We decided to have a day trip to Beale Park recently. We headed over there on a Sunday morning to enjoy the kids activities and the animals.
The address if you need it is – Lower Basildon, Reading RG8 9NW
Easy enough to find, with it being signposted from the M4 motorway. Within 40 minutes of leaving home, we had arrived, parked, and was heading to the entrance. The current prices (July / August 2016) are £10 for an Adult, and £8 for a child. Under 2’s are free. This was frustrating as our little one is two years and one week old. Therefore, as a result, we had to stump at the £8.
The first thing we did when we arrived was head for the Train station. You get one free ride with your entrance ticket, then additional rides are £1 per person, per ride. The train journey took about 15 minutes, and went from one end of the park to the other. We got glimpses of a few animals along the way, if nothing else it helps to get your bearings.
On exiting the train, Max, our little boy, wanted to get straight back on. Thus resulting in the first minor meltdown of a 2 year old when we wouldn’t let him. “We haven’t paid £28, plus a £1 per ride, to ride around on a small train all day Max” we said. He promptly ignored our pleadings and only calmed down a bit when we showed the train leaving without him.
We headed off to one of the lakes nearby, the biggest in the park. 20p got you some pellet type food to feed the ducks with. We all enjoyed throwing it in and watching them peck and quack it out for the tidbits. After a couple of handfuls, we decided to move on. It must be “Don’t agree with mummy and daddy day” today, as again, Max didn’t want to cooperate.
Here is one of only two photos of Max with his hat on. Shortly after this was taken, and we guess in protest of us wanting to move on, he donated his hat to the ducks. It was fished out before it could float away, but was suitably wet, not to be worn again that day.
The next few hours during our day trip to Beale Park before we stopped for lunch consisted of us wandering around, looking at all the animals, and taking as many photos as possible, with one eye in the view finder, the other on Max! Animals consisted of things like Mongoose, Wallabies, Greater Rhea, Owls, and Meerkats, to name a few. A full list of the animals can be found here
One thing they had, which we enjoyed but was a little out of place in the park, was an outhouse / building displaying old toys from the last 50 or so years. Some I remember, some I didn’t, but it was interesting to look through and see how things have changed.
One day, when Max is a little older, we will bring him back here, just to show him how things have changed over the last 60 years, and compare the toys he plays with, to the old toys we did. Toy Soldiers, Train sets, Dinky toys, to name but a few!!
We continue our Day Trip to Beale Park
After the look around the toys, and the worst Max Meltdown of the day when he didn’t want to leave, we headed to the café for lunch. Reasonably priced, and a decent selection, ranging from sandwiches, cakes and hot meals, with kids lunch boxes too. If little ones get bored of the animals and walking around, there is plenty of other things there to keep them entertained.
Plenty of things for the kids to do. An outdoor park, a paddling pool, indoor play area with soft play, and our favourite, I mean Max’s favourite, a Little Tikes outdoor village, with cars, houses, a road and even a petrol pump. A fake one obviously. I think he had the most fun here, despite toppling out the wrong side of his Tikes car, and having to be rescued!
After this trauma, we carried on with our walk, taking us around some well kept garden, Italian and Japanese style, very peaceful, not may animals in this part, but a nice walk nonetheless.
Would we recommend a day trip to Beale Park? We probably would, so if you fancy it, and want to book tickets, then click here to go straight to their website.
Here are a few of my favourite photographs from the day, with all of them in the slideshow at the bottom of the page. Enjoy..and don’t forget to follow the blog for more from Snaps & Stories.