This post is about two separate visits to two separate places, but given that they’re both in Leeds and both involve animals, I decided to put them together into one post rather than put them in their respective Seasons posts.
So, first off, Tropical World. I’ve been there many, many times throughout my life, though I hadn’t been for a few years before this visit. The gift shop has literally doubled in size since I was last there. That’s the second time that’s happened that I can remember
Inside Tropical World there are different rooms for different areas. It’s the whole climate as best they can replicate it. There’s the rainforest – two levels – the desert, nocturnal, and the aquarium and a place for all the snakes and spiders and tortoises and stuff. And the butterfly room, where you start and end, which has other things in too.
There’s not really been any major dramatic changes that I can recall to the inside. Obviously, it has changed, different animals have come in and some of them have been moved – this time, the terrapins had been moved from their old home in the rainforest to the butterfly room. This is a good thing; their old pool was just by the side of the path. People could easily put their hands in, which isn’t particularly good for the terrapins or the hands. In the butterfly room, there’s a raised walkway with pools beneath it, the terrapins are in one of those now. In another pool, they have an alligator, which I do not recall being there on my last visit. There’s netting in the area above there. I feel weird calling this bit the butterfly room when there’s other things in there, but that’s what it is.
You start and end in this room, but going round different sides of it. You go in round one side, then out into the aquarium area, and you end up back there by the end (it’s not a very sophisticated circle, after going through all the other areas you end up in a little corridor which just takes you straight back there). Anyway, I mention all this so I can mention that I remember a time when you went in the other way round. Which I felt a need to mention. I’m just looking for things I can write.
A room’s disappeared since I was last there. I don’t recall there being all that much in the room, and I don’t think it was there for that long, but now it’s gone. I think that must be where they’ve put the cafe now. I can’t think where else it could possibly have disappeared to.
Other highlights. There’s the meerkats in the desert area, they’re one of the things they really like to advertise. Because who doesn’t like looking at meerkats? They’re adorable and ridiculous. This seemed like a vaguely appropriate place to mention I saw a guy walking round with a meerkat on his shoulder the other week. That was interesting.
And the bats, they’re an old favourite.The nocturnal zone is dark, obviously, with only just enough light that people don’t hurt themselves. The bat area, you just have to stand at the glass and watch them swoop past. I’ve always particularly like the nocturnal area in general, actually. I guess it just felt a bit different.
I also greatly appreciate the birds they’ve got loose in the rooms. Because for one thing, it’s fun to see which ones you can spot, but mainly it just amuses me that they’ve got these big habitats built for them with loads of places to perch, and they still choose to sit in the places that are just part of the building. I’m not sure why that amuses me, it just does. I guess I have a dumb sense of humour.
Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough. Pictures:
And there was a moorhen and her chick outside so I took a picture of them:
And on to Temple Newsam. It’s a big historic house, with loads of grounds, and a farm. Home Farm. We went there. It’s very much a working farm, but they’ve tried to turn it into a bit of a museum too, since they’ve got all the old buildings still. They’ve done up some of the rooms to look as they would have. It adds a nice extra dimension to the place, I think. They’ve got loads of old machinery to look at, and really, the building themselves are quite good. The farm itself is good to look at, not just the animals.
There’s probably not much point rambling about the different animals they’ve got. They have farm animals, fairly basic ones. They’ve got some slightly fancy chicken breeds, and some other slight novelties, but mostly the basics. And that is plenty, I like all animals – well, I’m scared of some but I’ll still look at them – but there’s little point in listing farm animals. But I’ll do a bit of rambling still.
They have a lot of pigs there. There’s always a few loads of piglets; I’ve been there lots of times in my life and I don’t recall there ever being a time when there were no piglets. One load were out this time, roaming freely. I liked one of the really young groups; they were all snuggled up together except one that had gone to sleep next to its mother instead. I found that adorable, even by baby animal standards.
They’ve got a bee area too. I don’t recall there being any bees on show last time I was there, but there were this time. I find looking at bees in their hive both creepy and fascinating, and I’m always a bit worried they’re suddenly going to break out. But if they’re there, I have to go look at them for a little while at least.
And they’re not part of the farm, but there happened to be a lot of squirrels about that day. Enough that I managed to capture a few on camera, and I don’t normally manage that. That was a nice bonus.
And here are a few photos from outside the farm area. I didn’t have a proper look round. I never have, actually. I should do. And I didn’t get any good pictures of the house this time. But here’s the old stables, where the shops are. Are the shops always in the old stables at these big historic houses? I suppose it’s a handy area to convert:
I don’t what those step things are. It’s never occurred to me to even think about it before.
Anyway, I shall end on another squirrel: