Thursday, November 14, 2013

Manor House Wildlife Park St Florence and Swansea Museum's Collections Centre

Below is my "Days Out" column from The Weekend supplement in the Saturday, November 2, 2013, issue of the South Wales Evening Post.

------------------------------------- DAYS OUT! WITH RICHARD THOMAS ...IF THE WEATHER'S GOOD Manor House Wildlife Park is a conservation-led zoo set in 52 acres of Pembrokeshire Parkland. Inside you can find endangered species from all corners of the world in a natural and beautiful corner of Wales. Animals at the park include Wallabies, Pygmy goats, Brazillian tapir, Sulcata tortoises, Przewalski horses, Rhino, Llama and lots more. Entry prices are: EUR11.95 for adults and EUR8.95 for children ages 4 to 17. Children 3 and under visit for free. For more information visit: WHERE? The park is located just 2 miles from Tenby's beautiful beaches and 3 miles from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. WHY? Setting the park apart from others are the special VIP experiences, where visitors can come face-to-face with rare species in their natural surroundings with professional zoo-keepers who know them well. There are 4 experiences to choose from. Be a Keeper, where you can work alongside the Manor House keepers behind the scenes, helping them feed and care for the animals; Look a Rhino in the Eye, where you can see a rhino's home and bedroom; Hire a Keeper, where groups of up to 30 people can get a tour of the park from a zookeeper; and last but not least, Meet the Species, where you can choose between meeting Meekats, Gibbons and Tapirs. WHEN TO GO? All of the VIP experiences are available anytime except for Look a Rhino in the eye, which is only available on Wednesdays. CONTACT? Pre-booking is essential on all the VIP experiences. To book a place phone: 01646 651201. HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE? Until the end of November the park will be open every day between 10am and 5pm. With so many different rare species to see, you'll want to spend the whole day at the park. WHO WILL ENJOY IT? Children especially will enjoy seeing the animals in their natural habitat, but the park's Wild Welsh Zoo has something for everyone. WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? Kids will enjoy the wildlife trail and can also have fun in the secure indoor Hay Play area. HOW DO I GET THERE? Manor House Wildlife Park is on the B4318 Sageston to Tenby Road, at the edge of the floral village of St Florence, just two miles from Tenby. For sat-nav users the address and postcode is: Manor House Wildlife Park, St Florence, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70 8RJ. WHERE CAN I PARK? There is a free parking available. LUNCH? With its network of intimate tree-shaded walkways and wide open spaces the park is perfect for picnics on a warm day. There is also the Snack Shack and Real-Food Caf . ANYTHING ELSE IN THE AREA? Nearby is Heatherton World of Activities. Open all year round this family leisure park has a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, with something for the whole family to enjoy. Admission to the park is free as visitors only pay for what they want to do. Visit ...IF THE WEATHER'S BAD Swansea Museum's Collections Centre is a fascinating place to visit because it houses the museum's reserve collection, which include some extraordinary exhibits from Swansea's industrial and maritime past. Some of the most popular items in the collection at Landore are the old vehicles like a traveller's van, lorries, a fire engine and also boats. Admission is free. Visit: WHERE? The Collections Centre is housed in a historically important building on the former Hafod/Morfa Copper Works site in Landore, parts of which date back to 1830. The former copper rolling shed and warehouse building has been transformed into a public-access store and collections centre. The building is now home to the reserve collections of both Swansea Museum and the Maritime and Industrial Museum, providing more opportunities for the public to see some wonderful gems from history. In the mid-19th century the Hafod/Morfa copper-smelting complex was the centre of world copper smelting activity. Little evidence remains of this industrial past, however, save for the buildings on the site. WHY? Some of the most popular items in the collection at Landore are the old vehicles like a traveller's van, lorries, a fire engine and also boats. There are even two lifeboats; the Naomi Beatty and the William Gammon. The later was gifted to the museum in 1992 and was named in memory of the coxswain of the Mumbles lifeboat, who lost his life along with the other seven crew members on April 23rd, 1947 whilst attempting to rescue the crew of the Samtampa. WHEN TO GO? Swansea Museum Collections Centre opens to visitors every Wednesday between 10am to 4pm. CONTACT? Phone 01792 653763 HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE? Set aside at least an hour. WHO WILL ENJOY IT? Anyone with an interest in Swansea's maritime & industrial will enjoy a visit to the centre. The collection from the former Maritimethe museum's 3 floating exhibits kept at the Marina; and The Tramshed on Dylan Thomas Square, also at the Marina, which displays memorabilia from the old street trams of Swansea.

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