Some time in the South West

With a long journey ahead of us, from London to Somerset and Devon, Chris and I came up with a good idea to break up the trip a bit: Longleat Safari Park!

This was a very special trip for me as a  lover of all things animal I was extremely excited to go to such a talked about zoo. Longleat had also been the subject of a tv programme spanning nine years (of which I was glued to every episode) so it had been a pipe dream of mine to visit since I was a teenager; but this pipe dream was actually going to be realised. Here’s a bit of a snapshot:

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Rainbow lorikeets were probably the chattiest and most colourful residents

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This was the first time I’ve ever seen a binturong. Initially I was so confused about what type of animal it was; is it related to red pandas, badgers, civets? (it turned out the be the latter) What an astonishing animal.

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We weren’t the only ones enjoying our day.

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One of the best bits about Longleat is their reserve-like drive-through where you can get extremely close to large animals like these lions. We hesitated before the entrance of the rhesus macaque section, from a distance you could see troops of monkeys launching assaults on cars that dared to invade their territory. Seeing as we were in a rental car we thought against it…

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At sunset we enjoyed the cruise over their lake which is home to Californian sea lions (you can see a female’s head just popping above the surface of the water) and has a gorilla island.

We spent the rest of the weekend exploring the delights of Bath and Exeter, two beautiful cities. Exeter was surreal for me because I hadn’t been back since I finished studying there over two years ago. The high street was different but my favourite pub had stayed the same and that’s what’s most important.

 

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