• Handpicked Harrogate


For us, this place was all about the wallabies. That’s not to say that the rest of it is rubbish – far from it. Think beautiful National-Trust type gardens, add on an adventure playground, a lovely cafe, loads of birds of prey, a lot of animals and you’re about there.

When we arrived (and if you’re going from Harrogate, go via the A1 – I felt sick on the way there via Ripon), the girls were dying to get out of the car. We decided to head straight to the animals, envisaging that it would be busy with it being half term. The animals are a good ten minute walk from the entrance, which Little Legs managed with no problem. The snowdrops are out in full force and look stunning – Little Legs could be heard far and wide shouting ‘Look, flower!’ on repeat.

The birds of prey are housed in what I imagine used to be a beautiful walled garden, and there are a LOT. Little Legs didnt know what to make of the kookaburra, and for a few seconds actually stopped talking, before informing us she thought it was scared (it wasn’t). There are lots of other big birds (I’m no ornithologist), and you can meet the owls and watch flying displays at set times during the day.

It took us a while to find the entry into the other animals, as the signs are a bit misleading – go via the toilet sign and the door is on your left. Once in, we purchased two bags of animal food for 50p a bag. We headed straight to the donkeys who were lovely, and also saw the ducks / chickens and goats. The meerkats enclosure is currently being refurbished so we didntget to see them, and furthest away is the wallaby enclosure. Sausage and hubster were first in, whilst I chivvied Little Legs along. Sausage nearly pooped her pants as they were both immediately surrounded by wallabies, who clearly recognisd the food bags. She refused to feed them for a bit until Little Legs was feeding them, and called her a pansy (whoops), and then they couldnt get enough. I’m not going to lie, neither could hubster or I. They are absolutely gorgeous, and so gentle and friendly. We could have stayed there for ages!

We then explored more of the grounds, which are just beautiful. It reminded us a lot of Stowe National Trust, which we went to regularly when living down south. The girls had a blast running along, and again the weather was fabulous. You can’t beat some good Yorkshire air!

We then headed to the cafe before it got busy. Hubster and I had a jacket potato and beans with salad, and the girls had a lunch box. The lunch boxes are great, with a choice of sandwich, drink, crisps and chocolate treat, as well as colouring crayons and a picture. The service is quick – our jacket potatoes arrived about a minute after we’d sat down. When you’ve got a toddler that can’t sit still, fast service is what you need, and this place delivered. Not only that, it was lovely as well, and we were stuffed. Definitely get to the cafe early (about 12) if you’re going, as it was heaving when we left about 12.30. Even better, over half term, kids meals are free if an adult meal over £5 is purchased.

We had a good play on the adventure playground after lunch, which both girls loved, and there is equipment for all ages.

Both of them fell asleep on the way home – definitely a sign of a good day out.

Girls Around Harrogate reviews a range of days out and family friendly activities so do check out the blog link below

SOURCE: Girls About Harrogate

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