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“Lovely day out for anyone.”

Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Chestnut Centre is an escape from the bustle of life, in a secluded natural valley in the Peak National Park. The centre is home to 4 species of otters including the rare Giant Otter, 15 species of owl, tame fallow deer in the deer herd, foxes, pine marten and the elusive, endangered Scottish Wildcat etc. Truly a ‘Hidden Gem in a Hidden Valley”.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

The Chestnut Centre is in the middle of nowhere in a beautiful peaceful location near Chapel en le Frith. It is a smallish wildlife park and consists of caged birds and animals set along a woodland walk. There are lots of different owls and they have plenty of space. Also worth watching was the feeding of the giant otters - you definitely want to stay your side of the fence. It was rather wet and muddy when we went, but as long as you have wellies and a brolly the gushing stream adds to the atmosphere. Reasonably priced cafe and souvenirs, friendly interested staff. Definitely worth supporting. I will be taking my grandchildren along next as I am sure they will love it.

Thank 826ScareyMary826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (555)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
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"giant otters"
in 98 reviews
"chestnut centre"
in 91 reviews
"car park"
in 40 reviews
"feeding times"
in 38 reviews
"peak district"
in 26 reviews
"gift shop"
in 24 reviews
"few hours"
in 22 reviews
"wildlife park"
in 20 reviews
"wild cats"
in 18 reviews
"scottish wildcats"
in 17 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 17 reviews
"value for money"
in 17 reviews
"sunny day"
in 15 reviews
"information boards"
in 15 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 14 reviews
"pine marten"
in 13 reviews
"different species"
in 13 reviews

500 - 504 of 555 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2012

The Chestnut Centre is a small zoo, displaying otters, owls, and free-ranging deer. It's an unexpected find in the middle of the Peak District hills, far from any large cities, but it makes perfect sense when you realise that the otters' habitat is based around a mountain stream, which feeds a descending series of enclosures. The otters are a delight, racing around noisily and squeaking at visitors and each other; they aren't the kind of creatures who hide in their enclosures after you've paid your entrance fee. The owls are less energetic. There are also some guinea pigs, a fox, and a couple of wildcats.

Another oddity is that the land was donated by nearby Ford Hall which was an early centre of religious activity in the Peak District; there's a Quaker burial ground just inside the front gate.

It has a few drawbacks: it's almost entirely outdoors, so it's unsuitable for a rainy day; the shortest route in and out follows a steep path that isn 't friendly to pushchairs or elderly/disabled visitors (though there is another route); there are no toilets or other shopping facilities except at the entrance -- though parents of some children might consider the lack of sweet shops an advantage! -- and the cafe is closer to a tea-and-biscuits-church-volunteer cafe than a place where people would go just because the coffee's great. Oh, and the entry fee of 7 pounds something per person is a little above what I'd expect to pay.

On the good side, I've never known it to be overcrowded, and it's actually not too far from the motorway network; it's about 20 minutes from the east end of the M67 (check traffic before going that way -- it's often jammed in an evening) or 30-40 minutes from the M1 (depending which way you go round Sheffield).

Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

My fiancee and I visited the Chestnut Centre earlier this week. Having visited before we were really looking forward to our trip, and we were not disappointed.

As it was during half term, we were worried that the park was going to be too busy to see much, and although the car park was full and there were lots of people, the park did not feel overly busy. We didn't struggle to see anything and there were no queues anywhere.

Highlights for us were the giant otters and the burrowing owls. There is a huge variety of animals to watch and we spent hours walking round looking at them all.

The cafe is very nice, we had a jacket potato each and the cakes looked lovely. The staff were all very friendly and very helpful.

All in all, I would definitely make a visit here a priority in your visit to Derbyshire.

3  Thank Andy_Ferris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Wonderful place, beautiful setting, fabulous animals, lovely country walk and it's great how the enclosures blend in with the surroundings. A great day out for all the family! Excellent cream teas too! Great educational messages throughout the countryside for the children too. Very friendly staff. Will definitely be back.

1  Thank Nettsterp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 25, 2012

This centre and wildlife park had me and my husband entertained for hours! The staff were all very helpful also full of information on all the animals. Great place for children educational and fun. Enjoyed some delightful cake in the light and airy tea room (very clean and well kept) But the stars of the day were the beautiful rare and near extinct birds and animals that gave us so much pleasure. It 's very noticeable (their best friends) are Chestnut 's dedicated STAFF! Well done to you all from two o.a.p.s who think its the best park we've visted for a long time! Especially the otter enclosure's hope to be back in Derbyshire soon.

Thank _milogoose5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Peak District National Park, England
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