Escape to the wilderness with a trip to Trentham Monkey Forest – a brilliant spot to mingle with endangered monkeys. Follow a mile-long woodland trail through the heart of Trentham Estate and immerse yourself in the everyday antics of the Barbary macaques.
Originally from the mountainous regions of Morocco and Algeria, the monkeys are pretty well acclimatised to the UK’s often miserable climate. And with no cages or bars, the monkeys are free to live almost exactly as they would in the Proper Wild. Watch as they swing from trees and play with their pals – and be prepared to share the path. (Primates have right of way, of course.)
Trentham Monkey Forest is home to 140 Barbary macaques, and it’s the only place in the UK where you can walk freely with this species. Monkeys aside, the forest is also gorgeous in its own right – and there are over 60 acres of ancient woodland to explore.
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Experts will be roaming the paths, so you can stop them and ask any questions you might have. However, it’s definitely worth trying to catch one of the hourly feeding sessions, where rangers will teach you all about these cheeky monkeys.
Sadly, the number of wild Barbary macaques has dropped by more than 50% in the last 30 years. There are now only about 8,000 of them left. On a positive note, since opening in 2005, Trentham Monkey Forest has witnessed almost 100 births. And we certainly hope to see a lot more of these adorable faces in the future…
You’ll find Trentham Monkey Forest on the Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Tittensor, Stoke-on-Trent, ST12 9HR. It takes around an hour from Birmingham by car. Tickets and more info here.