Deadly Adventure at Longleat

Isaac turns the grand old age of 6 on 23rd April but had no clue as to what he wanted for his birthday.

In the last year he has outgrown CBeebies and moved onto CBBC.  His favourite shows are Absolute Genius and Splatalot with Dick and Dom and the Deadly 60 series with Steve Backshall so my mission was to do something for his birthday with one of these shows.

We were ecstatic to find that Dick and Dom were performing at Butlins when we were there and managed to get him up on stage for a pie fight with them and his big brother.

I then discovered that Steve Backshall was doing Deadly Adventure live shows at Longleat over Easter – perfect!

Running up to our trip to Longleat I have to admit I was a little nervous as I had read about the event being badly organised in previous years, but we had no issues at all – it was well organised, engaging and most of all fun.

We arrived at Longleat at 9.20am having encountered no traffic at all and sailed right up to the gates to get in.  Most of the attractions open at 10am but we were pleased to see Postman Pat’s village was open so we played in there for a while.

Postman Pat at Longleat

The Deadly Show wasn’t due to start until 12 noon, so we headed to do the Deadly Challenge first.  This involved working out clues in a maze and then charging around trying to find each animal given to you in each of the “zones”. Kian shot off on his own but I took Isaac, Eliza and Isaac’s friend Alfie in which made trying to complete the challenge quickly almost impossible.  We had fun trying though and soon got the hang of scanning Isaac’s barcode to get to the next challenge.  There was much celebration at the end when we realised that we had scored 10 points and Kian only 9!

Deadly Challenge

Next on our adventure was to explore Jungle Kingdom, where we got to walk alongside some of the animals we were looking at.  We spotted the monkey’s first and spent ages watching them but as we rounded the corner there was only one place everyone wanted to go to…….. Penguin Island.


I love that Sebastian is starting to enjoy our trips out and he seems to have a real love of Penguins already.  We had also been challenged to find all of Longleat’s Easter Eggs in their special trail too in the hope that we would win a prize.

Next up we got to walk through an enclosure with some Rainbow Lorikeets.  They were simply stunning, although flew a bit too close for comfort to the kids who couldn’t get out of their aviary fast enough.  They much prefered something a little more cuddly until Isaac was faced with a black and white Tegu.  He was there stroking it for ages!

We did a brief stop in the Butterfly house before heading over to the Hunters of the Sky area to see Steve Backshall’s show.

As we stood at the gates waiting, we watched as the Longleat team set up the area and got a cheery wave from Steve Backshall himself as he walked past.  By the time we were let in there were lots of excited children and adults waiting to be seated.

The warm up man came out and divided the crowd into teams.  We were the lions and had great fun roaring when we answered questions that he threw at us.  We then took part in a Deadly 60 rap and practised some handy “ducking” techniques for when the birds flew over our heads.

Then Steve Backshall arrived, full of the enthusiasm that the kids know and love him for……….

Deadly Adventure

The first display was a Peregrine Falcon that swooped over our heads.  The audience whooped and cheered as it performed it tricks whilst Steve Backshall explained how it lived and caught its prey whilst Jim Rob from the Hawk Conservancy Trust put the bird through its paces.

Steve Backshall

It was then time to get up close and personal to a rather heavy looking snapping turtle.  Steve carried around the arena so everyone could have a good look, before demonstrating its powerful bite with a carrot.  Lets just say I am glad it wasn’t someones finger.

Next up in the show was the Kookaburra which I was surprised to find out is a member of the Kingfisher family.  I never realised the Kookaburra was deadly, but as soon as Steve whipped a pretend snake from his pocket it went in for the kill and wouldn’t let go of its prey, having to be returned to its box with the snake firmly in its mouth!

Deadly Adventure


My favourite bird was next on the bill – the beautiful Barn Owl.  It swept in silently and delighted the audience by flying closely over their heads as Steve explained how the way its feathers were arranged made its flight silent and how its dark eyes made it see perfectly in the dark.

Deadly Adventure


It was then time for the birthday boys and girls to go up on stage.  Sadly Isaac couldn’t be persuaded to go as apparently he had suddenly gone shy!

The brave boys and girls that did go up on stage had a brief chat with the man himself and were then made to close their eyes before meeting some truly terrifying creatures…….. well that’s what they were made to believe anyway.


We really weren’t expecting what happened next and we got to practice our “duck” maneouvre from the earlier warm up as Vultures swooped in low over our heads.

Deadly Adventure

Steve Backshall explained how important these creatures are in the wild and how they use the thermals in the air to carry them around.

They are not the most beautiful of birds but even I have to admit they are very elegant in flight.

Deadly Adventure


Finally it was the turn of the Kites to put on a real show as Steve Backshall fired food in the air for them to catch mid-flight.  We were lucky enough to get an autograph in Isaac’s book before heading back into Longleat to get some lunch and explore some more.


We have never explored the house before so headed inside, but it was clear that the kids wanted to be outside so we made our way to the gardens to let them run around and stretch their legs.  I bumped into an old friend from when I lived in Sussex so it was good to have a catch up whilst the kids played.

We then noticed that the queue for the River Boat ride was fairly short so headed to join the queue.  We boarded fairly quickly and were very excited to spot Longleat’s two hippo’s who were out enjoying their pasture.  I have visited Longleat a number of times but have never ever seen them, so this was a rare treat.


We were also introduced to the new Gorilla colony who were quite happy to say hello, whilst old favourite Nico took to the shadows.  The Sealions were a firm favourite with the little ones as they played alongside the boat hoping for a fishy treat.

Last but not least it was Safari time.


The kids couldn’t wait to start and although we stopped to look at the Giraffe and Zebra it was the monkey’s they most wanted to see.  Last year the monkey’s stole my aerial ball and ripped off my rear windscreen water jet so we entered wondering what they were going to steal this time.

They seemed intent on picking on the BMW in front who had gone in with a roof box on top of their car and although they managed to rip the catches off, they didn’t manage to get inside…………………….we then heard the patter of tiny footsteps.  They had boarded our car.  Thankfully although they did pull the water jet off again, they kindly left it on the roof so we could re-attach it when we had finished.

We continued on our journey and were treated to both lion’s and tigers walking in front of the car, but my highlight was definitely a close encounter with Anne the Elephant.

A day full of magic moments!!

44 thoughts on “Deadly Adventure at Longleat

  1. lelex shop says:

    This article was incredibly helpful and informative! THANK YOU!!!!

  2. We haven’t been yet but you make it sound great! Love the pic of Sebastian flying in front of the house.

  3. What a fantastic day out, some amazing photos too! #MagicMoments

  4. What an incredible day out! We’ve been to Chessington loads of times and London Zoo but haven’t done Longleat yet, definitely for the to do list though after reading this 🙂

  5. Angela says:

    A perfect birthday, looks like a fabulous day out at Longleat. fabulous photos x

  6. Sharon Evans says:

    We were there the same day as you and at the 12pm deadly show. We were in the gorillas. It was fantastic wasnt it? You have some beautiful pics too. We would definitely go back.

  7. lori says:

    We still haven’t been to Longleat which is crazy as it’s not that far away. I would love to see the Falcons and teh kookaburra, I think F would love it too 😉 x

  8. anna says:

    This looks like a great day out! Definitely on our list of places to go this summer 🙂

  9. Anna Fairs says:

    WOW!! Looks like you had an amazing day 🙂 My son would love this!

  10. Shay Noble says:

    It looks fantastic!! Especially the postman pat area!! It’s been such a long time since I went to Longleat..I really must try to take my littles there some time soon, they would really enjoy it x

  11. jenny says:

    Sounds like a lovely day out for the birthday boy!

  12. How great that Steve takes his talent out on the road – my eldest would love to see him. Hopefully you weren’t there the day the car caught fire in the lion’s enclosure!

  13. Kizzy says:

    Wow what a birthday to remember! I would love to see Steve in the flesh let alone the kids 😉

  14. model mummy says:

    Bought back some lovely memories whilst reading through your post My hubby deals in rare stamps so Postman pat land is his favorite.
    Happy Birthday to your boy.
    The last time we took a visit to Long leat our Daughter was just a few months old. Now she is walking and talking we plan to take her back to visit Pat!!

  15. Longleat is such an amazing place to visit and I’ve not been there in YEARS! However you guys getting to see Steve Backshall in a show is epic and makes me so super jealous! Bless your wee man getting shy all of a sudden though!

    Fantastic photos too #magicmoments

  16. Looks like such a fabulous day, wonderful photos x

  17. Pinkoddy says:

    Looks like a great day at Longleat. How lucky were you that Dick and Dom were at Butlins too! Hope he has a lovely birthday on Wednesday.

  18. oana79 says:

    Beautiful pictures, looks like a lovely day was had! Happy birthday to Isaac!

  19. My two would have loved this – it looks right up their street!`

  20. I love the detailed post with the photo collages its great.What a wonderful day out.

  21. Lovely post and it looks like it was a fab day out for you all. I’ve never been to Longleat but it is on my list of places I need to visit – really enjoyed reading this #whatsthestory #magicmoments

  22. Victoria says:

    i didnt hear about the show before obviously due to not having kids yet, but i would definitely enjoy it myself

  23. Michelle says:

    We went to Longleat a few years ago when we were on hols in Dorset – really great but gutted we could only go around the safari the once! Looks like you had a wonderful day out – I do love a zoo! x

  24. Jenny says:

    Ahhh Kara this is amazing adventure. Glad you all had such a fab time. I am loving all your photos. Postman pat looks amazing Buba would have loved that. Hope you had a great easter hun. Lovely adventure post. #magicmoments

  25. WOW! Looks like you had a amazing time. I love the photos you have managed to capture of the animals. I would love to go to Longleat – We will have to look into going sometime this year.

  26. Sonya Cisco says:

    Sounds brilliant! Must sort out visiting Longleat this year, Syd would love it!

  27. Sounds like a fab day out! I visited Safari Park in Woburn when my parents came for a visit and it was awesome experience 🙂 Monkeys can be annoying though..

  28. This looks so much fun! Must put this on our list of “Where to Take Little T for fun”. Love the photos too, it depicts fun, fun, fun! 🙂 #WhatsTheStory.

  29. Jaime Oliver says:

    Kara this looks like you had an amazing time, i have to say i am partial to a bit of deadly 60 myself so would of loved this 🙂

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  30. What a fantastic day! This is on our list of places to go x

  31. Emily Shepperson says:

    What a fantastic day out.

  32. Globalmouse says:

    Longleat is really high up on our list of places to visit…I really want to get there soon – and if there’s an opportunity to see Steve Backshall there too, then just for the children of course, I’ll be there super fast!!! 😉 Looks like an amazing day out.

  33. Aww thats the most awesome day ever. I love his shows! #MagicMoments

  34. Longleat is probably the only Zoo/Park were we haven’t actually visited, it looks Great!!! I must add it to the Places to visit list 🙂

  35. Polly says:

    We went to Knowsley a couple of years ago, such fun!

  36. Charly Dove says:

    Oh wow Kara, it sounds like you had the most brilliant of days. The Deadly Challenge seems like fun and quite amusing you beat Kian! The Deadly Show looks like it was brilliant, so much to see. Nice to get a feel for Longleat too, I’d love to go there. We passed it on the way back from Devon yesterday but the timings were all wrong! Great post, thanks for sharing with #whatsthestory

  37. Kerry says:

    Looks like he had a lovely birthday treat. I’ve never been to Longleat but it does look like fun! 🙂 x

  38. Laura says:

    Now that’s what I call a bumper day out. I’ve never been to Longleat and no idea there was so much to do there. I’m not hugely keen on the idea of monkeys ripping things off my car – my husband would go ape (boom boom)

  39. Wow it looks like a great day out that the kids would love! I think we need a holiday round that area! x

  40. Ninjacat says:

    I’d live to go to Longlet

  41. It looks so good there! Somewhere we keep saying we’ll visit one day, but have yet to get round to. Your fab photos have made me want to get there soon!

  42. Coombemill says:

    Last time I went to Longleat was in a ball gown for a work event years ago, I don’t remember half of what you saw from our bus top tour but what an amazing place it is. A brilliant birthday treat fr Isaac from start to finish. What wonderful days out you all have together.

  43. I really really want to go to Longleat but we don’t drive! need to find a friend to take us! x

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