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  1. At the beginning of the summer holidays we visited Combe Martin in Devon for a long weekend. Such a stunning (and hilly) part of the country. On route to our accommodation the children spotted many places they wanted to visit one being Combe Martin Dinosaur and Wildlife Park. Set in over 28 acres of spectacular, sub tropical gardens it's a unique yet stunning attraction.tortoise combe martin

    I didn't really know what to expect but there really is something to suit everyone. There is an eclectic mix of wildlife including lions, wolves, sea lions, exotic birds and more, alongside impressive life sized animatronic dinosaurs which are pretty spectacular. As if that isn't enough there's a Dinosaur Museum, Bug World and the Tomb of the Pharaohs (which is down some narrow stairs and dimly light, Olive wasn't a fan!). The park also has a daily schedule of free shows, talks, encounters and a number of ‘Animal Experiences’ to enjoy. 

    Here are some of our favourite moments from our day out.

    Sea Lions :

    I don't actually think I've ever been anywhere that has sea lions. The talk was not only really funny but super informative. Megan absolutely loved it and seeing as it was her birthday I treated her to a snog with a sea lion.combe martin sea lion

    The image is lovely although its quite small for £6. You can get these images taken feeding a lion through the bars, holding a tortoise and sitting on a bench with the meerkats.

    Meerkats :meerkats combe martin

    Who doesn't love a meerkat! They are so funny and cute, it's one of my favourite areas at Marwell Zoo. We were super excited to find that the meerkat talk actually happens inside their enclosure, whilst the keeper feeds them running around in front of you. It is a pretty awesome experience, I loved watching them poking up from inside the sand tunnels.

    Dinosaurs :dinosaur combe martin

    The winding paths through the sub tropical jungle are teaming with dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. The children particularly enjoyed the T-rex awakening complete with spitting raptor. What is it about children who stand in front of a raptor getting wet but as soon as it starts raining the world is ending? #justasking

    Soft Play :

    In between the showers of rain and because there is a lot of walking and Nanny Moo and I needed a sit down and a coffee. The soft play area is really large, with plenty of seating. There's plenty of equipment to suit multiple ages too. Whilst we were chatting 2 peacocks strutted in, they didn't climb the apparatus but boy they are stunning. Charlie was desperate to get his hands on a feather but alas we didn't find any that weren't attached to a peacock anyway!  peacock

    Wolves :

    We spotted signs that one of the wolves had been attacked and not to worry which of course was the first thing Charlie did. He soon found a keeper to provide him with tons of information about the 2 packs of wolves and the current situation. When you speak to the keepers it's clear they adore the animals in their care and know an awful lot about them their characters and personalities. Charlie was really sad that her babies even disowned her and reassured me this would never happen with us (lucky me!) We really hope the mummy wolf finds a new home that will love and accept her.combe martin wildlife

    Prices are £14.50 for adults and £12.50 for children. Be aware of the parking situation also, it's a steep hill up into the park. The children decided to stay with Nanny in the disabled car park and I collected them on the way down. ‘The park is built around a naturally beautiful valley and some pathways are steep in places, not all areas are wheelchair friendly so it's worth checking with the wildlife park beforehand.

    We were provided with tickets free of charge for the purpose of writing this review.  

  2. This summer holidays has literally been all about the animals! Given Charlie's love of conservation and animals, he even spent sometime grilling keepers at New Forest Wildlife Park about what qualifications he needed, it's been really lovely to visit so many various projects ZSL London Zoo, Marwell Wildlife Park and Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park. It's been a while since we visited Liberty’s Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre even though it's just round the corner. I've been following the birth of their chicks this spring/summer and the play area development and was keen to see how much had changed.liberty owl and raptor

    We arrived with enough time to wander around the birds, before the first flying display. Living on the outskirts of the New Forest we see lots of buzzards and currently have a tawny owl calling nightly to it's mate. It was really nice to see a variety of flying birds that we haven't seen before and we learnt an awful lot about owls. There is a real family vibe to this centre and an obvious love for the birds and reptiles in their care. Which makes the talks an overall more exciting experience.vulture owl centre

    On previous visits I'd noted how there was a lack of play areas and seating and I'm really happy to point out that this is no longer the case. There's a picnic bench area (where we ate lunch) including super old shoe slide, I love this vintage find I'd like to have this in our garden. There is also a cafe, where the toilets are and over by the tortoises there's a bug hotel and sand pit area, lots to keep the little ones entertained between talks. These additions really help to make this centre a full day out now.

    This boot has been given a whole load of tlc so it can look beautiful in our new PICNIC and PLAY area! Hope you love it <3

    A post shared by Libertys Owl and Raptor Centre (@libertys.centre) on

    The reptile show is a real treat too. You need to get there early as the seating is limited and it gets really full. The children all sat on the floor meaning they had a great view of the snakes, spiders and chameleon. Most of the reptiles are walked around therefore no matter where you sit you get a good view. I'm always blown away by how much they know not only about each species but each individual creatures, personality, likes and dislikes. This personal touch really makes Liberty’s Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre stand out from many other places we have visited this summer.spider owl centre

    Liberty’s Owl Raptor and Reptile Centre is priced at £29.50 for a family of 4 which is great value. However under 5's are free and there are always deals on local voucher sites making Liberty's a budget friendly attraction too.

    The exit is via the gift shop which is quite reasonably priced. Charlie picked up a little Peregrine Falcon figure for £1 which he has placed in my letter press, as after watching Miss Peregrine Home for Peculiar Children he's a little obsessed. Seeing the peregrine falcons in real life made his day. peregrine falcon

    We were provided with a free pass in order to review the site, opinions are all our own.