Heading to Longleat Safari Park this Summer? Here are my top tips for getting the best value for money when visiting.
The famous Longleat Safari Park is a popular summer day out here in the west-country – we’re actually planning a trip ourselves at some point over the holidays. While it does make for an amazing day out and seeing all the animals roaming about is AMAZING, it certainly isn’t cheap. Tickets for a family of four come in at well over £100! Which feels like a lot when there are so many amazing activities out there for much less, or even for free. For us, Longleat is over an hour away too, so there is also the cost of petrol to factor in.
However, the summer holidays are for having fun so we save extra hard to be able to do a few not so cheap things as a special treat. And of course there are always ways to save a bit of extra cash along the way.
1. Plan ahead – Book Online
I’m one of those annoying people who is super duper organized and plans everything weeks in advance. Being spontaneous is great, but it can cost you. Booking your tickets to Longleat ahead of time can save big – even if it’s just the day before. Advance tickets bought up until 24 hours before your trip have a 15% discount compared to gate prices. Book the day before and it’s 10%. Under three’s go free.
There are also discounts if you want to visit for two consecutive days, you are just visiting the house and gardens and if you are booking for a large group.
2. Be Prepared – Take a packed lunch
Might sound obvious but taking a packed lunch will save you a fortune and means you can save your pennies for treats – we usually get ice creams! If you’re in need of thrifty lunch box inspiration check our this post. We tend to munch ours while driving around the safari bit so save lugging bags about once inside the main park.
3. Check opening and Closing times
If a day out is costing over £100 you want to ensure you make the most of every minute. Park opening hours are longer during the summer so plan to arrive early and stay late. This also means being able to make the most of attractions as queues will be shortest straight after opening and right before closing time.
4. Staying at Center Parcs?
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Longleat Safari Park during a stay at Longleat Center Parcs (they are right next to eachother!) then be sure to book tickets through the Center Parcs website as part of your holiday activities. Last time we went and did this tickets were 30% cheaper than paying gate prices. If you’re looking for other ways to save on a Center Parcs holiday check out this post.
5. Make sure you get your money’s worth
Okay this one might be obvious to some but it was something we’d never even thought about until a friend of mine suggested it. He’d been frequently taking his daughter to Longleat because she was animal mad and confessed on one occasion they never even left the car – just drove around the safari bit over and over again. While this would mean missing out on everything the main park has to offer (my favourite bit is the bat cave) a second trip around the safari before leaving is now a must for us. Especially if a lot of the animals were asleep or hiding due to rain earlier in the day. Make sure you check the Safari last entry time before doing this – it’s usually an hour before park closing time.
6. Avoid the Monkeys
While venturing into the monkey enclosure is great fun – be warned – they will damage your car. I know because they buggered up both an ariel and windscreen wiper of ours that we then had to pay to get fixed. There are warning signs before you enter and the enclosure is completely avoidable should you wish – just drive right on past!