Sunday, 29 April 2018

A Short Stay In Port Lympne

During the Easter holidays a couple of weeks ago, my Aunt and Uncle very kindly took both my sister and I away for the night to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, situated in the Kentish countryside.
If you have been a reader of my blog for a while, you will know that I've already been to 2 different towns in Kent, which are Dover (read that post here) and Edenbridge (read that post here) and I loved them both equally, but for different reasons. Some family friends had been to Port Lympne themselves and were convinced that we would love it just as much as they did, so of course we had to plan our visit.

There are a variety of different accommodation options available at the reserve, ranging from glamping to hotels to a treehouse, which is the option that we went for - and wow, am I glad we did.
What I loved the most about the choice we made is that it's completely out of the ordinary compared to anything that you would experience in your day to day life. You only live once and so it would be foolish to let any unique opportunity pass you by, right?

My Aunt and Uncle stayed in the main bedroom (of course) whilst my sister and I shared the second one. It was really nice to actually spend some quality time in a relaxing environment with some of my favourite people, because it's not something that we get to do that often, as we all have busy schedules, but we definitely created memories that I'm sure will last a lifetime.

When we first arrived and parked the cars, we dropped off our bags near the reception and went to go and explore a large part of the park by foot. We saw gorillas, other varieties of monkeys, pigs, rhinos and so much more! It was an incredible experience and one that you can't quite believe you have had, because it just seems so surreal and extraordinary! Gorillas in particular are so intelligent and similar to humans in their mannerisms and their behaviour that it was actually quite scary as well as fascinating to see. For both the animals and the visitors safety, they obviously have to all be caged up to some extent, but it wasn't in a cruel way at all and you can still get close enough to be snap happy.

 After our little adventure, we were taken by the golf buggy type ride to this gorgeous little lobby area just opposite where all the treehouses were located. As you can see, there was a massive fire in the middle alongside luxurious sofas and so we sipped our champagne (very fancy) whilst eating our toasted marshmallows - it was lush and such a nice way to kick start our stay.
We then walked up what felt like a million steep steps to get to our treehouse, where we relaxed for a while until it was time to change for dinner. We had booked in at the infamous Babydolls Restaurant, which is actually named after the 55 year old gorilla with that exact name. She is the last of the Howletts gorilla and she was raised from an infant in the cottage at Howletts too.

We all enjoyed our pizza's and it was absolute bliss to be able to soak up the bustling but quaint atmosphere. We had a reservation made for 8pm and we had breadsticks and a drink (or two) back in the treehouse, so once we were done, we simply took a ride down on the golf buggy (a rather bumpy one, might I add!). It was past closing time for day visitors and quite dark at this point, so it really did feel like we were on a wildlife holiday and it was such a laugh getting there and riding back!

The next morning came around and we had a leisurely breakfast of pain au chocolat, fruit and orange juice, courtesy of my wonderful Aunt. It was delicious and exactly what we need to keep us going for the rest of the morning.
We had to take our luggage down and check out of the room by 11, but then we had a couple of hours spare before heading back home to go on the safari, which was what I was most looking forward to!
You have to wait in a queue for about 15 minutes or so, but then you have these big safari trucks, as if you're actually in South Africa or something incredible like that and you drive around seeing baby bears, camels, giraffes, red deer and so many other rare but equally as beautiful wild animals.
Although it was freezing cold up top, it was a pretty memorable experience to say the least!

We may have only been on our little countryside break for 1 night and 2 days, but I absolutely loved it and I know I can vouch for the others when I say that too! We had so many laughs and so much fun seeing things we had never seen before and it's certainly a trip that I won't ever be forgetting.

If you haven't yet visited Port Lympne, I highly, highly recommend it, as you'll have as much of a blast as we did - I guarantee it!

Lots of love always,

P.S. all photography is my Uncle's! He did give me his permission beforehand ;) 


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