• Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water, United Kingdom

    Birdland gets our best recommendations – we spent a rainy but warm day there with our two 4-year-olds and it was fantastic, for us as well as for the children.

    The beautiful setting is inhabited by over 500 birds. Parrots, Flamingos, pelicans, penguins, cranes, storks, finches, cassowary, waterfowl and many, many more can be seen on various aspects of the natural water habitat.

    Opening Hours: From Easter until 31st of October, 10am – 6pm. From November until March, 10am – 4pm.

    FUNNY PENGUINS – One of the first things you see in the park, are the impressive penguins. And you will be amazed for sure… it’s nothing like a traditional zoo where there’s glass between you and the penguins or where there are high walls… they are RIGHT THERE! You get a real sense of them, of how they live and move and interact and of what they are like… they seem to almost have a sense of humour. The King penguins here are the only in England.

    Birdland in the Cotswolds

    FREE AS A BIRD – We were very surprised to see parrots flying around within the park area out of cages. Bird handlers would walk around with the big parrots on their shoulders. Many of the parrots are cockatoos are tame, of course, and are obviously being treated with such great care and respect that they have no desire to leave… but it’s impressive all the same.

    In Birdland you are up close and personal with all the birds – even the ones in cages and behind glass. There is plenty of opportunity for visitors to interact with the animals – the penguins love to meet the kids. The whole park is laid out with the greatest respect for the birds while still allowing interaction.

    Birdland has welcomed more animals than birds. In their DISCOVERY ZONE, an indoor interactive zone, you can learn about, and come face to face with, other animals that lay eggs. From fish to amphibians and reptiles to mammals. Interactive sessions are also held, so you can enjoy close encounters with a variety of creatures including lizards and snakes. There’s also a small soft play area and seating here – perfect for families with toddlers.

    Don’t miss the Birdland Nursery where you can see hatching eggs and chicks take their first steps. Birdland has an active breeding programme and works extensively with zoos and bird collections around the world.

    Your trip to Birdland can, if you wish it to, last all day, and if it does, you’ll need to have a little something to eat while you’re there. You can bring your own food and enjoy this in the designated picnic areas or you can have a meal or cake, coffee and snacks in the Flamingo Point Cafe. Outside the cafe there are table and chairs with views over Flamingo river.

    And no tourist attraction without a gift shop… Birdland’s has hundreds of bird inspired gift items, of course.

    RESPECTING THE BIRDS – Throughout Birdland it is apparent that the welfare and well being of the birds comes first. The bird handlers are all well trained and chosen for their love of the animals and this comes across whenever you see a bird or a cage or habitat being  handled in any way.

    The settings inhabited by birds are all, although made for the park, made 100% with the birds welfare in mind.

    ROOM TO LEARN – Within the Discovery Cove, The Marshmouth Nature Reserve was built in order to provide schools with a unique resource to create a hands on, fun way of inter-acting with and discovering nature.

    KEEPER FOR THE DAY – Aside from the normal visit to the park, Birdland also offer special educational visits like “Keeper for a Day” and “Feed the Penguins”. Volunteers are always needed in Birdland – check the website for details if you see yourself giving the birds a helping hand.

    TALKING PARROTS – We were talking to our son underneath the tree where this handsome, pink cockatoo was sitting. We swear we then heard him say “Hello Matthew” to our son. Did it? Made our day either way!

    Birdland, Bourton-on-the-Water, United Kingdom

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