On Saturday we had a family day out to The Living Rainforest. It was a pretty dreary day outside so warming up in the tropical glasshouses seemed like the perfect thing to do!
We had a brilliant couple of hours exploring all the different plants and animals. It’s totally pushchair friendly – the paths are smooth and wide, putting Rosalie right at nose level with the greenery!
The plants were stunning; and if you could just close your ears to the excited chatter of children, and the murmurs of plant and photography enthusiasts, you could quite imagine you were in the Amazon…
Many of the birds are free-roaming, and Rosalie was fascinated by them. They must be completely used to people due to the volume of visitors tramping through their home each day, which meant they made fairly good photographic subjects. We could get really close, and watch them pecking at seed and scratching around. And it was quite captivating seeing these little guys swoop across the rainforest.
There are also these magnificent toucans. They were caged, and it was tricky to get a good photo, you really should visit just to see these awesome birds.
As well as giant snails, horrible furry spiders and lethargic tortoises, there is also this chap to get your heart racing – don’t worry, he isn’t free-roaming!
At The Living Rainforest you can also find monkeys, lizards, butterflies, and a sloth if you look close enough.
The large lake in the centre of the rainforest is home to fish, sting rays, turtles and of course the obligatory ducks!
We’re looking forward to visiting again during the different seasons, so that we can appreciate the varying floral displays, the amazing colourful butterflies and I definitely want to catch a glimpse of the Giant Amazon Water Lily – the mature leaves are supposedly strong enough to support the weight of a small child!
We had a light lunch in the cafe which was reasonably priced and we were served by friendly staff. There are a few high chairs but you might have to fight off other parents as there were a lot of families when we visited and not enough high chairs to go around. There is also a gift shop (with irresistibly cute fluffy toy animals) and the all important toilets and baby change facilities.
Under twos go free, and when you buy your ticket you get an annual pass to return as many times as you like between March and September. Since we live so close by we will definitely be taking advantage of that; it’s always useful to have wet-weather activities up your sleeve.
We had a fantastic day out and I am certain Rosalie enjoyed experiencing the different sights and sounds.
P.S. Yes it really is warm inside, and very humid, so don’t bother straightening your hair, it’ll be frizzy within minutes (think Monica in The One in Barbados…)!