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Tickets and Opening Times

31st March 2021

Dear All,

Following the changes to Government guidance and the roadmap after lockdown, we’re pleased to announce that the Kingston Maurward Animal Park and Gardens are re-opening from Monday 12th April 2021, 7 days a week, between the hours of 10:00am-4:00pm. (Please note that on Wednesday 14th April we will be open 12:00pm – 4:00pm due to essential maintenance taking place in the morning.)

We are fully aware this has been a difficult year for many, so we have made a few changes for the benefit of everyone.

1)     It’s free.

2)     No, really, it is. We have scrapped entrance charges for the Animal Park and Gardens, and the public are free to utilise it between the hours of 10:00 – 4:00. This will continue indefinitely.

3)     The parking is still free too. The normal car park might get full but there’s plenty of parking elsewhere on the estate and you can access the gardens from a number of points.

4)     The Barn Café is re-opening for takeaways, but the soft play will stay shut for a little longer to ensure hygiene. We hope to re-open this in due course as and when we can according to government guidance. We’ll reintroduce seating inside soon as well, but we understand sitting in there with young children who can’t use the play area would be unfair, so we’ve removed the temptation for a bit. We’ll let you know on here when it re-opens.

5)     We are changing the animal mix a little, so sadly we’ve said goodbye to the ‘exotic’ animals such as the wallabies and rhea, and will be focusing on the farm animals and the small furries young children love.

6)     Due to hygiene considerations we won’t be encouraging activities such as guinea pig fishing or feeding the animals just yet, but again this will come back as and when it feels appropriate. As such the animal park might feel a little more passive than before, but as parents ourselves we know it’ll be good just to get out and run around and see things.

7)     Access to the Animal Park will be by the gate by the car park or through the gardens. We are in the process of completely refurbishing the shop and this will re-open as a fully-fledged shop later in the spring.

OK, so….

‘Hang on, I bought a season ticket….’

Yes, we know, many of you might have season tickets which you’ve paid for, we love you for it and can’t wait to have you back. When you re-visit, bring your season ticket to The Barn Café and we will give you a voucher to the FULL VALUE (not how much time is left) for use in The Barn Café and later in the tea rooms with no time limit on use. That should be about £50 worth of delicious cake and treats to keep you going for a while.

‘Sorry, did you say Tea Rooms?’

Well, whilst locking down we’ve been considering how to make more of the glorious old mansion that is the main house at Kingston Maurward and we are likely to be opening tea rooms within the old ground floor state rooms many of you will not have had a chance to visit before. Keep your eyes on this page for info – we will also be also offering celebration prosecco high teas for those special events and/or people in your life later in the season.

We think that’s it for now – we’ve all been indoors far too long – let’s get outside and enjoy the spring.

PS – it’s free….

Luke (Kingston Maurward Principal and Chief Executive)

Opening Times and Prices

Covid-19 Update:

Reopening on Monday 12th April 2021, 10am – 4pm.

Wednesday 14th April

Please note that the Animal Park & Gardens will be open 12pm – 4pm due some essential maintenance taking place in the morning.

Regular Opening Times:

The Barn Café will reopen for takeaway only on Monday 12th April 2021, 10am – 4pm. The soft play will remain closed until further government guidelines are issued.

Young child in blue dungarees and green top looking at a pig

We reserve the right to amend opening times due to weather or adverse circumstances that may affect our operations. If you’re travelling a long distance or poor weather is forecast, it is advisable to call ahead and check.


Admission to the Animal Park & Gardens is now free! If you have a season ticket, visit The Barn Café to exchange your ticket for a refreshment voucher to be spent in the café.

Covid-19 Animal Park and Gardens Guidelines

  • We ask you follow our 2 m social distancing rule and follow our one-way system around the Animal Park.
  • Payments will need to be made via credit/debit card or contactless where possible.
  • Following government guidelines there will be no feeding and petting of our animals at this time.
  • Regular washing of your hands is a must with hand sanitisers around the Animal Park for your use.
  • Our toilet facilities will be open- we ask that you operate a one in one out system and please knock before entering.
  • Benches may be used at your discretion. Families or groups of people are encouraged to stay together during your visit.
  • Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children at all times.
  • Due to health and safety, our play areas will be closed.
  • We will be offering take way food and drinks only in The Barn.
We look forward to welcoming you all back to the Animal Park and Gardens!

Park Rules

We very much hope that you enjoy your visit to the Animal Park & Gardens, set in a beautiful part of the Dorset countryside. The Animal Park & Gardens is part of our agricultural college; therefore we would just like to remind visitors that we are student-based and you will come across students learning within our Animal Park. We kindly ask you to read our terms and conditions, and respect our rules of entry to the park. 

 Photography: We are happy for you to photograph or video our animals as a reminder of your visit, however this must be for personal use only. You may not use photographs or videos taken of our animals, staff, or park for any commercial purposes. Kingston Maurward retains the copyright of these images. 

Dogs: Dogs are permitted within the park, however this is within specific locations. Dogs must be on a lead at all times and are not allowed around any of the animals in the animal park. In the interest of animal welfare, please refrain from leaving pets in your vehicle during your visit. We reserve the right to contact any relevant authority if we feel that an animal left in any vehicle within one of our car parks is suffering or distressed in any way. 

 Feeding of the animals: Please do not feed any of the animals.

 Fences and barriers: Please do not stand or climb on our fences and barriers, they have been placed for public safety as well as the protection of our animals.

 Alcohol: Under no circumstances may alcohol be brought into, or consumed in the park at any time. Any visitor found with alcohol, or under the influence of alcohol, will be asked to leave the park with no right to a refund.

Behaviour towards staff: The park has a zero tolerance approach towards members of the public behaving in a aggressive manner towards our staff. Any visitor behaving in this way will result in them being asked to leave the park with no refund will be given.

 Smoking: Is only permitted off site. We would kindly ask visitors to refrain from smoking in any other area of the estate. A fire could be devastating, so please comply with this request. 

 Behaviour: Whilst on site, children must remain under the control and supervision of an adult at all times. As we are a college site, we ask all visitors to remain dressed appropriately during their visits; this includes wearing shirts, shoes and leg wear at all times, and swimwear is not permitted.

Rubbish: Bins are provided within the park; please help us to keep our park tidy and free from litter by using the bins provided. 

We continuously strive to ensure that the park is safe and that no harm can come to you during your visit. However as the main part of our park is in an external environment affected by the changing seasons, our walkways can become wet and muddy. We therefore advise you to wear sensible and sturdy footwear. The park and play barn can also get very busy, so please take your time and enjoy your visit. 

 Your entrance to the park acknowledges acceptance of the park’s rules of entry.

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