It’s getting to that time of year where I am having to use up holiday that I haven’t taken. This pains me as I knew I should have booked that long weekend away to Frigiliana, but fingers crossed I will get around to doing it this year! Especially with the help of Airbnb… Does anyone else seem to accidentally lose a couple of hours creating folders and looking for houses to stay in all round the world?
So in the spirit of actually doing something with my time off, I found myself at Cotswold Falconry Centre, which is located on the site of Batsford Arboretum. Let me tell that you I am a huge fan of all animals, but owls in particular – I just think they are absolutely gorgeous and I’m fascinated by them!
We walked through the reception into the outdoor centre and I was absolutely gobsmacked – there were falcons, hawks, eagles and owls all sat on their perches looking right at us!
Even better we had a flying start for two which meant that I actually got to have these beautiful birds of prey on my arm! I’m not ashamed to admit that when I had hold of the owl, my new friend Desmond, I gave him a little stroke and perhaps also a little kiss :)
Not only did we get to handle them, we went out into a field with a falcon who would fly off and then when the instructor put some food onto your glove, would fly back over, land on your hand and eat the little morsel of food you were holding. It was the most incredible experience, ever!
I was so surprised at the variety of birds they have there, because in truth their website doesn’t do it any justice as they really do have so many birds there for you to see. Never did I imagine that I would be able to handle a bald eagle that went by the name Wootan. He was such a magnificent creature but so unbelievably heavy! My bingo wings had quite a rude awakening!
There were also regular flying displays where the instructor would bring out a variety of birds (owls, hawks, falcons, bigger owls) for us to see them fly. Not only was it amazing to watch but I learnt so much about these animals; a brilliant place to visit as a family or equally with friends.
The staff were lovely and friendly, I really cannot recommend this place highly enough. I genuinely had the best time and I can’t wait to go back! I just hope Desmond remembers me.
Desmond and I!
Wootan showing off!
In absolute awe of this beautiful creature
Pure shock of someone having a worse hair day than me!
Meet Thumper, who can crush a rabbit skull with his feet. Believe me when I say that his feet are unbelievably strong!
Dave the falcon and I having a moment
Truly an unforgettable experience.