IT WAS really the Lions of Longleat that we drove all the way from Gosport to the famous animal park near Warminster to see.
But despite lengthy delays and seemingly endless traffic as we drove round the Marquis of Bath’s stunning estate, nothing could take away from the other creatures, great and small, that braved the wind and rain to greet visitors yesterday, Friday, December 30.
Although the admission price of just under £140 for myself, wife Fran and son Lawrence was on the steep side, it also covered a spectacular Roald Dahl light show and visit to the stately home.
But after more than three hours of stop-go sightseeing, during an experience that was well worth the constant braking and clutch slipping, we decided to leave those attractions for another day.
The photos included here (below) show some of the wolves, monkeys (they really do climb all over your vehicle but only managed to detach a windscreen washer nozzle, later found underneath a wiper blade) a white rhino, deer and Secretary birds.
However, for us the stars of the show, apart from three laid back and safely enclosed tigers, were those famous lions, some of which wandered freely through the traffic.
You really do need to obey those instructions about keeping windows closed and not going walkabout!
We took video clips of the big cats and, if I can work out how to get them downloaded, will gladly share them on this page or via social media. All of the still photography was taken by Lawrence Young, from the safety of our vehicle.
In the meantime, many thanks to one and all for all your support over the past year and best wishes for a happy 2023.
For more information about what is available at Longleat Safari Park, see https://www.longleat.co.uk/