With the sun high in the sky we decided to venture out to the beautiful Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Our destination was Bowland Wild Boar Park for a day of animal antics and rambling. This family run business is right in the heart of the Forest of Bowland – all lush green hills and lovely scenery, even the journey there is a highlight. Right in the middle of nowhere – how would anyone ever find this place we reasoned – we’d likely have it all to ourselves. Not so, with a full car park we were diverted to the overflow area but with 65 acres to explore there was room enough for all.
It’s not all about boars – they have other animals here including meerkats, our first port of call. We chatted with a keeper who told us they are eagerly anticipating seeing some brand new babies, born during the night underground (they think) but a bit of a wait, the mother would not come back out with the babies for a couple more weeks.
This cheeky chappy was none too shy and seemed keen to get up close and personal.
Son found a barn full of hay, promptly disappeared into a “tunnel” with a myriad of other screaming youngsters and would happily have stayed there for the rest of the day.
We saw a baby calf, some curious goats and tried our hand at milking a cow.
Rabbits to pet, chicks to stroke and lambs to feed – it’s a great place for kids to get hands-on.
The setting is stunning – we had a stroll by the River Hodder before it was time to do the wild boar walk. This was a highlight of our day, we joined the farmer on a trek around the boar area and en route heard lots about these creatures and a bit about the history of the farm.
A bumpy tractor ride to the top of a hill was our next big thing then we hiked a short and easy trail back down again. Plenty of animals to see on the way, we also found a replica of an Iron Age roundhouse. Built with tree branches and a thatched roof you can go inside and see how the Celts lived.
The best ice-creams ever at the bottom helped to cool us down then Son joined a group of delighted youngsters and was pulled along by a tractor. With still more steam to let off, we set him loose in the play area before closing time and the drive home.
These guys accompanied us to the car – a fitting send off after a great day out. Rambling in the woods, feeding the lambs and encountering a wealth of other animals a great time was had by all.