They scamper, they play, they consume a massive amount of fruit. In the event your own little monkeys would enjoy meeting their animal kingdom counterparts, swing over to Trentham Monkey Forest, just outside Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a must-visit activity in Staffordshire.
We visited Trentham Monkey Forest with two tween girls, who loved every minute of it, especially spotting the babies and watching the animals eat, looking uncannily like humans. We were provided tickets by Visit Staffordshire.
At the forest, 140 Barbary macaques roam free in this verdant 60-acre estate, parents and babies just feet away from you. You walk through stands of trees, alongside a stream and around the grounds of the monkey forest, among 2 family groups that live alongside each other. They practically run over your toes as they hie across the walkways (you must always stick to the paths).
There’s something hypnotic about watching the macaques as they groom each other, munch fruit, wrestle, climb trees and look after their babies. Signage around the park tells about the behaviour of the macaques, and frequent talks and feedings mean it’s easy to learn while simply enjoying the moneys and the forest.
There are picnicking areas, a cafe (watch out for the long queues), a small playground and even trampolines (there is a fee for the trampolines).
An itinerary for your visit
I recommend making a day of a visit to this area — a half day at the Monkey Forest combined with either high ropes at Aerial Extreme minutes away (read my 7 reasons to go to Aerial Extreme including video) or shopping, eating and visiting the gorgeous Trentham Gardens and Trenthan Estate (see the things you can do on these impressive grounds), just around the corner.
If you’re interested in a more curated experience, you can even book “Breakfast with Monkeys”, a premium £90-per-person early-morning access, where you help a guide feed the animals and prepare their next meal.
4 tips for visiting the Monkey Forest
- Get there early — The Monkey Forest is popular and queues build up quickly, especially on weekends and days with fine weather. You can’t buy tickets in advance. On the day we visited, the cash window was shorter and moving more quickly than the other windows, which take card payments.
- Bring kids of all ages — You can take in a pushchair with younger children and older ones will enjoy wandering more independently.
- Attend a feeding talk — The staff give presentations throughout the day in which they bring fruit and talk about the two family groups and macaque behaviour. It’s friendly, informative and the monkeys come out to enjoy the food. Turn up a little bit early to get a good vantage point.
- Take along a picnic or snacks — There are plenty of options onsite from the cafe but it’s even easier to take advantage of the comfortable picnic area (you can’t eat or drink inside the enclosure).
- Take your time walking through the grounds — The talks are great but there’s also loads to learn via the interactive signs as well as opportunities to spot the monkeys playing, hanging out in the trees or grooming each other as you wend your way on the path. It’s an engaging learning opportunity with these interesting animals.
See the monkeys in action:
Do several activities at a discounted price
Enjoy Staffordshire’s Family Fun Packages provide up to 62% discounts on hotels and attractions, including Trentham Gardens, Trentham Monkey Forest, the Snowdome and more. From £160 a family of four can take part in any 3 of 10 adventure activities and get overnight accommodation in a family room plus breakfast at a choice of family-friendly hotels and inns. These breaks are valid for children under the age of 12 years old. Find out more about Enjoy Staffordshire’s Family Fun Packages here.
Trentham Monkey Forest
Stone Road, Trentham
Stoke-on-Trent ST12 9HR
Jenography received complimentary tickets to visit Trentham Monkey Forest via a Family Fun Package. All opinions are my own.
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