When I said that Highland Heather Lodges, where we had a three-day stay last month, had a ton of different activities right on its doorstep, I really wasn’t joking. Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre was literally just a five minute drive from our cabin, which placed it pretty high on our list of things to do in Perthshire: well, that and the fact that I’d heard you could actually pet some of the animals there, and if there’s one thing guaranteed to make me want to visit a place, it’s the presence of lots of cute animals. If there’s one thing guaranteed to make Max want to visit a place, meanwhile, it’s the knowledge that there’s a really cool pole in the car park:
He would quite happily have stayed there all day, too: it was like our trip to Hopetoun House all over again. And also every single day out we’ve ever tried to have, basically. Those animals weren’t going to feed themselves, though, so once we’d purchased our tickets (£9.50 for adults and £7.50 for children, although Max, as an under-two, was allowed in for free…), plus a bag of animal feed, we headed into the park to explore:
OK, I’m joking: these are meercats. And I obviously chose to feed the goats first, because, if you’ve ever tried to feed a goat, you’ll know they have the most amazing, soft little mouths, and are a just a little bit nuts, really, but in a fun way:
From there, we headed into the small animal enclosure, where we were able to hold some baby chicks, and say hello to guinea pigs, rabbits and the like. (All of this is closely supervised, of course, to ensure the safety and happiness of the animals: worry not!) Here’s Max, meanwhile, milking a “cow” as if he’s been doing it his entire life:
He very much enjoyed this experience, but I suspect he was still thinking about that pole in the car park, tbh. While he’s been borderline obsessed with “doggies” for a while now, he’s only recently started to be interested in other animals, most of whom he tends to view with polite suspicion. Luckily, though, while I was all about the animal encounters, of which there were plenty, Max was also really well catered for at Auchingarrich: we counted two indoor soft play/play barns, several different outdoor play areas, a tractor circuit, and just tons and tons of other child-friendly activities, basically. There was so much to do, in fact, that by the time we’d been there for an hour or so, Terry and I were already making plans to come back sometime, and, if we lived closer, I could easily see it becoming a regular haunt.