So much for the forecast, which had predicted dry weather. Having set off for Beale Park in the expectation of a sunny day, it promptly started raining the moment we arrived. (Fortunately, it did soon stop and there wasn’t much more than the occasional drizzle until after we’d left.)
We thought we’d give Beale Park a go on the basis that (a) it’s barely 20 minutes from our front door and (b) we were hoping Zac might be interested in some of the animals there.
In the event, although he did briefly show some interest in the alpacas and some of the owls (sadly, his favourite was a large, carved wooden owl which he insisted on hugging repeatedly), he was far more interested in the steam train, the sandpit and the long ramp leading up to the raccoon enclosure. And generally running around everywhere with a new-found burst of speed, usually in the opposite direction to the one we wanted him to go in. Like this …
Anyway, at least Heather and I enjoyed the animals. Even though a lot of them were hiding from the chilly, damp weater, it was good to see a smattering of varied and reasonably exotic animals there. And you can’t really go wrong with meerkats, of course. (The highlight of my day was passing a small child, maybe four years old, peering over the wall of the meerkat enclosure singing the music from the comparethemarket.com TV advert: ‘Compare the meeer-kat, dot com’. You can’t buy comedy like that.)
So, we saw some animals. Zac got to run around lots and burn off some of his seemingly limitless reserves of energy. A good day was had by all.
One grouse, though. Beale Park allows you to buy an annual pass to encourage regular visits, which is obviously a good thing. But your season ticket doesn’t entitle you to entry on bank holidays, as one disgruntled mother in front of us discovered. Discriminating against your loyal customers doesn’t really strike me as very clever marketing policy!