This Easter weekend I discovered a gem of a place called World of Owls. It’s situated in Randalstown, on the outskirts of Antrim, and I can’t believe I haven’t been before.
World of Owls is a charity organisation, homing owls, birds of prey, and some small animals. Located within Randalstown forest, the setting itself exudes a magical air which makes you feel like you just walked into a story book. Indeed I would not have been surprised to stumble upon a gingerbread house!
Of course this experience was partly enhanced by the fact we visited on a bank holiday, and the sun was shining – always guaranteed to improve any outing!
After paying the entrance fee, we took a stroll around the enclosures. There were ducks, rabbits and more owls and birds of prey than I have ever seen in one location.
It’s not a large attraction, you could walk around the grounds in ten minutes, but you wouldn’t! Every corner turned produced another delightful exclamation from Lewis.
In addition to the livestock there were ornamental character animals hidden within the grounds at ever turn. We had great fun spotting these little animals peering out from the undergrowth.
The real magic comes from the atmosphere. The staff and volunteers were all so helpful and friendly. If you get caught staring at a member of staff with an owl perched on their arm, the chances are they will come over and introduce you. Many of the visitors on the day also got the opportunity to hold an owl themselves. This and photo opportunities were welcomed at no extra charge, unlike some places.
Due to the fact that it was a bank holiday, and sunny, the staff had set up a barbeque, selling hotdogs and burgers. A member of advised me that this facility is only provided on some occasions, however they also have a tuck shop, selling drinks and a small selection of confectionery, including the cutest little owl cake pops I ever did see. Aaron was extremely disappointed not to get one, and kept trying to steal Lewis’.
Before leaving we decided to visit the house of horrors, containing an array of beasties which I was glad to see remained safely behind closed doors! I don’t fancy the thought of tarantulas wandering about – even with staff supervision!
We left with the plan of exploring Randalstown Forest and finding the signposted Deer Lookout. However the path through the forest was laid with large stones, unsuitable for the buggy. However, when Aaron gets on his feet, we will return!
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