Extremely luxurious accommodation at Longleat Safari Park
Longleat’s accommodations are a fairytale retreat for weary parents; a heartwarming sweet grandma dressed in wolf clothes, waiting to kiss you after a long day with the kids. Most parents will tell you that vacations can often not be like vacations when traveling with children. It is not a question of whether they have had a good day or a bad day. The best, most fulfilling day with your kids will probably leave you as tired as the worst day. For the most part, when we choose vacations for our children, as parents, we sacrifice what we would otherwise have chosen for ourselves: practicality for luxury; convenience over magnificence.
Guardian’s House at Longleat, photo courtesy of Ed Schofield
But the smart folks at Longleat have tapped into an idea that is both stupendous and simple: luxurious, adult-friendly, yet kid-friendly accommodation in a family park.
Nestled under the branches of a velvety green forest canopy, Deerkeeper’s House is Longleat’s newest on-site accommodation and, so far, the best-kept secret. After a long, fun but exhausting day at Longleat Safari Park, families can retreat to a quiet cabin in the woods, put their exhausted children to bed, and put their feet up on the plush Mulberry furniture, among the themed decor. luxury wood, 18th century house classified II with three bedrooms in the woods.
Deerkeeper’s House in Longleat, photo courtesy of Ed Schofield
From the moment you walk through the (admittedly low) front door, you can feel the weight of the sugar-laden park day fatigue and sticky fingers start to dissipate. In its place, you find yourself transported into the lavish luxury of a beautifully decorated home. A log fire, leather sofas and soft cushions await you. Once the children are asleep, the only sound is the quiet trees, the perching birds and the distant roar of the thunder lions.
The kitchen is fully equipped for whatever you want. For an overnight stay only, I doubt cooking comes to mind, but if it does, all you need is there to make the simplest dish or a luxurious whole house feast with Le Creuset, Denby and Joseph devices ready and waiting. The accommodation has its own concierge, who can recommend local restaurants, take out or anything else – help is just a message. Each reservation is greeted with a basket of sweet and savory treats produced by the estate. A delicious continental breakfast is also included and it is possible to add a variety of other foods when booking. I highly recommend the afternoon tea, which includes a nice platter of sweets and sandwiches, or even champagne.
Afternoon tea basket
The house has three richly decorated bedrooms, the largest of which houses an incredibly beautiful and opulent copper tub where you can take care of all your worries. The beds are stacked with soft pillows, and the mattresses are thick and sleepy. There is a large screen TV for cozy nights by the fire; a large dining table in the kitchen and another in the garden for long-missed adult dinners.
The Copper Bath at Deerkeeper’s House, photo courtesy of Ed Schofield
We woke up to the distant sound of other roaring lions, and an eagle dove across the lawn as I sat with my morning coffee. I couldn’t have imagined a more wonderful start to the day.
Prices start at £ 500 a night for Deerkeeper’s House, a real bargain considering everything that’s included – each night includes two days of park entry for each guest, plus exclusive access to the estate after the hours. Business hours. There are a number of alternative and equally luxurious accommodation, some of which overlook the park itself.
The view from the keeper’s house
Two days is the perfect amount of time to explore the park in depth but without hassle, but I would recommend at least two nights and three days for a truly magnificent treat. Longleat Park is a true wonder – a safari park lost in time. They have the only hippos and sea lions living together in the world and it is a fascinating and surreal experience to see them together. Longleat has a more interactive approach than any other safari park I’ve visited – you can hand feed deer, sea lions and lorikeets and you can walk around the meerkat enclosure and make funny faces at the monkeys as they climb onto your car (optional).
Feeding the Lorikeets at Longleat Park
The whole park is a fabulous mix of the odd things: a traditional stately home next to a children’s safari park, a traditional English lake home to the world’s only freshwater California sea lions. Perhaps it was this mentality of associating the unexpected, no doubt conveyed by the eccentric late Lord Bath himself, that inspired the idea of luxury accommodation at a children’s attraction. Whatever the reason, we parents should be thankful that we finally have a guilt-free place where we can indulge ourselves while pampering our children.