I bought a 3 hour experience voucher for my mother for her 74th birthday - unfortunately she became ill soon afterwards and it was a year before we were able to redeem the voucher - at a cost of another 10 pounds even though I paid another £79 for my son to share the experience with her on the day. We arrived at 9.50am for the 10am start but it was 10.10am before our experience began. Not sure we were actually introduced to our guide but she was a nice young woman who seemed to know her stuff my mum and son got to have a selection of birds sit on their gloved arms before we moved on to the part where they got to" fly" the birds - there was an awful lot of standing about in the freezing cold in between times.
Despite being the only people there that morning, we had to wait at least 5mins each time the displayer changed the 3 different birds to "fly" - and it was disappointing to have a vulture with a chest injury that didn't want to actually fly and preferred to walk instead. It was NOT a 3hr experience at all. We started at 10.10am and finished at 12.15pm......and had at least 15mins of standing about time waiting for the girl to replace the 3 birds she "flew". When she announced that the experience was over, she added that we were welcome to stay until 1pm to see the flying display that they do every day and that it was "part of the experience" - why did I pay for 2 three hour experiences if they lasted less than 2hrs and then they expected for an elderly woman to wait in the freezing cold until they flew their birds at their own convenience? Oh sorry - the man who seems to own it did put an ineffective heater on for us in reception....and was quite happy to let us pay a pound each for a hot drink. We didn't stay the 45mins for the "display" we had paid for as it was warmer to wait in my car and by then we had had enough and were not that impressed with the experience or service at all.
My mum and son generally enjoyed the experience but it certainly could have been a lot better managed - there were at least 3 other staff members on duty that day that could have made the waiting times shorter and I cant see how they can sell a 3 hr "experience" that lasts 2hrs then expect you to hang about until they are ready fly the birds routinely but include it in the price!
We made the most of it on the day but I wouldn't recommend the expense for what we got. Go for the basic price and enjoy looking a the birds as I don't think we got what we paid for at all.
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