Top Spots for NI Tots – Castle Espie

top spotsWWT Castle Espie

We love this place!!! Near Comber, a 30 minute drive east of Belfast city centre, this place ticks every possible box for a family day out! You drive into a large car park, unpack all the paraphernalia to lovely birdsong (if you can hear it over a screaming child!) and walk on the lovely flat surface through the automatic doors to be greeted by the lovely ladies at reception. Then armed with a bag of bird food you start by feeding the duckies. If you’re into waterfowl this is actually an eclectic mix of international and endangered species of ducks and geese. For a 2 year old (and uninformed Mummy) they are all duckies! The only slightly risky aspect of this trip is the open water – but, hey, it’s not deep! Personally, I attach reigns for this part just in case.

PicMonkey Collage 7There’s plenty of scope for a toddle out to the bird hides on great buggy friendly paths. The Strangford Lough scenery is lovely even if you don’t know your Brent geese from your Whooper swans!! There’s a great woodland adventure playground that’s recently been extended. A proper nature experience which kids so often miss out on these days. I  think it would be an awesome site for a Forest pre-school if anyone is so inclined!

If all that natural play wasn’t enough and you’re missing “Funky Monkeys” (seems unlikely!) there’s a little soft play area which was refurbished in 2015. Best suited to toddlers.

Last but not least there’s a great coffee shop which as of February 2016 also seems to have been refurbished as well. You see, this place really does tick all the boxes!!

Cost wise kids under 4 are free…yay! Adults are about £8 each so a little pricey but the money does help support wetlands conservation work worldwide so I don’t mind too much. We love this place so much that we’d highly recommend membership if you live locally and plan to visit a few times a year. Of course if you live on mainland UK you can use your membership to visit some of the other WWT sites. I bet they are all this good:-)

Monkey and Mouse



5 thoughts on “Top Spots for NI Tots – Castle Espie

  1. We love that you love Castle Espie, thanks for this review. Very soon the Kingfisher Kitchen will have a baby station with microwave and cutlery etc to add to all the boosters and high chairs. See you again soon.


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