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Port Lympne or Howletts?

(7 Posts)
paisleyleaf Mon 15-Jun-09 21:55:46

Wondering what the difference is.
Is one better?
I've never been to either, but will probably be using my clubcard vouchers for one of these over the summer.

blondissimo Tue 16-Jun-09 07:06:08

Hi I've been to one, but can't remember which one, though it was very good. I managed to find this about it:

"Port Lympne is the larger of the two and situated on a hillside. This means that there is a substantial amount of walking and some very steep inclines to go up and down. Personally it doesn't bother me but I know some people have got stroppy in the past, thinking it was too hard to walk round.

There's a mansion at Port Lympne that you can explore parts of, along with gardens (and an exceptionally long set of stairs!).

Port Lympne also has a safari tour, taken on large army trucks. You get driven around the park, through rhino and past elephant paddocks and into a large game enclosure. This is the only way to see some of the animals, including the giraffe herd. It costs an extra £5 for adults (can't remember the children's price). You get off of the tour at the top of the park so you can explore their insect/reptile house.

Howletts is smaller and flatter therefore easier to get around. The mansion there is not available to the public. It's unique feature is a walk through lemur enclosure where you have the little chaps run around you.

Animal wise, they are fairly similar. Both have tigers, gorillas (although the enclosure at Port Lympne is more impressive), rhino, virtually the same breeds of monkey, elephants, deer, gazelle, wolves and small cats.

Port Lympne houses some animals Howletts doesn't - namely barbary lions, ostrich, giraffe, zebra, meerkats, leopards, red pandas, baboons and a cheetah.

Howletts at the moment have fewer unique animals, but they do have 3 10 month old tiger cubs right now (the ones at Port Lympne are older) as well as a very young elephant."

MrsRecycle Tue 16-Jun-09 07:15:12

Only been to pl (and a few times) - it is very large but a great day out. The safari bus gets booked out very quickly so we've yet to experience it. Everything is well planned out though - toilet/refreshment stops spaced out the park. The mansion is amazing - wonderful views.

I'd recommend taking a buggy for the whining los (my dd2!). A very tiring but rewarding day out - I did do it when pg as well.

chim000 Tue 16-Jun-09 07:16:55

My boyfriend was asking his sister & parents about this the other day to take my 2 boys to one of them. (I'm not from round there so wouldn;t have a clue)

They all agreed that Port Lympne is not worth it. It's unlikely that you will see any animals as it is set out as much more of a safari so animals are so far away that they will be specks in the distance. They were also not that keen on Howletts either. They said it was not great, but better than Port Lympne.

SheDancesTheFlamingo Tue 16-Jun-09 08:25:34

Howletts is where the tigers eat the keepers and Port Lympne is where the chimpanzees attack the visitors

Although that was a long time ago and, frankly, in both cases the victims (or at least their parents) were more to blame than the animals.

We used to live ten minutes from Port Lympne and had a season ticket. The DCs loved going on the 'safari' through the enclosures. And the view from the top of the hill down to Romney Marsh and the sea beyond is breathtaking.

Funnily enough, we used to walk a lot along the canals at the bottom of the hill and on a clear day you could hear the lions roaring but not see the voice.
Heaven only knows what the non-locals thought if they were unaware there was a zoo nearby!

eandh Tue 16-Jun-09 08:29:54

go to both at least once a year howletts good for walking children as everything quite close together and they forget how much they are wlaking, we tried walking port lympne once and we got knackered so we always use the trucks for the tour and then walk around the gorillas/rhinos etc so all depends on how old your children are and if you and them are okay walking smile

PS dd1 who is 4.10 loves port lympne dd2 who is 2.5 seems to ejoy howletts more!!

paisleyleaf Tue 16-Jun-09 12:26:23

Thanks for all that, it's really helped smile
I think Howletts for what we want then, (although it sounds like I'd personally like Port Lympbe more).
There's not much in it in the drive from where we are.

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