Lions, Tigers & Bears, Oh My!

A few days ago John showed us around his pad.

A charming fellow with thick black hair, dark brown eyes and a serious love of animals, naturally he stole my heart in an instant.

Dressed in his shined leather shoes and bright red duffle coat, he jumped up into the Land Rover and we set off on our grand tour.

His expression almost exactly mirroring mine…

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John’s pad just so happens to be Longleat Safari Park.

A menagerie of ferocious, beautiful creatures, set in five thousand acres of park land, in South West England.

We used to go when I was little and my favourite part was always the tiger den.

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Though the lions are pretty special too.

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They weave amongst the cars, coming close enough for you to hear them purr… or was that a growl?

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Just close enough for us to roar at!

Right John?

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Some stretch out and sunbathe,

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while others show off to the tourists.

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The monkeys were always my little brother’s favourites.

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But you have to keep the windows rolled up, or they’ll leap into the car.

And one monkey is more than enough.

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We met Julian.

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And the giraffes.

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Who blew kisses from up high.

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Sending our guide to sleep.

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Just in time to miss the camels, and their lovely lady lumps.

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Mr & Mrs Ostrich swaggered over to say hello, like two leggy feather dusters.

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One is grey, one is black.

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Which means one is camouflaged in the day, and one at night, so they can take it in turns to rest!

Or just gang up together to scare snappers away…

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After a spot of lunch, we moved on to the smaller critters.

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Porcupines, bear cats,

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meerkats,

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and hungry marmosets.

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Who we were more than happy to feed lunch to!

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Just as I though the day had peeked and that there was no way it could get any better…

… John’s mum, my friend Emma, said two magical words.

Baby.

Penguins.

We ducked into their enclosure, slipped on gloves (to protect the chicks) and introduced ourselves.

They immediately scurried under us for cuddles!

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Look at them!

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So fluffy and helpless!

I quite literally cannot believe that I have cuddled a penguin. I almost have to pinch myself looking back at the pictures.

We stayed as long as we could with the little’uns, before moving on, under the sea.

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Where more creatures were begging to be stroked!

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We stepped into the lorikeet aviary, which I took to with all the grace of a Disney Princess.

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But quickly got used to the friendly little fellas!

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Emma found herself an admirer.

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Who said “You have just goat to try the scones!”

So we went back to the house for tea.

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The cherry on top of one of the greatest days I have ever experienced.

You can book pretty much the same experience (minus the gorgeous tour guide, John) and even more for yourself, online here.

I’m just putting this out there… but wrap a day like that up and put it under the tree? You’ll officially win Christmas.

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  • Oh my gosh, there are so many fantastic photos here! The picture of the goat may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, it’s face is so precious! And those baby penguins are so adorable, I can’t handle it!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  • What a fab day out, you got some fabulous shots of the lions!
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Waaaah this is just too much cuteness! I really wish I’d visited the safari park when I went to Longleat Center Parcs earlier this year now!!

    http://www.lovedbylaura.com xx

  • The penguins are just the best 🙂

    SilverSpoon London

  • Jas

    Gahhh these photos are just absolutely magical, I love them all. I’ve been wanting to go to Longleat for such a long time. It’s on the list to go to with friends in the new year most definitely!

    Jas | Jas Poole Blog | photography & lifestyle

  • The baby penguins are ridiculously adorable!! It sounds like you had the most amazing day spotting wildlife!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

  • A stunning mom with a gorgeous sun. That guy is going to break some hearts when he’s older!

  • parina

    where is your sweater from? its beautiful!

  • Safari parks are the way forward – zoos just make me sad. So jealous you cuddled a penguin! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

  • I think I would be terrified to be so close to lions and tigers! Though up north, we used to sit and watch bears from our car at the garbage dump, so I guess maybe it’s not that different. The penguins are so cute!

  • Are they not cold?? As much as I love the fact that you can see such stunning animals in close proximity and in England, it makes me so sad that they are not roaming their natural habitat.

  • Katie

    That looks like such a fun experience being able to get up close with the animals! We have a similar thing here in San Diego, and it is so much fun!

    Katie

    http://www.lamiabellavita.com

  • Great photos, especially the parakeet ones! Seems like a perfect day out, will keep it in mind next time I visit London! 🙂

  • What a fun day! A safari seems like the perfect way to keep these beautiful animals safe from poachers without confining them to cages like they do in the zoo. Can’t wait for my next trip to the UK so I can visit!

    http://misolecitoblog.blogspot.com

  • Queenie Lee

    Awesome photos, looks like you had the best time! The baby penguins are so cute x

  • Wow Rosie,this looks AMAZING!! I’d love to visit there. The Baby penguins oh my! Where is Silver May’s coat from please? xXx

  • CB

    I love Longleat!! We used to go ALL THE TIME as children but I don’t think I’ve been in 10 years?! I remember loving how open it was but if I remember correctly, we were in our own car the the monkeys stole the windscreen wipers!!

    Definitely on my New Year to do list to go back – thanks for reminding me!

    CB x
    http://www.thecblife.blogspot.co.uk

  • Love the photos. Looks like you had an amazing time there!x

    chapter-fifty-nine.blogspot.co.uk

  • I enjoyed this post so much! What a beautiful experience♥

    summerdaisy.net

  • I think this post was slightly mis- sold…. where are the bears?!? 😀 love all these photos of the animals- this place looks amazing

    http://www.champagne-lifestyle.com/

  • Annabelle Jones

    Hi Rosie! This looks absolutely incredible, such a fun experience! I have been thinking of getting in touch with you for some time, and am not sure the best way to do it (I know you are amazing, and actually do check your comments, that’s incredible!). I have been following your blog for about 5+ years now (5?!?!) and just absolutely love what you do. You really are an inspiration to live a better life, and your blog can just always bring a smile to my face! Anyway, I just graduated college (Uni, I’m an American), and am taking a gap year before I begin medical school. To celebrate the last year I will have money/free time for a long time I am taking a month trip to Europe, as I have never been. I’m going to London for about a week (along with Paris, and somewhere undecided in Italy) and am hoping you might be able to give me a touch of advice. I really want to get the real sense of London, but with limited time and money I am not sure which incredible places to pick out of all of your blog posts, so I am hoping you might have some ideas (and perhaps ideas about Italy/France too!). If you are too busy, I completely understand. You must get inundated with requests, but I had to try! If you do, on the off chance, have a bit of free time I would love to hear from you (or any other Londoner/Parisian/Italian that reads this!). Hopefully this links to my Facebook, where you could direct message me, or if not my email is annabellej@middlebury.edu. Thank you so much, and once again, really one of your biggest fans in Boston! Let me know if you are ever in town!

    xx Annabelle

  • How do you pick just one favourite animal – oh wait penguins. Done 😉

  • mycitymylondon

    I think I will wait until my little one is a little older to experience this one! Takes me back to my younger years when my parents took us on a safari:)

    http://www.mycitymylondon.me

  • Wow those lion photos are fantastic! You did justice to those majestic beasts 🙂

  • Wow the lions are so up close! Looks so awesome!

    http://natalyg.co.uk

  • Ruth Xu
  • LOVE a good old day trip to the zoo – like instantly being a kid all over again.

    https://theeighthours.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/christmas-carrot-cake-cranberry-bites/

  • There are just no words. All my childhood dreams just came true in your blog post. John is the luckiest little boy ever!

    Katie <3

    http://www.KALANCHOE.co.uk

  • It must have been amazing! The lavender fields look so good!
    Lucie xx

    http://thefrenchpier.blogspot.com/

  • Ashley Christabelle

    Oh my gosh, I’m dying to go there! Can’t imagine how great the smell of the lavender is as you stroll through. x

    http://www.ashrealasitgets.blogspot.com

  • Hayley May

    amazing!

  • Stunning photos, I bet it’s even better in person!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • Athena Politou

    I’ve been waiting for that France post! My gosh, I think I can even smell it from here! Btw I don’t think you could’ve picked a better outfit to go with the scenery! Giving us some major inspo as always! x

    http://fashionistalooks.blogspot.com/

  • Ooh which drone did you get? I really want to get one but I can’t decide which level to go for. Do you use it with your phone or a camera? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! x

  • Oh my gosh, so beautiful! Definitely putting this down on my bucket list 🙂

    Heather x http://www.atelierofstyle.co.uk

  • I can only imagine how amazing that lavender field must have smelt! And I can’t believe French bees ‘booz’ haha, awesome! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • Rach

    The lavender fields look amazing! It is my dream to see it. Your gingham dress is also very cute! I love the style of it.

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  • The Sunday Mode

    The ice cream definitely caps this adventure off perfectly but I don’t think anything could beat those lavender fields. They look absolutely spectacular.

    http://www.thesundaymode.com

  • Amellia Mae

    How dreamy. Most inspired now to plan a trip to beautiful Provence. Loved the video too

  • Haddy Jeng

    Lavender is one of my favourite flowers and fragrances so I would have loved to be there!

  • Such beautiful photos. France looking sososo beaut!

    GirlNotLivingTheDream

  • These have to be some of them most incredibly beautiful pictures you’ve given us, yet. Just stunning Rosie 🙂

    Katie // Words by Katie

  • Lavender is one of my favourite scents. The Lavender fields were one of my favourite parts of my trip to Provence. Love the drone footage, so many bloggers/vloggers are getting drone-savvy at the mo. Provence is one of my places top of my list to retire to!
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Cet article est belle sur la vraie Provence de la France! I could not have describe it any better.  Such a sweet and beautiful little trip to the Provence.  I always love your little traveling stories and the fabulous outfits to go along with.  Fashion meets the nature of beauty!  You go Mademoiselle Rosie!   🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia 

  • Nicki George

    Oh my goodness this is gorgeous. I love the way you captured this whole day. Thank you for sharing this little slice of heaven.
    XO
    Nicole | http://www.bynicolegeorge.com

  • Those fields look gorgeous! I love the smell of fresh lavender.

  • Little Miss Notting Hill

    So beautiful, Provence is one of my very favourite places in the world and this is a beautiful capture of the infamous lavender views 🙂 Love the sound of the old man and his stall too!

    Littlemissnottinghill.com

    xx

  • Oh the bee’s eye view <3

    I was reading this post while drinking my awesome, iced lavender tea 🙂

  • So many great photos! Loving the close-up on the sunflowers, the lighting in the one where you’re sitting on the steps and holding lavender, and also the fifth-to-last photo 🙂 The lavender field looks unreal, and the market looks like a fun place bustling with life 🙂 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Such a wonderful scenery, I’m in love! The smell of lavander is pure perfection, it’s one of my favourite 🙂

    xx, Matea
    http://www.smilesnapsparkle.com

  • Wow the photos of all of that lavender are incredible!

  • Those lavender fields look gorgeous! They barely look real!

  • I absolutely loved our visit to a lavender farm last year (it wasn’t in provence, but Hitchin has a pretty good one too haha). I’d actually love to go to France and visit the huge lavender fields there though, they look amazing!
    xo April | April Everyday

  • Jen

    Even the sounds in that video are beautiful! Lovely photos and story. And lovely dress! x

    Jen | affecionada

  • This looks beautiful! Plus I am loving that dress – perfect for summer! Thank you for sharing!

    http://www.blushandbordeaux.com

  • Those purple fields look like a dream, so neat! Oh, and linking to the Google maps location of the stall? That was absolutely precious, thank you!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Such a beautiful place! It looks so calm an laid back.

    As always your photos are amazing and that dress is so sweet!

    B x

  • Oh, these photos are stunning, Rosie. All the flowers! And your gorgeous dress! J’ADORE. <3

  • Seriously stunning, the lavender fields are beautiful

    Mel x

    mediamarmalade.com

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Looks fantastic!!

    Rxx

    http://www.peppermintdolly.com

  • So so beautiful and that video is utterly enchanting. Did you get the DJI or did you go for a different model? x

  • oh how lovely!! What a place to visit… a beautiful feast for the senses! Your pictures are beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  • Sophia W.

    So beautiful – the little lavender shop looked so cute!

    Sophia W. | http://www.themissw.com