DAYS out are go, go, go as theme parks, zoos, castles and other attractions in England open up again.
As lockdown eased yesterday, they are ready for visitors – with measures such as reduced numbers, social-distancing and one-way routes.
Check out visitengland.com/knowbeforeyougo for hints to keep you safe.
Then plan a day out with the help of 20 tip-top ideas from TRISHA HARBORD.
ZSL London and ZLS Whipsnade zoos are opening up more of their areas from Saturday.
They are limiting numbers but almost all the animals can now be viewed.
See critically endangered gorillas, tigers, lions and giraffes as well as penguin colonies.
Whipsnade in Bedfordshire also has Asian elephants roaming 30 acres of paddocks. Takeaway food and drink is available and there is plenty of space for a picnic.
- Open: Daily from 10am till 2pm or 2pm till 6pm.
- Price: Adult from £24, child £15.60, under-3s free. See zsl.org.
2. ON SAFARI
LIONS, tigers and naughty monkeys are all waiting for you at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
As well as driving through the park, you can now walk among the animals.
Stroll through Monkey Temple as marmosets and tamarins scamper around, and discover the newest furry residents in Koala Creek. Guests are advised to stay “one zebra apart”!
The Longleat railway, Rockin Rhino ride, maze, farmyard and gardens are open. Food is available too.
- Open: Daily — must- book slots 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm.
- Price: Adult £25.45, child £19.08, under-3s free. See longleat.co.uk.
3. FLYING AGAIN
YOU might not be flying to the tropics – but can still have a tropical experience at Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm.
Thanks to a team of workers who have stayed throug lockdown, the butterflies, birds, fish, animals and plants have been cared for and the attraction can now reopen.
They have also created a Mayan display, recreating artefacts to celebrate the link with Belize, Central America, where many of the butterflies come from.
Enjoy the wildlife garden and see giant silkmoths and some of the world’s largest caterpillars.
- Open: Daily from July 6, 9am-6pm.
- Price: Adult £7.25, child £6.25, under-3s free. See butterflyfarm.co.uk.
4. STUNNING CAVES
GO deep underground and enjoy a kaleidoscope of colours.
The limestone caves of Wookey Hole in Somerset’s Mendip Hills have become even bigger with Chamber 20 — where a recently blasted tunnel leads to more caverns.
And there’s more fun — a fairy garden, castle, life-size dinosaurs and 30ft-high Kong Kong.
- Open: Daily from July 11, 10am-5pm.
- Price: Adult: £15, child £12, under-3s free. Details at wookey.co.uk.
5. SEAL SANCTUARY
DO not go to Skegness without visiting Natureland Seal Sanctuary. The family-run business — which rescues abandoned seals from the Lincolnshire coast — is a fantastic sanctuary.
The attraction, which relies on ticket sales and donations, managed to look after the seals and other animals including penguins, meerkats, alpacas and reptiles during lockdown.
There is also a Floral Palace housing a rainforest, cacti, flowers and tropical butterflies — and an aquarium.
6. CANAL BOATING
HIRE a boat and tootle along a canal, exploring the countryside, packing a picnic or stopping off at a canalside pub.
Waterway holiday firm Drifters offers boats equipped with kitchen and bathroom facilities from 14 locations in England. Full tuition is included for those new to boating.
From the boat yard at Gayton on the Grand Union Canal in Northamptonshire, it takes an hour to cruise to the village of Stoke Bruerne.
Once there, moor up and follow the woodland walk trail, visit the Canal Museum and the Boat Inn.
- Open: Daily.
- Price: Boat for up to 12 people from £129. See drifters.co.uk.
7. JURASSIC CRUISE
YOU might not see dinosaurs but you will learn a lot about rocks and fossils as you cruise along Dorset’s Jurassic coast.
Hop on the City Cruises boat at Poole Quay and sail past the Sandbanks peninsula and beautiful Brownsea Island, a National Trust site and the largest of Poole Harbour’s islands.
You’ll also see the Isle of Purbeck and Studland Bay while the captain gives you the history, which dates back 185 million years. Stop over at Swanage pier before returning.
- Open: Daily at 10.30am, 1pm…
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