Trentham monkey forest review

Trentham monkey forest review

On Saturday we had a trip to Trentham Monkey Forest in Staffordshire where we had kindly been given tickets. We’d been to Trentham gardens once before but never to the monkey forest. It is very easy to find with clear signposting and a large, free car park. Once we parked up we had our lunch in the car (no food or drink is allowed in the main area as you would expect) as it was too cold to eat in the outdoor picnic area.

After lunch, we headed into the attraction. We picked up a map and an Easter egg hunt leaflet at the ticket office and then we explored the first part of the attraction which is monkey free. There is an outdoor picnic area as already mentioned as well as a cafe. There are also two really good play area, one for under 6s and one for 6-12 year olds. My girls are 22 months and almost 5. They loved the under 6s area which is conveniently the closest to the cafe and toilets with baby changing facilities.

In this area, there is also a covered area showing a 16 minute feature film about the monkeys and the conservation work the forest is doing. We didn’t watch this as the girls were too keen to play or go see the monkeys. There were also large boards with photos and written information about Barbary macaques. Finally, the Easter egg hunt is in this area too. A series of egg signs are scattered around this area with monkey related words on them. Each word has to be written on the Easter egg hunt leaflet and a specified letter from each word or phrase is transferred to the bottom of the sheet to spell a mystery word. You leave your completed forms behind and once a month, one lucky winner will win a cuddly Barbary Macaques toy.

Once we had explored this area, it was time to head into the main area. We were asked to read a sign of rules and a member of staff also reminded us not to have any food or drink on view and to stick to the main paths. We were also told when the next feeding talk was. The feeding talk occurs in two different areas of the forest every hour from 11:15. The hourly talks alternate between the two areas. The feeding talks last about 15 minutes and are really informative and also fun to watch the monkeys eating and interacting.

At feeding time monkeys come from other areas of the forest and will walk very close to you to get into the feeding area. There are plenty of staff around to guide them and ask people to step aside to let them through. Once in the enclosure, they are fed a mixture of fruit and potatoes and there was definitely some evidence of their hierarchy showing. Yes, we witnessed monkeys fighting and being chased out of the feeding area by over more senior monkeys. My kids loved this.

There are 140 Barbary macaques monkeys in Trentham monkey forest and they are all free to move around the forest as they choose. The monkeys are not in cages or anything like that just simply living in the forest in two groups (that they have split themselves in to). This type of monkey originates from the mountains of Morocco. There are no indoor enclosures but the monkeys are perfectly adapted to our climate as it is similar to the mountains of Morroco. The oldest is 31 years old and the youngest 9 months. All Barbary macaques babies are born in the spring so they are expecting more monkeys in May/June.

There were also boards all around the forest with further information about these monkeys and their behaviour. There were some smaller ones with multichoice answer questions where you lift up a flap to find the answer. These were great for teaching my eldest a little more about these monkeys. I particularly liked the very last one “why can we not take a Barbary macaques home?”

There were also lots of friendly staff around the main areas where the monkeys tend to be (around the feeding areas mainly). They were more than happy to tell you more information or answer your questions.

The paths around the forest are clearly signposted and very suitable for pushchairs. The forest is in a valley though so there are a couple of steep hills. The forest walk is lovely and hunting for monkeys high in the trees in quieter areas kept my eldest entertained. In didn’t take us that long to walk around the forest, in fact, we did it twice and listened to one of the feeding talks in just over an hour.

  We loved our visit to Trentham monkey forest and I’m sure you will too. Read on for our top tips for making the most of your visit.

Our top tips for visiting Trentham Monkey Forrest with children under 5

  • Time your visit so that your children are not hungry when you are in the monkey enclosure. Food and drinks are not allowed for obvious reasons.
  • Try and catch one of the feeding talks, you’ll learn more about these monkeys and enjoy watching them eating and interacting.
  • Keep children close, especially at feeding time. There were a few children who were quite upset when the monkeys passed them by. My two thankfully were not bothered.
  • The forest is suitable for pushchairs and I’d recommend taking one if your little one doesn’t walk lots as the hill is quite steep.
  • The play areas are really great for children to let off steam before &/or after a visit to the monkey enclosure.
  • Picnics are welcome (outside the monkey enclosure).
  • Baby changing facilities and toilets are clean and well maintained and are situated by the play area for 3 – 6 year olds.

Disclosure – We receive 2 adult tickets for this attraction in exchange for an honest review. We paid for an extra ticket for our eldest (aged 4), All thought, opinions and photos are my own.

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18 Comments

  1. March 30, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    This looks like a lot of fun! I’ve always wanted a monkey as a pet!!

  2. March 31, 2018 / 9:09 am

    What a neat experience! What is the enclosure like? It seems to open, why don’t the monkeys leave the area? We visited a place called Monkey Jungle a few years ago. There were fenced in walkways, with fencing on both sides and overhead, for the visitors to walk through while the monkey roamed freely over many acres. I find it incredible that you are able to be close to these monkeys without any kind of separation between you and them. My son would love to visit here. #countrykids

  3. March 31, 2018 / 10:06 am

    The place looks so lovely. The monkeys are beautiful and it is so nice to be so close to them. I also think my three would adore that play area! It looks immense #countrykids

  4. March 31, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Oh this looks like a fantastic place with loads of space for the monkeys

  5. March 31, 2018 / 11:56 am

    That looks like such an interesting and fun day out. It must have been so cool to get so close to the monkeys. #CountryKids

  6. March 31, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    This looks like an amazing forest to visit. Although admittedly, I’m a bit scared of monkeys, I must say, we’d love to visit this too especially since your little one obviously enjoyed the tour 🙂 #countrykids

  7. March 31, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    Now this looks a lovely day out. A perfect mix of education and fun. the monkeys look adorable and it sounds like you learn a fair amount about how they live and their habitat while you are there. the play areas and picnic spots sound perfect for active kids and who can resit a good Easter Egg hunt!

    Happy Easter and thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  8. March 31, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    We were there in February and it really is a lovely place t9 visit. Great review x

  9. March 31, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    Some great visiting tips here, it sounds like a great day out. I used to live on the roundabout just where the hotel is. The hotel and monkey Park were just under construction when I moved away so it’s still on our to do list. #CountryKids

  10. April 2, 2018 / 8:03 pm

    We love the monkey forest its such a great day out! Some fab tips too !

  11. April 3, 2018 / 6:41 am

    Looks like a lovely place to visit. I loved your post and the monkeys. #CountryKids

  12. April 3, 2018 / 8:20 am

    I love how you can get so close with the monkeys! It looks like a really great place for a day out with the kids. #CountryKids

  13. April 3, 2018 / 10:59 am

    This looks like a fantastic place to learn about the monkeys #CountryKids

    • Claire
      Author
      April 8, 2018 / 1:39 pm

      It really is.

  14. April 4, 2018 / 8:32 pm

    Lots of good tips for a day out. Trentham Monkey Forest is on our list of places that we’d like to take the girls. It is good to know that it is easy to get around with a buggy. I do love the way they’ve explained why a monkey wouldn’t make a suitable place. It must be so interesting to be able to see the monkeys roaming so freely and feeding time sounds like it was fun to watch. #countrykids

    • Claire
      Author
      April 8, 2018 / 1:37 pm

      I love that sign too. I bet it has come in useful for more than a few parents!

  15. April 4, 2018 / 10:48 pm

    I’m adding this to one of our places to visit, it looks amazing! I’m glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for the tips #CountryKids

    • Claire
      Author
      April 8, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      It’s fab. I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it.

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