Last weekend we were fortune enough to visit the wonderful Williamson Park in Lancaster. My husband found this little gem whilst googling for days out with the children. My toddler Aurelia has a fascination with butterflies and so it was their butterfly house that had drawn his attention. We had planned the visit expecting to spend a couple of hours there, however we actually spent a full 6 hours at this magnificent park.
Arriving at the park, Aurelia headed straight for the butterflies. The butterfly house and the other animal attractions are accessed through the gift shop and visitors pay a small entrance fee at the till. (Entrance cost = £3.90 for adults and £2.90 for children over 3). The butterfly house was truly amazing. Much thought and planning had evidently gone into making this a superb visitors centre, yet one in which the animals could still thrive in their natural environment.
Butterflies flourished in the humid climate.
Numerous educational displays explained the life cycle of the butterfly.
To my surprise there was also an abundance of other animals in the butterfly house, including lizards.
The attraction was really well laid out and we did indeed spend a lot of time here studying the animals and exploring the environment.
Mini Beasts and Birds
The mini beasts cave was full of fascinating creatures and was really informative.
Aurelia saw animals she had never encountered before, such as a Scorpion.
A variety of frogs are housed in the cave.
And lizards ….
As well as an abundance of cute little mice ….
And tarantula lairs!
One of my favourite parts of the day was walking through the bird aviary. The birds were timid enough to keep their distance but tame enough to enable us to take some photographs of them. We spent about half an hour in here just watching the beautiful and colourful birds fly around us and make their nests.
I have always loved Meerkats and Williamson park is home to a large number of these funny little animals. They were very much active when we visited, despite the rain.
The Ashton Memorial, completed in 1909, dominates the landscape.
I had no idea how imposing of a structure this was. It really is a splendour to behold.
When we arrived at the park, a wedding party began to arrive. By the beginning of the afternoon, the ceremony was over and the memorial was open to visitors. Aurelia and I climbed the stairs to see views from the higher levels. Morecambe bay and Lancaster Castle can be seen from the first floor of this awe inspiring building.
The interior is just as splendid as the exterior, if not more grand. The details, including the murals adorning the walls are glorious and well worth a photograph or two.
Cafe and Park
A very reasonably priced cafe serving delicious hot food is located in the park. The service here was excellent and the menu offered a large variety of tasty snacks and meals. After enjoying a hearty lunch, Aurelia exhausted herself on one of the park’s two playgrounds.
I then took Aurelia on a most pleasant autumn nature walk.
Many beautiful flowers were in autumnal bloom.
This truly was a cheap and cheerful family day out, costing very little to see so much. Williamson park truly is a gem and one that has become one of our most favourite parks.