Howletts, The Aspinall Wild Animal Park Near Canterbury

This exciting attraction hosts a conservation and breeding programme of world importance. It is in some respects one of the most important animal parks in the country and has been providing individuals and families with memorable days out for decades. Opened to the public in 1975 and originally known as Howletts Zoo the animal park is owned by the The John Aspinall Foundation a UK registered charity.

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This park covers a total area of just over 100 acres, the land provides a refugee for scores of species that are on the 'endangered' category. It is also the home to some of the world's large bands of Western Lowland Gorillas and the UK's biggest herd of African Elephants'. The full list of animals you can see during your visit is too great to reproduce here but includes the traditional favorites like: lions, Black Rhinos, Sumatran Tigers, several species of lemur, Snow Leopards and the North China Leopards alongside perhaps lesser well known creatures such as; Indian Desert Cats, Brazilian Tapirs, Giant Anteaters the Honey Badger and many, many more.

Visitors can see conservation in action all the year round and have the satisfaction of knowing that their visit is directly supporting the work of the foundation. Not only the maintenance and development of Howletts itself but also the impressive; conservation, breeding and reintroduction programmed for which the Foundation is known around the world.

The Park works very hard at providing an unforgettable visiting experience, not only through the animals but also activities designed to appeal to the whole family. Totally Wild' days out and 'Walking with Lemurs' are just two of the treats visitors have in store. During 2013 the Park is running monthly themed events that focus on a particular aspect of animal or park life. So far this year guests have been treated to Nosey Neighbours (April), Conserve and Preserve (May) and Twilight Treks (June). At the time of writing The Social Network (September) and The Missing Links (November) were just two of the subjects still to be covered.

For energetic adventurers Howletts presents a Treetop Challenge - an obstacle course undertaken at altitude. If you'd prefer to keep your feet on the ground you may prefer the Animal Adventure Challenge. If you think that visiting the park won't get you close enough to the animals you might be interested in the 'Keeper For A Day' experience or a 30 minute up close and personal; tiger or gorilla encounter. For the more creative visitor there's also a photography course and local businesses may be interested to know that Howletts is able to host team building events. The mansion and gardens are also a popular wedding and event venue.

Howletts Money Off Voucher

If you're looking for the money off voucher for day visitors, at the time of writing these these could be found in the Howletts promotional leaflets that could be found in Tourist Information Offices and in fact at many of the places which stocked leaflets to local attractions. They may be also available directly from Howletts, call or email Howletts for more details.

Opening Hours

In essence the Park is open throughout the year with the exception of the 25th of December. The opening hours in the summer season (29/3/13 to 27/10/13) are 9.30am to 6pm, opening hours in winter are the same except the closing time is one hour earlier. The park closes at 2pm on Christmas Eve. Please consider that the last visitors are admitted an hour an a half before the Park closes.

Animal Park Entrance Charges

If you are visiting the Park just once the simple day ticket is the cheapest way for a one off entrance, but you'll need to take advantage of the £3 voucher contained in the promotional leaflets. The Howletts Passport offers unlimited repeat visits for a whole year for the same price as one standard day ticket. Please note that terms and conditions apply, please see the website for more details. At the time of writing adult admission was £23.95, children were charged
£19.95 although they must be accompanied by an adult. Under 3s go free and concessionary tickets were available. There are additional charges for some of the attractions in the Park.

Location And Contact

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Your Comments

"What are the differences between Howletts and Port Lympne? We had a great day at Howletts but is there any difference in the Port Lympne experience. J Sutherland"