On Sunday we visited Askham Bryan Wildlife Park in York. It’s only a 15-minute journey from our house and as the weather was due to be nice, we thought it would be a great place to take our 5-month old baby. Leo has been in lockdown for basically all of his existence and we are excited to take him places and. let him view the world.
About Askham Bryan Wildlife Park
Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park is a small wildlife park set in the beautiful arboretum at Askham Bryan College. Their mission is to inspire and educate future generations to respect and conserve animals and plants.
Askham Bryan College is a specialist land-based college. It has many animal-related courses such as veterinary care, agriculture and equine management. The wildlife and conservation park is based in the Animal Management Department at Askham Bryan College, York.
It has different species of animals, plants and trees to look at. Some animals we saw:
The cages all have information about the animals on them so you can your children can learn a few things too!
The wildlife park is only small and isn’t as big as Yorkshire Wildlife Park or Chester Zoo, but it’s good for a stroll. We spent about 90 minutes looking around and showing Leo things.
There are also benches to sit at so you can pack a picnic ad eat lunch there and a park for children to play in.
Covid & social distancing:
As coronavirus is the restrictions are still in place in the UK, The Ashham Bryan Wildlife Park has put measures in place.
Firstly, you must book online. You pick a 30-minute slot in which you can arrive to stagger the flow of visitors. Don’t worry about not getting an early slot, a couple of hours is more than enough at the park!
The park then runs on a one-way system with is all signposted. We felt perfectly safe there and it wasn’t busy at all. Obviously, I don’t know if the park had sold all the time slots for the day we went, but we went around 11 am on a Sunday and it was fine.
There is also a cafe which is take away only. It sells coffee, cake, crisps, sandwiches, ice creams and cold drinks.
Going to Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park with a 5-month-old.
Now, let’s get to our trip.
Usually, Leo has a poo a couple of times in a morning. It got to 10:30 am, still no poo. I swear he does this every time we go out! So we travelled to the park and start walking around. The first part has fish and tank creatures in. We spent some time looking at the terapins and he enjoyed watching them swim around. We then went outside and took him out of his pram to take some photos in front of some lovely flowers. I’m sure you can imagine what happens next!
He does a poo. So we ended up having to backtrack a bit to the toilets. Thankfully there was nobody else around so going in the opposite direction of the one-way system didn’t feel too illegal! But I think needing to change your babies nappy is a good enough reason. We weren’t far from the toilets.
There was a disabled toilet that had baby changing facilities and it was the first time I’ve had to use those plastic pull-down trays. Leo WAS NOT happy haha!
I changed him and went back to find my partner who was talking to one of the keepers in the tortoise enclosure. He got them to walk towards us so Leo could see but he wasn’t really looking. He’s at the age where something really has to catch his eye and I think they blended in too much for him to look at. He was staring at the bright yellow dandelions on the floor!
We then found a place with some wooden bears you could sit on and take photos. Leo was getting a bit grizzly by then so I sat down and breastfed him as nobody was around. Typical Leo!
Then he was sleepy so we put him in his pram and he seemed to enjoy being laid flat down looking out the side than us carrying him around! He was too young to really appreciate and see the animals. A lot of them were hidden away and you had to look through the enclosures or glass for them.
When we came to the end we to the cafe. We got coffee and my partner had a blueberry muffin and I had a Solero ice cream. Of course, Leo did a Leo and pooed.
The car park had no parent/child car parking and someone had blocked us in. We had taken my 3 door car as the battery keeps going flat from not driving it and we have to fully open the door to get Leo in his car seat in the back. There was about 10 disabled bays near we were sat and none were in use, so my partner pulled the car into one and we changed him in the boot. Leo being Leo had somehow managed to poo all down his leg so we had to completely change him! All while rushing because even though there were loads of disabled bays free, you still feel bad for being in one! We changed him as quickly as possible and then put him in the car and left haha.
It was still really nice to take him out somewhere. Despite all the poo drama.
Going anywhere with a baby is hard as you don’t know when they need a nappy change and GOSH they get mardy when you miss a nap time!
We’re probably going to get a season pass for next year when he is toddling about as it will be nice to take him when he’s a bit older. It will be somewhere we can visit with family too, we’ll take a picnic and then Leo can play in the park after looking at all the animals.
If you want to go, you can book your tickets here.