Trentham Estate, Stone Road, ST4 8AY
After a recommendation over on the Facebook site, we decided to head to Monkey Forest last Sunday. Slightly further afield, but we timed it with a nap and the twins are still ok in their car seats, most of the time.
The park had reopened for the season as it was half term on the Monday, we arrived as it opened at 10am, which is something I like to do, mainly because I flap at the idea of places being too busy and no seats for lunch or long queues with screaming babies (mine, might I add). I was right of course, was a good time to arrive as it was still fairly quiet.
We started off with a coffee, which at 2.80 for a machine coffee wasn’t great, but who cares really. It did the trick. We then headed over to the forest entrance, passing a play area and facepainting stall. Again, the boys are probably a wee bit little for both but not long to go i’m sure.
There is only one type of Monkey at Monkey Forest, the Barbary Macaque, this is mainly due to the climate, they must thrive off the sunny climes of Stoke, I mean who wouldn’t?
We thought it might be a bit of Jurassic park moment, whereby we wouldn’t see any monkeys. (Not that we were about to get eaten by a Tyrannasaurus Rex) But after a quick stroll we came face to face with loads of the buggers. Thomas and Luke love pointing, and there was a hell of a lot of pointing going on. They seemed to be pretty interested in the monkeys, and the trees, and the magpies and most of the surroundings not so bothered about the Monkey’s bottoms yet, think that was just me. We had to cover their eyes at one point when we saw what looked like a couple of monkeys entertaining one another in an ‘adult’ way. Maybe they were just licking one another’s tummys. Who knows, but Steven and I found it pretty funny.
The walk round the forest is fine with the pram. There are a few steep bits, but I cleverly thought ahead and made sure it was Steven’s turn during these points. There are sign posts along the way with various facts and questions about the Monkeys, which would be great for older ones. Apologies to the bloke with the camera who saw Steven’s impression of a Monkey mating when we played “guess which action off the sign I am doing”.
We hung around for the talk given by the staff, who all seemed very knowledgeable but after a while the twins got a bit squiggly and we meandered back to the café for lunch.
Lunch was fine, the twins had sandwich boxes and Steven and I had average meals. I had a mediocre Jacket Potato and Steven had sausage and chips. Again, fine but nothing to write home about, but then I don’t suppose you come to Monkey Forest for the food.
All in all we had a good time, but I think the boys would really love it in a few years time. Personally, if you are heading this way I would head to Peak Wildlife Park but again, just my opinion.
We also should have purchased a joint ticket with Trentham Gardens (sorry Katy, you did say but we didn’t see any sign of it when we arrived!) which looked really pretty but at £8.50 each per adult to enter we decided to head to a Soft Play Centre as the boys needed a crawl about. We found one, it did the trick but I am pretty sure we all caught something there..I jest, but, well, I am sure you can imagine.
All in all, I would say go and have a visit. If monkeys are your thing you will love it as you can get up really close to them and maybe if your kids are old enough to enjoy play areas and facepainting it might be an even better experience.
Have a look on their calendar as they have various events on throughout the year which may tickle your fancy.
Children 3-14 years: £6.50
Disabled & Carers: £5.50
Under 3: Free