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“A depends-on-the-day sort of place, perhaps?” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Pili Palas Nature World

Pili Palas Nature World
Penmynydd Road | Menai Bridge, Menai Bridge LL59 5RP, Wales
01248 712474
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Ranked #5 of 11 Attractions in Menai Bridge
Attraction details
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A depends-on-the-day sort of place, perhaps?”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

Looking back at other reviews of this attraction I rather think we didn't see it at its best on a grey rainy day in high season. And I will say in its favour that my son liked it and enjoyed his morning, though he does tend to like anything with animals. However we found it very disappointing for the entrance fees charged (close to £30 for two adults, a senior citizen, a child and baby).

Due to this being an all-weather attraction it was extremely packed out, given that there were not all that many areas to look around - the "butterfly palace" part itself was pleasant enough but poky and nothing we hadn't seen before, and the lizards and snakes in tiny rooms off the atrium took only a few minutes to view. Other than that there was a very narrow corridor in which you could view meerkats if you could get to the window and a small room with some interactive learning toys which did look interesting if you could get to them, but it was all far too busy for my autistic son who found it very overwhelming. Similarly the cafe was stuffed with far too many tables for the space, it was difficult to negotiate chairs to fit with other parties and while the food itself was reasonably priced and not unpleasant (though my partner noted the choice was poor for vegetarians) it was an uncomfortable dining experience overall. Trying to negotiate the place with a buggy was hard work and I don't think our baby got to see much.

My son enjoyed playing on a bouncy castle and slide complex outside during a break in the rain, but the indoor play was strictly for younger children with a maximum height rule, so children from about 6-7+ depending on their height only had outdoor play facilities, despite the "all-weather attraction" billing. There were a small variety of farm animals outside, but there are other farm parks in the area which offer far better value for money in our experience.

On the plus side the staff are evidently all about the animals and know their stuff. The information and identification chart offered to us for a small charge for my son to learn about the butterflies was colourful and interesting and he still reads it now; because it was so busy he couldn't really hang around long enough to use it to identify the butterflies in the actual place though. The gift shop was unexpectedly good, with unusual toys, crafts and souvenirs of Wales for reasonable prices rather than the same old barrage of stuff adorned with red dragons that many shops we visited on our holiday seemed to have. There could have been enough to do for a full half a day if there had been less people so we didn't feel pressured to move on all the time but as it was we stayed around two hours including eating lunch.

For us, it was poor for the price, as the entrance fee charged is what I would normally expect to pay for a full day out (and indeed did at other places) and there was not enough there, or not enough space to fully enjoy what was there, to make a full day of it. It was also nothing we hadn't seen or done before, whereas if you had never visited a butterfly house or had the opportunity to handle exotic animals, it may have felt more worth it. It could be good as a rainy day destination off peak season when not so busy, or for something different on a sunny day, but other than that I'm sorry to say I wouldn't recommend it.

No photos as nothing inspired me to get the camera out.

Visited August 2013
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Butter me up!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

It's not all about the butterflies, although there are plenty of them - Pili Palas also has turtles, snakes, lizards, various arthropods and best of all... meerkats! Our 21-month-old son had a great time.

Food in the cafe was as you might expect, ranging from good, reasonably priced options such as the chicken curry to slightly overpriced and a bit boring options like the children's lunchboxes.

All in all a good morning out.

Visited August 2013
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Bangor, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Needs updating/tidied up but otherwise a good day out”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

We went to Pili Palas last week with my hubby, father in law and two kids aged 5 and 3. We had been 2 years ago and we had enjoyed it but felt it was run down and needed a lot of work. It hasn't changed much! I have given it a very good rating as the butterfly enclosure never fails to disappoint - it is wonderful to walk amongst the butterflies and if you are lucky they might even land on you! A member of staff had a bearded Gekko out for children to hold. there are a very small number of other creatures to view. Another favourite is the birds - we viewed a bird flying down from its nest, collecting twigs etc and flying them back to his nest. it was fascinating.

In the 'educational' room there was staff holding a giant millipede which was amazing - we have never seen this before and the kids enjoyed holding it and learning all about it. There were educational learning tools for the kids.

Ok so that was the positive. Now I have to be honest I think the kids enjoyed it thoroughly but as a parent and someone who has visited ALOT of touristy attractions like this in different countries I have to be honest and say it was somewhat shabby and didn't feel clean. The place needs an overhaul - the detail just wasn't there. Also it was a very hot day and too many people were in the butterfly section. I would like to see staff having better control of numbers in this area, and also being more assertive and helpful/friendly to visitors. It all felt just a little bit too slack. I felt a little frustrated too as this place has real potential. There is a fabulous kids play area outside and bouncy castles, café. They have also recently added a meerkat enclosure which is a great idea. If they could do a bit more cleaning and tidying and painting and get the detail right, then they could really make more of the place and up their charges. It just looks tired and shabby. The shop was great. reception area is poor, the fridges which should have been full of drinks/icecreams were empty/possibly out of order. Some areas are a bit claustrophobic.

Despite this, would still recommend for a good day out with the kids if you like butterflies but otherwise I'd give it a miss and go to somewhere like the Foel Farm which is wonderful (without butterflies and reptiles but has everything else!!)

Visited August 2013
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Great day out for all the family”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

Whoever gave this place a one star rating needs to get out more (or perhaps less, as they seem to be so hard to please!)

We visited as a family and all of us had a memorable experience. Granted, the live animal exhibits are fairly limited, but nonetheless interesting and enjoyable.

The centrepiece is of course the butterfly house, which is a fascinating place to spend a good 20 minutes/half an hour with an abundance of species. Look out for the Blue Morpho who seems to enjoy doing circuits, including some very graceful gliding!

The outside play areas offer much for the ages 4+ whilst there is a toddler's play area inside with a few tables and chairs.

A decent-sized café with take-out option offers the usual kind of stuff at decent prices.

I think 'homely' would describe the atmosphere at Pili Palas and we would all definitely visit again.

Visited August 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

This was an unexpected visit to Pili Palas Nature World, The butterflies I have to say are the highlight of this place, I was very satisfied that I got to photograph a lot of these beauties which I would never find in the outdoors. The climate is simulated tropicals and is quite warm inside. The day we went was raining and there was not such a crowd so we could naturally sink into the environment. Other highlights included the handling of the python which was a first time for me, while I felt very brave doing that, I saw a lot of kids do it after me which made my pride vanish.

Taking the snake into my hands and having photographs taken made my trip worth it, just the feel of it slithering and wrapping around your arms makes you feel different. You appreciate the strength of the snake and get a better idea of what is being shown on Discovery channel. All my friends enjoyed the place as well, the staff were very friendly. Must visit if you are around the area or if you have kids.

Visited December 2012
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