn safari park

In a nutshell

Part Road Safari, part Foot Safari, this offers some truly magical moments to get up close with the animals, but the VIP packages come at a cost.
Fun for kids
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Fun for parents
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Worth the money
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Facilities
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Family friendliness
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Pros: Fantastic Road Safari which you can circuit as many times as you like, huge soft play area, fun all-weather activity, Foot Safari is easy to get around with young children
Cons: Uninspiring food options, soft play café ran out of food when we were there, disappointing sea lion show, inquisitive animals may damage your car

COVID-19 safety update

There may be additional safety rules or pre-booking requirements. Please check Woburn Safari Park’s website before travelling or booking.

When we visited:

Meena visited Woburn Safari Park with her husband and 3 children aged 5, 3 and 9 months, on an extremely hot and sunny day in July.

Advertisement

Fellow reviewer, Georgina, visited with her husband and children aged 7 and 10, during a rainy day with sunshine, showers, and thunderstorms in May.

What’s Woburn Safari Park like since Covid-19?

  • Tickets are only available to purchase online to reduce all unnecessary contact with ticket lane cashiers.
  • As per the Government advice, they recommend that visitors wear face coverings in indoor areas.
  • Visitors must wear face coverings in the Land of Lemurs, based on vet advice, because lemurs are vulnerable to Covid-19.

What age is Woburn Safari Park best for?

Best for: Children aged 3-10

Still good fun for: Older children and teenagers

Avoid if: You have a baby who isn’t fond of their car seat

How much does it cost in 2022?

  • Online prices: Adults £28.99, children (3-15 years) £20.99, under-3s free, disabled and carer (2-person ticket) £28.99, additional carer £17.99
  • The Safari Saver ticket, which includes admission to the Road Safari and Foot Safari, all free leisure attractions, a guidebook and bottle of water on arrival and a meal and drink in one of the two restaurants, costs adults £40.00 (saving £7.94) and children £30.00 (saving £5.47).

Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for Woburn Safari Park?

  • Save up to 30% of the ticket price on Kids Pass.
  • Check out Picniq for any ticket offers.
  • You can’t currently use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for your Woburn Safari Park tickets, but keep an eye on the website in case this changes.
  • If you plan on staying overnight, save money on a ticket and accommodation package with Holiday Extras.

Any extra charges once I’m there?

All talks and demonstrations are free except for the sea lion show, which is an extra £2 per person. Having seen some great shows at similar attractions, we were disappointed. We found the show short and unimpressive, and it was followed by a seemingly unrelated 3D movie about a boy discovering he is part Big Foot. Personally, we wouldn’t recommend it.

Fellow reviewer Georgina was lucky enough to try a VIP experience. There are different options available that allow visitors to go off-road in a VIP Land Rover to get closer to the animals, including the elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, or rhinos.

She said: “My 10 year old loves big cats, and we went on the ‘Meet the African Lions’, which included a 30-minute experience with our own tour guide. The Kingdom of Carnivores is 32 acres and is one of the largest exhibits in Europe. We were thrilled to get close to the Amur tiger, Vera, some black bears and their pride of lions. The experience is expensive (from £179 for 2 people), but it was incredible to get so near to these animals. Our guide, Barney, was hugely knowledgeable and answered the many questions from my children. This would make an incredible gift for any animal lover, and you get free entry into the park afterwards.

“When we were there, they offered mini-VIP experiences to meet the meerkats and giant tortoises at £15 per person. We saw one mum and daughter sitting in the meerkat enclosure as the meerkats were fed. It is definitely worth looking out for what they might be offering on the day.”

“Another attraction was the Giraffe Trail High Ropes, aimed at kids aged 5 to 12, which involves 30 minutes of adventuring, whilst in a harness, before whizzing down a zipline. There is an additional cost (£6.99 per child) for this, and it was raining quite a lot when we were there, so we skipped this.”

How long will we spend at Woburn Safari Park?

This would be a full day out, which would comfortably give you time to go around the Road Safari more than once (which we would highly recommend) and see everything in the zoo. Each time we went around the road safari it took around an hour, but the time seemed to fly by. The speed at which you can get around is largely dependent on other cars stopping and animals deciding to block the road. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend entering it if you are in a hurry.

Georgina added: “It is worth spending the whole day here and driving around more than once. You never know what you might see during each circuit, and if you go round during the late afternoon, which may be quieter, you may see different animals. During one of our circuits, the two resident wolves came really close to the car, which was amazing.”

What does Woburn Safari Park offer for families?

There are more than 1000 wild animals to see at Woburn Safari Park. Leave plenty of time to enjoy spotting them all, as a day out here includes unlimited repeat circuits of the Road Safari drive through animal reserves, plus the Foot Safari with a daily programme of keeper talks and demonstrations. The Road Safari was definitely the highlight for the whole family and well worth planning for multiple circuits as we saw different things each time we went round.

Georgina added: “We also enjoyed some informative talks. Older children will love hearing more about the resident red panda, Maisy, the bush dogs, and the birds of prey.”

“For adventurers, there is a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure for kids aged 10 and over. It was closed when we were there, and additional charges apply (£33 for 16 years + and £25 for 10-15 year olds) – see the website for more details.”

What shouldn’t be missed?

Highlights for our family were:

  • Entering the Road Safari and spotting a rhino in the distance immediately caused a ripple of magical excitement throughout the car.
  • We felt like we were in another world as a herd of giraffes crossed the road in front of our car and paused to look through the window.
  • The Road Safari gives you and your family a place to escape the weather and still have fun. On our visit the issue was the heat, but it would also work for cold weather and probably even the rain.
  • Walking among the lemurs on the Foot Safari and encountering some cheeky new friends!
  • Georgina adds: “We absolutely loved getting close to the big cats on our VIP tour and also enjoyed a number of talks on offer.”

What was the Foot Safari like at Woburn?

Compared to the Road Safari the Foot Safari was relatively small with much less to see, and some of the areas looked a little tired. Our highlight of the Foot Safari was definitely the lemur enclosure, where you get to walk through among the lemurs. They are very inquisitive and playful creatures, and one particularly cheeky black footed lemur leapt into my husband’s back carrier searching for food, much to the joy and excitement of our children and many others.

Georgina added: ‘I agree with this; some areas are tired, but there is loads to see if you explore it in its entirety. We loved looking at the penguins, squirrel monkeys, sea lions, lorikeets, and The Discovery Zone. There were reptiles, amphibians, and insects, including the teeny tiny golden mantilla frog. We also enjoyed walking through the Australian Walkabout and seeing two wallabies with babies in their pouches looking out.”

What else is there to do once you’ve seen the animals?

There is a small outdoor play area suitable for younger children and a large indoor soft play which the kids loved. Also included in the price of your ticket are swan, dragon, and pelican pedalos and a train ride. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try either of these as the queue for the pedalos was large and the train was broken on the day of our visit.

Georgina said: “We hopped on the train and had a fun ride on the pedalos. There is also the bob cat slide, which was closed when we visited.”

What you need to know before you go?

  • Book your tickets online – walk up tickets are not available.
  • Learn some facts about some of the animals you will see on the Road Safari at home – there is nothing to read as you go around and you can entertain your kids with your impressive knowledge.
  • We were unimpressed by the cafes so would recommend bringing your own lunch. By 4pm the café in the soft play had run out of most food options on our visit, so we had to make alternative plans for the kids’ dinner.
  • If you are very car proud this might not be the best day out for you, as the animals do come up to your car and can cause damage. This is not just limited to the cheeky monkeys as our wing mirror was given a firm nuzzle by a passing water buffalo.
  • Long sleeves, trousers and socks must be worn on the red and blue slides in the Mammoth Play Ark soft play area at all times. Height restrictions also apply – 1m for the blue slide and 1.2m for the red slide

Can any cars go on the Road Safari?

Almost all types, but be aware you can only enter Woburn Safari Park in your own vehicle, and you cannot enter the park on foot.

There is no height or weight restriction on vehicles, but if you have a soft top convertible then you will not be able to enjoy all the areas of the Road Safari (in case the carnivores fancy a snack!).

Georgina added: “If you wish, you can bypass the monkey area. When we went around a very determined monkey was trying to get something off a man’s van. One jumped on our car and had a good inspection of the windscreen wipers but thankfully, moved on!”

What to bring?

Snacks! The real draw of Woburn is the Road Safari, meaning you will be spending quite prolonged periods in the car (each circuit took us around an hour). Although you can take routes to shorten the circuit it is not easy to abandon a route once you have begun. Therefore, bring plenty of snacks, or perhaps entertainment such as crayons to keep the kids happy in the car if they are prone to getting bored.

Georgina advised: “There are plenty of places to shelter in the Foot Safari on a busy day, but bring rain jackets and umbrellas if the weather is changeable.”

What are the food and drink facilities like at Woburn Safari Park?

There are several different places to eat, but we felt the food was uninspiring and overpriced for what it was so would recommend bringing your own. We ate lunch at the main restaurant which was fine. Later we attempted to get the kids some pizza at the Mammoth Play Ark, but they had largely sold out of food by 4pm. There are several other cafes dotted around selling standard fare.

Georgina agreed: “We were also not that inspired by the food and ate before we came into the park. We bought teas and drinks at The Lookout Café later in the day and also ice creams – there are a lot of places dotted around the Foot Safari to buy snacks.”

Can you take a picnic?

Yes. There were some lovely places to sit and have a picnic around the lake, which could be a great option on a sunny day, but there were also covered picnic areas if the weather leaves much to be desired.

Georgina added: “A picnic would be a great option for money-saving, as there are lovely areas to sit and eat and plenty of bins to dispose of any rubbish.”

What are the toilets like?

There are plenty of loos scattered throughout the park, all of which appear to have baby change facilities. There are toilets at the entrance, so make sure you use these before going on the Road Safari because once underway, you cannot get out of your car.

Was it pushchair friendly?

When you’re in the car you won’t have to worry about that, and the Foot Safari is quite small and easy to navigate with a pushchair. There were some areas, such as the lemur enclosure, where you couldn’t take a pushchair and there were quite steep steps down to the sea lion show, should you choose to watch it.

Opening dates and times:

Open daily from 27th March until 15 October; the park is open daily from 9.30am to 4.45pm (last entry), closing at 5.45pm.

These hours may change periodically, so always check the website.

When is the best time to visit Woburn Safari Park?

The park is quietest on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday 10-12pm is the busiest time to visit.

Georgina said: ‘Our tour guide recommended going around the Road Safari either first thing (so you are one of the first cars) or later in the day. Our family also benefitted from being in the Foot Safari when it was quieter in the afternoon.”

How to get to Woburn Safari Park:

Woburn Safari Park is in Milton Keynes (approximately one hour’s drive from London, Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham).

  • We drove there and it is easy to navigate to and well signposted once you get close. The best satnav postcode depends on where you’re approaching from (there are two entrances).
  • From J13 of the M1: follow signs to Woburn Safari Park and use MK17 9QN for the entrance gate on High Street in Ridgmont.
  • From the A5: follow signs to Woburn village – Woburn Safari Park is signposted. Use the postcode MK43 0XB for the entrance gate on Turnpike Road, Husborne Crawley.
  • Woburn Safari park is only accessible in your own vehicle, so you will have to drive there.

Do you have to pay for parking?

No – parking is ample and free in the Foot Safari area.

Worth a long car journey?

It took us an hour to get there and I personally would not recommend travelling much further than that as you will also be spending a lot of the day in the car even after you arrive.

Georgina agreed, saying: “It also took us an hour, and I agree with this. There is a lot of driving once you get there, so factor that into any driving time.”

Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Woburn Safari Park?

  • Set on the same beautiful estate as the safari park is The Woburn Hotel, which has interconnecting family rooms in an 18th-century building, plus an award-winning restaurant
  • The family-friendly 3-star Heath Inn has comfy family rooms and is a 12-minute drive to Woburn Safari Park
  • For a home-away-from-home feel, look for deals on Vrbo and Airbnb.
  • Find family-friendly hotel deals in Woburn on Booking.com

Nearby attractions for a longer day out:

If your children can’t get enough of animals, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a 30-minute drive away, and if they’re acting like little monkeys they can burn off some energy at Go Ape Woburn. Nearby, Woburn Abbey and Gardens is home to 1,200 deer and a rather nice-looking tea room.

MFM verdict:

It was a fun day out with some truly magical moments during the Road Safari, but this wasn’t our favourite animal experience in the UK and the cost of entry was relatively high.

Georgina added: “For our family, this day out offered value for money if you see everything you can, enjoy the talks, and are lucky to enjoy some animal encounters on the Road Safari.”

Visit the Woburn Safari Park website

Advertisement

See more reviews of Woburn Safari Park on TripAdvisor