Escape to the natural living world of primates, ponies and cattle that dwell in the south of England on our animal kingdom break. In the unchanged ancient landscape of the New Forest National Park, ponies and cattle freely graze the land; whilst deeper in the forest, deer browse beneath canopies of mighty oak and beech. Across the other side of Poole Harbour in Dorset, over 230 rescued and endangered primates inhabit a woodland sanctuary, where they can all enjoy the company of their own kind in a safe and natural environment. Our special three-day break takes us to the New Forest where you will explore William Conqueror’s hunting ground, before we spend a day witnessing the happy outcome for many chimpanzees, gibbons, orangutans and other primates at the Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset. Heartened by the sterling work undertaken by the Monkey Centre, we unwind on our final day in the seaside resort of Bournemouth. This is a wonderful opportunity to get close to the natural world and witness some real life monkey-business!
Day 1: New Forest
Your holiday begins when you board our private coach in the morning and head for the New Forest National Park to enjoy a scenic tour of this 900 year old living landscape. Our coach tour incorporates a visit to Lyndhurst with free time to visit the New Forest Centre with it’s life-size reconstructions and touch-screen technology; it is ideal resource for learning about the history and heritage of the New Forest (entrance not included, children under 16 enter for free). An indulgent cream tea taken in one of the pretty tea rooms should also be high on your agenda whilst visiting Lyndhurst. Our coach tour continues as we encounter natural scenes unchanged by the modern world where ponies and cattle wander freely and command right of way over road users. The open heaths of the forest are ideal basking grounds for adders and grass snakes, and the many pools dotted around the area make ideal conditions for frogs, toads and lizards. As we tour the region, you may spot familiar tourist landmarks such as Beaulieu Motor Museum and Buckler's Hard village where ships for Nelson's fleet were built. If you look very carefully through the trees, you may even be fortunate enough to spot a deer. At the end of a delightful afternoon's nature spotting in the unspoilt New Forest, our coach ends it’s journey at our hotel arriving in time for your included evening meal.
Day 2: Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre
After your included breakfast, we travel to the fascinating and inspirational Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre at Wool, near Wareham, Dorset, for our included entrance. Many of the residents of Monkey World have been rescued from sad former lives and now hang out in natural family groups across the park's 65 acres. Within the family groups we discover chimpanzees, gibbons and orangutans along with other primates including capuchin monkeys, marmosets, woolly monkeys, squirrel monkeys, ring-tailed lemurs and stump-tailed macaques. Some residents have been born at the centre, as part of international breeding programmes for endangered species. Most of their parents however have a sad story to relate with backgrounds involving laboratories, circuses and dubious photographers on Spanish beaches. Indeed, the mission of Monkey World is to assist governments to stop the smuggling of primates from the wild in Africa and Asia. Their work may indeed be already familiar to you via TV programmes such as the BBC's ''Animal Hospital'' and ''Monkey Business'', which has relaunched as “Monkey Life” a continuing series on the television. Try to catch some of the excellent half-hourly keepers' talks to learn the most about the work of Monkey World. There are café facilities within the park for you to take a break. Maybe before we leave, you may be tempted to adopt a monkey or ape yourself. At the end of a satisfying day learning about the good work of Monkey World, we return to our hotel for your included evening meal.
Day 3: Bournemouth
Following your included breakfast we check out of our hotel and travel to Bournemouth for free time. This is a resort that offers a touch of the continent on England's south coast. Seven miles of golden, clean award-winning sands await for those who just wish to unwind in a deckchair. There's also 200 acres of award-winning beautiful Victorian gardens to survey. Down in the Lower Gardens, you can even take to the skies in a giant helium-filled balloon to gain amazing panoramic views over the Channel and surrounding countryside. Continuing our animal kingdom theme, you may choose to discover the mysteries of the deep with a visit to the Oceanarium (not included). Maybe the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum may appeal with its invitation to step back in time. If a browse around the shops is more appealing, Bournemouth's Victorian arcades shouldn't disappoint; in fact wherever you go, stylish boutiques, antique treasure troves and High Street names all comfortably rub shoulders along Bournemouth's streets. During the afternoon, you re-board our coach and continue the return journey, arriving back in your local area in the mid to late evening.
Private coach travel throughout
Two nights’ dinner, bed and cooked breakfast
Entrance to Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre
Visits to Lyndhurst and Bournemouth
Tour of the New Forest
Services of our tour driver