I was browsing the Tesco Clubcard website looking for somewhere to use up my remaining vouchers, when I came across Birdworld. It wasn’t far from me, and what’s more, it had penguins! So I decided to visit.
The start of the walk from Bentley station
The nearest station is Farnham in Surrey, reachable from London Waterloo. You can then get a bus which stops directly outside Birdworld. However, I followed the directions on the website which explain how to walk through countryside from Bentley station. This might have been a good idea if it hadn’t been 30°C; as it was, I arrived at the park already tired. There is also a stream right next to the car park that you need to leap over – I was convinced I was going to fall in! Next time I think I’ll stick to the bus.
Some sort of toucan
There is a gift shop and cafe at the entrance, so once I’d bought my ticket I had an early lunch before doing anything else. I picked up a map of the park and checked out the event times before heading off to explore.
I forget what this bird was called, but it had a cool name
As the name might suggest, Birdworld is home to a weird and wonderful variety of birds, from penguins to parrots, flamingos to owls. It has over 150 species and is the largest bird park in the UK.
You can follow the recommended route, or just wander around like I did. I started with the birds near the entrance, including the owls (this area is named after Sir Terry Pratchett) and the parakeets, before moving on to the flamingos and other sea birds.
The Owl Parliament
Along the way I passed kookaburras, peacocks and the gloriously named Tawny Frogmouths.
Baby Tawny Frogmouth
There is a farm right at the back, with rabbits, goats and chickens – there were even a few baby chicks. I missed out on seeing the live show in the theatre as I was a few minutes too late, but was able to watch from outside. I did get to the flight display area in time to see some of the birds of prey in action, which was very entertaining.
I left the penguins till last, as they are my favourites! There are two species of penguins living at Birdworld – African penguins, which live at Penguin Beach, and Humboldt penguins, which can be found at Penguin Island. I was in time to see the Humboldts being fed – they REALLY love their fish.
African penguins at Penguin Beach
Humboldt penguins at Penguin Island
Before I left, I visited Underwater World, the entrance to which is just across from Birdworld. Entrance is included in the price of your ticket. This place has several interesting varieties of fish, and even miniature crocodiles.
I really enjoyed my visit to Birdworld, and if I lived closer I’d seriously consider buying an Annual Pass so that I could visit the penguins regularly. In any case, I certainly plan to visit again at some point.
Address: Holt Pound, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LD
Opening Hours: 10am-6pm
Prices: Adult £15.95, concession £13.95. Cheaper prices apply for children and under 3s are free. Prices are also cheaper off-season when the park is not fully open – check the website for details.