Going to see a Monkey in a forest at the Trentham Estate in Stoke on Trent. A fabulous day out for the whole family.
Planning a day out in Stoke with the kids? Read this Monkey Forest Stoke on Trent Review to discover why it should be top of your list.
We’re not massive fans of traditional zoos, caged animals make me sad. I’d much rather see them have the space to roam so a park full of gorgeous Barbary Macaques sounded ideal.
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My Monkey Forest Stoke on Trent Review
Trentham monkey forest is home to 140 free range, endangered Barbary Macaques. You’re free to walk around the paths and watch as the monkeys go about their day, cage and fence free in their beautiful 60 acre home. We watched the monkeys play, feed and nap and totally fell in love with the species.
Piper has in fact fallen for them so hard, she has decided to use them as the subject of this terms homework project on researching animals!
There are two groups of monkeys living at Trentham and they all seem to enjoy their lovely forest environment. They have trees to climb, logs to perch on and a delightful little stream for them to drink from. During our visit over the October half term they had two babies at the forest, they were so sweet to spot. Babies are born in May/June so hopefully they’ll have some more next year.
Are the Monkeys at Trentham friendly?
Having met some rather cheeky monkeys at various places in Asia, I was slightly nervous about getting back amongst them. Think stolen sunglasses, teeth baring and general bad behaviour. The monkeys at Trentham are actually the opposite. They’re pretty unbothered by humans and tend to stay a safe distance. If they do cross the paths or surprise you by jumping out from behind a sign like this one did, they’re totally unaggressive and there were many staff on hand to make sure you didn’t get too close.
They’re obviously well cared for and regularly fed so are not approaching visitors for food. It’s strictly forbidden to feed them. I think that’s probably the main difference between these and the ones at Ubud Monkey Forest, they’re just not used to visitors being the source of food, so they don’t bother. The Monkey forest requests you stay at least a metre away from each monkey and do not touch them.
About Barbary Macaques
We learnt so much at Trentham Monkey Forest, it would be hard to put it all into one blog without getting boring! There are plenty of signs around the park with useful information on how the monkeys play, communicate and where they’re from.
Barbary Macaques are originally from the mountainous regions of Morocco and Algeria in North African. They are the only species of Macaque whose natural habitat is out of Asia. The climate in their remote home means they are perfectly adapted to dealing with both hot and cold climates – ideal for their new home in Staffordshire! They are classed as endangered due to loss of habitat and the monkey pet trade.
These Macaques have no tail, making them better able to survive in cold climates and grow a long, cosy coat during winter months. They have a strong sense of community and groom each other as an expression of friendship more often than for parasites.
Feeding Time at Trentham Monkey Forest
The monkeys at Trentham are fed a wide range of fruit, vegetables, seeds and special pellets. Employees ensure they are fed over a wide area to ensure each monkey gets their share. The monkeys also forage in the vegetation and snack on insects they find around the park.
There are a couple of specific feeding areas around the park and these are really interesting places to stop and watch them feed. It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions if you think of anything you haven’t learnt so far.
Feeding times vary but when we were there, feeding area one was at 1.15pm.
Extra Activities for kids
One of the most interesting parts of our visit was the discovery workshop half way round the walk. The member of staff leading the session was so interesting and informative, we stayed through all her interactive presentations. We practiced our best monkey communication and learnt about their social lives. We saw actual monkey teeth and made prints with monkey feet. Most people walked straight past this section but please do take the time to stop, it’s such a great addition to the visit.
Another great way the monkey forest engages little ones is the adventure quiz you can pick up at the entrance. It’s a combination of a wordsearch, icon Sudoku, space to draw and a quiz you can find the answers to on your way round the forest. A great way to keep the little ones engaged and taking in the information. All staff were happy to chat and help if you needed it.
Where to eat at Trentham Monkey Forest
After your walk around the fenced area of the monkey forest, take a break at the Banana café which has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Serving jacket potatoes, paninis and kids meals for around £5. When the weather’s good, there’s also a food truck near the main entrance, perfect for a drink or ice cream before your visit.
If you want to bring your own picnic, make sure it’s in your bag in a well-sealed container. There are plenty of picnic benches to the right of the main gate on your way out.
Let Your own little Monkeys Play
Don’t rush home after your stroll round the monkey enclosure, the monkey forest has a couple of play areas where kids can practice their best climbing skills. Our favourite was the one closest to the entrance.
This is also where you’ll find the bug hotel, a bird feeding station and a cute hidden walk.
Conservation at Trentham Monkey Forest
This is the part of the monkey forest, Stoke on Trent review I really wanted to cover. Trentham Monkey Forest is passionately committed to the conservation of Barbary Macaques. They work closely with The Barbary Macaque Awareness and Conservation (BMAC) Association to raise awareness of these creatures and have successfully helped reintroduce 600 Barbary Macaques to the wild. The free range nature of the macaques at Trentham Monkey Forest make it the ideal place to study natural behaviours and characteristics of the monkeys.
Special events at the Monkey Forest
We visited over October half term week so the Monkey forest was in full on Halloween mode. The park was brilliantly decorated and so many other activities had been set up to keep the kids entertained.
Piper had great fun getting crafty at the mask making station, playing witches hat Hoopla and reading some spooky stories in the Halloween tent.
Trentham Monkey Forest also hosts other events throughout the year. You can check what’s coming up here.
If you have creative kids then they’re bound to love a visit to Gladstone Pottery Museum, we were able to visit both attractions on the same day and it made for a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor activities.
How long does it take to walk around Trentham Monkey Forest?
This really does depend on any other activities you take part in during your visit. It will probably take an hour to walk round the actual loop but add in some extra time to watch the feeding and take part in the discovery workshops. The whole route is under a mile and a fairly easy walk although there is one fairly steep slope.
As mentioned, there’s plenty else to entertain you at the monkey forest so I recommend at least a full morning or most of the day if the weather’s good and you can bring a picnic.
Whilst you’re at Trentham, I highly recommend a visit to Trentham Gardens, a huge, stunning outdoor space, packed with plays areas, lakeside walks and beautiful gardens to explore. Click here to read about visiting Trentham Estate with kids. Added bonus, your tickets to the Monkey Forest entitle you to £1 off your entrance fee to Trentham Gardens.
How to Get to the Monkey Forest at Trentham
The Monkey Forest is part of the Trentham Estate and easily reached from around the UK, just off the A34. It’s well sign posted from all the major routes. If you’re using a Sat Nav then the best postcode to get you to the car park is ST12 9HR. There’s plenty of onsite, free parking.
The nearest train station to Trentham Monkey Forest is Stoke and a taxi should cost you around £10 each way.
Staying further a field? For Trentham monkey forest, Birmingham is just an hours drive away and London about 3.5 hours drive, or even better, take the train!
How much is it to get into the Monkey Forest?
If you pay at the gate then adult tickets are £9.50 and kids are £7.50. If you think you may visit more than once – and it’s worth it to see how the environment and monkeys change over the seasons then an annual pass is just £30 for adults and £22 for kids.
Opening times for Trentham Monkey Forest
The monkey forest is now closed as the Macaques settle in for winter. It reopens in February half term. Over the summer holidays the park is open between 10am and 6pm. Other times of the year it closes at either 4pm or 5pm. Check the Monkey Forest website to be sure.
Where to stay near Trentham Monkey Forest
My top pick for a stopover if you’re visiting the Monkey Forest with kids is Trentham Estate’s onsite Premier Inn. It’s within walking distance to the Monkey Forest, has loads of free parking and is absolutely great value for families. It’s located right next to Trentham Gardens so you can also make use of their shopping village and many restaurants just outside.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of Trentham Monkey Forest. If you’re looking for kid friendly activities in Stoke on Trent then check out what we thought of our Wedgwood Experience day, it’s mainly undercover so great for rainy days in Staffordshire.
Make sure you pin for later and your next visit to the Monkey Forest at Trentham.
I was visiting the Trentham Monkey Forest as part of my role supporting #mystokestory. An initiative to highlight the many amazing cultural activities Stoke has to offer. This Monkey Forest Stoke on Trent Review was made possible with gifted tickets to the attraction. All opinions are as always my own. I am proud to be an official ambassador of this wonderful campaign, and am really enjoying all the wonderful activities Stoke has to offer. If you’re looking for more fantastic ideas, events and things to do in Stoke make sure you take a look at the Visit Stoke website for inspiration. If you visit somewhere fantastic in Stoke, make sure you use the hashtag #mystokestory to join the community or search the hashtag on social media to find more great events in Stoke on Trent.