For Lucy’s birthday her grandparents had bought her the Meerkat Encounter for two at Millets Falconry Centre, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. We went in early May. It was our first time there and we had no idea what to expect.
We were blown away.
The first thing to say is that the falconry centre is located in a wider farm centre, which is free to enter. There’s loads to do here- playground, carousel, hook a duck, farm animals to look at, an art installation, woodland, cafe, farm shop, garden centre and a soft play centre (due to reopen later this month as restrictions are lifted).
Entry into the Falconry Centre itself costs £7.95 for adults and £4.95 for children (family of four £23.95), which we think is very good value.
It probably took us around an hour to walk around and see all the animals, including some really impressive birds such as bald eagles, owls and vultures, and other animals too, such as meerkats and racoons.
But the real draw is the fantastic birds of prey display (included in admission price), which last 30 minutes. Ros, the bird handler, made the whole experience very engaging with some great nuggets about the birds. And there’s nothing quite like feeling the tip of a vulture’s wings as it swoops directly over you. Unforgettable.
And then we come to the reason we came to Millets in the first place – the meerkat encounter. This cost £40 for two people and included entry into the falconry centre itself – so again, good value. It lasts 30 minutes. Ella, their keeper, passed us live mealworms which we picked up with metal tweezers. The meerkats would jump up onto us to grab the worms. They are ridiculously cute – Lucy loved every minute. Ella was very friendly and full of interesting facts about the meerkats.
I can’t recommend Millets (the falconry centre and wider farm) enough. It feels like a real find for us. A great-value day out.