2020 has been a year to rediscover what the United Kingdom has to offer. While foreign vacations have been difficult or even impossible, U.K. tourism has gradually reopened throughout the summer. Camping at Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Roar & Snore was an unexpected highlight of our summer. An opportunity to wake up to the roar of the park’s lions!
British zoos have been struggling during the lockdown period. Britain’s most popular Zoo has even run a “Save Our Zoo” campaign to highlight its plight. Zoos started to reopen on June 15th, but with the continued closure of indoor attractions, social distancing, and limited capacity. Yorkshire Wildlife Park opened its new Roar & Snore camping to offer a new experience during these challenging times. However, Roar & Snore proved you can still have great fun even with social distancing.
Roar & Snore consists of camping in a dedicated area just outside Yorkshire Wildlife Park, close enough to hear the lions roar! Guests have late-night access to a limited number of attractions, exclusive catering facilities, and park access through tickets purchased at reduced rates.
The campsite was open in 2020 for just over one month, closing at the end of August. However, it has been confirmed it will be returning for the 2021 season. Guests receive a large 10*15m pitch, large enough for one large or two small tents plus a car. There are dedicated restrooms and shower facilities. A small pot washing area is available, but no hot water. The facilities are all mobile/temporary structures, and it will be interesting to see if a more permanent setup will be in place for 2021.
The campsite does have a very temporary feel and perhaps was setup quickly to take advantage of the UK 2020 “Staycation.” Unsurprisingly electric hookups are not available. Despite this, the facilities are of a high standard and supported social distancing. One minor concern was that washroom facilities did not appear to be regularly cleaned in the afternoon and evenings. In a typical year, this would be fine, but in 2020 it was noticeable.
Friendly staff are onsite throughout the day and there is a steward staying overnight. A small breakfast cabin is available each morning.
Camping packages include admission to the park. Currently, the park has a reservation system for access, and readmissions are not allowed. However, camping tickets allowed repeat admissions with no reservation time throughout the day. Park tickets are also slightly cheaper than the standard admission price.
Perhaps the best perks of roar and snore are in the evening. Guests have late-night access to a small area of the park, which includes a cafe serving food and alcoholic beverages. Guests can see a small number of animals as they dine, plus a playground is kept open for children. However, the best perk was on our first night.
On select nights over the summer, the park was open late for a Sunset Safari. These nights include an opportunity to experience the park at night, music, entertainment, and food stores. Usually, the park has several big entertainment nights featuring well-known stars, but they were canceled in 2020. Unexpectedly on arrival at Roar & Snore, we were informed we could access the evening’s event for no additional charge. The evening provided the opportunity to experience the park in the dusk and discover Dole Whips!
Roar & Snore was great fun and allowed the opportunity to relax in a different environment. The experience will be enjoyed by the whole family including children of all ages. This wasn’t a luxury campsite, but the facilities were good. Hearing various strange sounds coming from the park in the morning was a great highlight. The big attraction is being within a few steps of the brilliant Yorkshire Wildlife Park, and we will discuss the park in our next post.