Trentham Monkey Forest: Unique to the UK! The only place you can walk amongst 140 free roaming Barbary macaques in 60 acres of beautiful English forest, open today from 10am to 5pm, south of Stoke-on-Trent on the A34 towards Stone, near Trentham Shopping Village.
Walking in the forest you are transported into a different world through close contact with the monkeys. Enjoy the laughable antics of the infants and juveniles at play. Marvel at the bond between mothers and babies and be amazed at the way the monkeys resolve their differences through alliances and friendships. Guides are on the path to tell you about the monkeys’ behaviour and to make sure you have an exciting day at Monkey Forest.
Trentham Monkey Forest includes the Jungle Shop selling monkey themed gifts and toys and the Banana Cafe serving home-made soups, daily specials, ice-creams, baguettes and paninis. A large picnic area and two playgrounds are also available.
The Jungle shop sells a huge range of monkey themed gifts and toys for all ages.
Disabled toilet and two nappy change facilities available on site.
A microwave is available for milk warming.
From the M6: exit 15, take the A500 towards Stoke and leave at the exit A34 towards Stone. Go straight over the roundabout to The Trentham Estate and we are the next roundabout on the right – look out for the brown ‘monkey forest’ signs. From the M1: exit 23a or 24a and turn onto the A50 to Stoke on Trent. Follow signs to Trentham on to the A34. Then follow the brown signs to Monkey Forest. The Entrance is located at The Trentham Estate south entrance on the A34. Postcode for SatNavs ST12 9HR
Most of the park is wheelchair and scooter friendly, a disabled route is signposted. Make sure you bring a camera!
Monkey Forest is a woodland area set in Trentham Estate where monkeys are allowed to roam free and generally do what monkeys do best, play and entertain onlookers.
As you walk through the forest keep an eye out above for Barbary Macaques monkeys in the trees. The path takes you through the forest where you can see the monkeys in their natural habitat. They are free to roam and wander across the paths in front of you, when we were there the males were carrying the babies on their backs and my two kids thought that was absolutely wonderful. The path which is clearly laid out leads you through the forest and to the more open areas where most of the monkeys congregate. You can see the younger monkeys playing in the trees and we spent a good hour watching four ‘youngsters’ having fun with an old tree trunk. They were running along it, jumping on it and sometimes play fighting and pushing each other off it!
The walk is quite steep in places but there is a pushchair/wheelchair friendly route. It is a pleasant walk and not too long, approximately 3/4’s of a mile for the whole route. It leads you through wooded areas and along a stream where the monkeys sometimes go down to drink from.
There are plenty of guides around the forest and they are really informative should you have any questions. They also tend to give advice if you are faced with a monkey that is wanting to cross the path just where you are stood! They know the monkeys inside out and explain the behaviour of the monkeys if they are doing something unusual. There are also signs and plaques dotted around the walk with questions on for the children to answer, with the answers usually found close by.
Within the ‘complex’ is also a picnic area with plenty of tables and grassed areas for you to enjoy. There is also a cafe/restaurant which provides basic meals, snacks and sandwiches which is reasonable priced. Outside there is also a covered dining area which is nice to sit in and enjoy a coffee while the kids run around on the grass or go on the trampolines, for which there is an additional charge.
The toilets are clean and easy to find and the gift shop has plenty of monkey related gifts, all at decent prices.
If you fancy a boatride after the walk around the forest there is a lake located next to the car park which has pleasure crafts on it that take you up to the shopping village at the far end of the lake. If you don’t fancy the boats, the walk along the lake is a nice one but if you feel you have done enough walking you can always take the car to get to the shops and it only takes a very short time to get there.
There is something for everyone at Monkey Forest and if you only have an afternoon to spare it is well worth it.
More details at www.trentham-monkey-forest.com