Caves and Wildlife

21 Oct

My husband decided to take two whole weeks off from work. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about taking two weeks in a row off from school…we just took a week off not too long ago and I wasn’t ready for a break. But apparently DH was and he has lots of holidays to use up (19 days).

Last week we took Stiggy to Gloucester for a few days. We visited relatives, then went a few places. The first was Cheddar Gorge. Now, this is a beautiful place, and by all means pay a visit to the gorge and the lovely little shops, but if you’re looking for caves…real caves with bats, creepy crawlies, and other wildlife, don’t bother. It’s been made completely tourist-friendly: paved floors, handrails, lighting (coloured in some areas…sheesh), music, fountains, displays…it’s so rubbish. Not a bat to be seen. And waaaaaaaay overpriced. Ridiculously expensive. We knew how much it cost when we went, but I thought we were getting real caves. I should have known, really, since it’s a tourist place that it wouldn’t be the natural experience I was hoping for, but I’d never been to a cave before, so it was ignorance on my part. Stiggy was disappointed as well.

Yes, there was a few stalagmites and tites, some water running here and there, but he was hoping for some critters.

caves 22

The next day we got our act together and took him to Cotswold Wilflife Park and Gardens. This place is beautiful. It’s cheaper than a zoo and better than a zoo. The displays aren’t miles apart, you’re walking either on a dirt/gravel path or grass (instead of pavement), you can bring your dog, and the gardens aren’t separate; they’re all around the displays. They’re amazing. I found myself ooohing and aaaahing over different plants, declaring they had to go into my garden at home. Here’s one in particular that I like, but can’t remember what it’s called:

Mystery plant

Mystery Plant 2

Now, there aren’t a ton of animals in this place, but when I go to a zoo, I don’t like to see everything; when I leave, everything blurs in my mind and I don’t remember anything in particular with much clarity. But lots of displays from this wildlife park stand out in mind even now, a week later.

The bat house was incredible; we were able to observe some bats very close up.

bats 3

Stiggy enjoyed the penguins:


We spent a long time observing the different ducks:

ducks 4

The reticulator python was a particular favourite of Stiggy and his dad’s:

Reticulator python 2

My favourite: the tortoises:


And here’s an animal we will never forget:

siamang sign

We had a lovely time…but I’m really itching to get back to our lessons. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, have bought a few new resources, and have lots of great changes planned…more about that later.


Posted by on October 21, 2009 in Holidays, Natural History, Time off


2 responses to “Caves and Wildlife

  1. Suji

    October 22, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    The Siamang is native to my home country Malaysia 🙂 Aren’t they fabulous? What a circus eh?

    Sounds like it was a great field trip of sorts. Our routine goes haywire when hubby is on holiday too and he often wonders why I have this faraway look on my face while he and DS have fun. My thoughts are all on the weeks we’re “missing out on lessons” of course but then we get back home and I look at the laundry to wash and housework to do and I wish we’d stayed away longer LOL.

  2. whimsyway

    October 23, 2009 at 8:02 am

    “My thoughts are all on the weeks we’re “missing out on lessons” of course but then we get back home and I look at the laundry to wash and housework to do and I wish we’d stayed away longer LOL.”

    My thoughts *exactly*, Suji! LOL! 🙂


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