I decided to make the most of Spencer being off work on Bank Holiday Monday and plan a family day out. Spencer wanted to go to a garden centre to have a look at the fish (he is planning to buy a fish tank) and I decided to go to the Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo at the Wye Valley Visitor Centre. I hadn’t ever been before so wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought that Aria may like to watch the pretty, colourful butterflies flying around.
We arrived quite late in the day which wasn’t a problem as the zoo is open until 6pm, the last entry at 5pm. The large car park was busy but there are several other attractions in this area, a hedge puzzle, miniature golf, warfare laser and my personal favourite, a tea room.
You enter the butterfly zoo via the gift shop where you are given advice, a magnifying glass and an information pack detailing the different butterflies that you can expect to see. We were also told that the temperature in the enclosure at that particular time was 27 degrees.
As soon as we entered the enclosure a butterfly landed on our information pack. My camera lens also steamed up due to the heat which is why this photo is a little misty! The butterflies are not phased by us humans at all, there people wandering around with butterflies on them, I looked at Spencer at one point to see him stood there with two on his head, annoyingly they flew off before I got my camera out.
The butterfly enclosure is full of leafy areas, trees and flowers. The butterflies and the flowers make it a great place to practice photography. There were quite a few photography enthusiasts in there, myself included.
The variety of butterflies in the enclosure is amazing, I never knew that there were so many different types, all beautiful in their own right.
My personal favourite was the vibrant blue butterfly, when their wings are closed they look quite dull with their brown wings, when they open their wings a beautiful transformation takes place as they reveal the gorgeous blue on the inside of their wings. It was very difficult to catch the blue on camera as they are quick movers, I’m pretty sure that every photography enthusiast in there was trying their very best to catch a snap of their blue wings.
There are literally butterflies everywhere you look, on every plant, in every corner, everywhere. They fly into you and will happily land on you, as long as you aren’t jumpy like me.
Of course, where there are butterflies there are caterpillars waiting to blossom. These were harder to spot and a lot less active.
Spencer didn’t realise that he had picked up a friend until I pointed it out.
This butterfly was very impressive, it was absolutely massive. Tucked away at the back near the fire equipment we very nearly missed the biggest butterfly of them all. I couldn’t bring myself to get too close to it because I found it very scary.
We had a fantastic time at the Wye Butterfly Zoo, unfortunately Aria didn’t enjoy it quite as much, much to my surprise she really wasn’t bothered by the butterflies flying around and started getting quite grouchy, I think it was too warm for her in there. We will definitely re-visit when she is a little older and more interested.
We finished the day with a latte and a cake at the tea rooms, my chocolate and coconut slice was beautiful.
This may be an odd mention but the toilets really stood out to me, the disabled and nappy changing toilet is combined, you have to request the key from a shop. I was given the key without any problems and while the toilet wasn’t the prettiest ever what really impressed me was the fact that there were complimentary nappies, nappy bags and baby wipes provided.
We paid £4.25 per adult, Aria was free of charge. There are offers available if you book other activities at the visitor centre at the same time, there are also amazing deals if you pre-book your tickets on-line, such as £5.50 for entrance to the Butterfly Zoo, hedge maze and mini golf.
You can find out more about the Butterfly Zoo and other activities here