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The Big Cat Sanctuary

#1 of 5 things to do in Smarden Features Animals
Headcorn Road, Smarden TN27 8PJ, England
+44 1233 771915
Review Highlights
Absolutely amazing experience

From the moment we arrived the staff could not have been more helpful and friendly. Hand feeding... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Jane H
Norwich, United Kingdom
An Unforgettable Day

I organised the Ranger for a Day experience for my son for a birthday gift and paid to go along as... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Rich D
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Read all 449 reviews
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The Big Cat Sanctuary The Big Cat Sanctuary is a conservation charity, home to over 50 big and small cats across 16 different species. We are proud to have the most diverse collection in the UK, from the largest, to the smallest, to the most endangered in the world, hidden away in the Kent countryside. We are a centre of excellence whose primary objective is the breeding of some of the most endangered species on the planet as well as offering sanctuary to retired and homeless cats. The breeding centre is proud to be part of the EEP (European Endangered Species Breeding Programme). This is a body that regulates the captive breeding of endangered cats by making recommendations for breeding to produce a strong, healthy and diverse gene-pool within the captive population to ultimately be reintroduced safely into their natural habitat to mix with their counterparts in the wild. Breeding success so far includes the Amur leopard programme which is the world’s most endangered big cat, estimated between 70-80 remaining in the wild globally, also to the Sumatran tigers, Amur tigers and Pallas cats. Big Cat Sanctuary operates by way of personal big cat experiences including big cat tours, individual and group photography days, overnight big cat safari nights and adoptions. All of which need to be pre-booked in advance of a visit. The centre takes pride in delivering fully immersive, personal and amazing experiences that will leave any big cat lover with memories to treasure forever.
  • Excellent93%
  • Very good4%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“open days” (59 reviews)
“big cats” (151 reviews)
Headcorn Road, Smarden TN27 8PJ, England
+44 1233 771915
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Reviews (449)
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1 - 10 of 449 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

From the moment we arrived the staff could not have been more helpful and friendly. Hand feeding the big cats was awesome and our guide could not have been more informative.well worth a stay over.Food and accommodation was very good

Thank Jane H
Reviewed 3 days ago

I organised the Ranger for a Day experience for my son for a birthday gift and paid to go along as photographer. Right from our arrival we were made very welcome and had a short, but important, safety briefing. I am not going to detail...More

Thank Rich D
Reviewed 5 days ago

Since we returned from our overnight stay at The Samctuary, we haven't stopped talking about our experience and also cannot believe some of the things we saw and did. Everything about the two days was fantastic, including accommodation, food and the staff were amazing, especially...More

1  Thank marionG5623XK
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Brilliant day working alongside Freddie the Ranger, learning about the cats and the work they do there. Cleaned out pens, fed lions, tigers, cheaters and pumas. All the staff were really friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, looked after us well and served an excellent lunch. Unique...More

1  Thank jamieduc
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was an amazing day - bought it for my partner as a birthday present and I went along as a guest. Maddie our guide keeper for the afternoon was fantastic - so knowledgeable nothing was too much trouble. He got to feed the tigers...More

1  Thank Susan C
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My Wife Chris and I had a Ranger day today with Charlotte, what can I say her knowledge of the big cats was endless , our day, I cannot put into words, it truly was the most amazing day ever, thank you to everyone who...More

1  Thank Lita T
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

1. Lovely ethos and charity at the Sanctuary 2.All staff were friendly and professional 3. The cats were glorious and it was nice to see small cats also which you would never normally see 4. Great roaring lions 5. Thank you to the girls guiding...More

1  Thank Erica L
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We booked a trip to The Big Cat Sanctuary as a treat to ourselves after a particularly tough year. It's by no means cheap, but I think that the experience you get is totally worth the money. Prior to arriving we were sent an email...More

Thank Sheli_Cymraes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Upon arrival, you check in at the gates and head off to the main cabin for tea and biscuits before a quick safety talk and then an education by Giles Clark. On the day we arrived he was filming for the BBC so we had...More

1  Thank onedad3girls
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This really is a great place to go - just as the previous reviews. The overnight stay is such a fantastic package. Great value when you actually realise it's like staying in a 5* hotel with 5* food. Afternoon tea, evening meal and cooked breakfast...More

Thank Ang F
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Is this attraction suitable for the disabled? My daughter has limited mobility, so often needs to use a wheelchair. She would love an overnight visit, but I don't want to book this if she is unable to take advantage of what is on offer. Thanks for your help.
April 26, 2017|
Answer Show all 6 answers
Response from Tim B | Reviewed this property |
Absolutely - the paths are good and the staff are helpful - you can get around and see most things
Jeannie B
How much is it to get in?
April 14, 2017|
Answer Show all 9 answers
Response from Hannah M | Reviewed this property |
The Sanctuary is private appointments only, you can't turn up on the day and get in. Have a look on their website for prices as it depends what experience you are looking to do. Totally recommend doing the overnight stay in... More
Husband and I would like to go but we have a 6 month old. He stays in a sling on me when out. Any chance of all three of us coming? Thanks
March 31, 2017|
Answer Show all 5 answers
Response from David M | Reviewed this property |
Although you are allowed closer to the cats than you are at a zoo, they are still caged, so I doubt it would be a major issue. For full clarification, I suggest you contact the centre, as they are very friendly & helpful.