Friday, 3 July 2015

The Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre, Lowther, Cumbria

The Cafe
My friend Jayne and I went to visit The Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre the other week and had a wonderful time. The centre is located on the Lowther Estate just south of Penrith in Cumbria, which
 we found it very easily. We first went into the cafe which must have once been a barn and it was eclectic to say the least, every table and almost every chair was different and there were historical items on all flat surfaces. I loved it, I like places that are different and quirky. We had tea and a cream scone and I must say the scone was definitely homemade as they claimed, it just melted in my mouth.

Just after two o'clock we went to the field nearby to watch the show. We walked into a walled garden where the birds were, I was surprised by how many there were, and then out to the field. There were benches there and about twelve people already watching the show.

The falconer was called Paul Bevan and he definitely had the gift of the gab! He was very knowledgeable about the birds and also a stand up comedian! Sometimes though, I wished he had talked more about the birds and told fewer jokes.

Paul had Bernard the peregrine falcon out when we arrived. Then he showed us two white Gyrfalcons, two brothers called Dusty and Lefty. They were gorgeous birds and one was so stunningly acrobatic in flight that it took my breath away. The next bird to meet was Bob the Harris hawk and I got up close to lovely Bob! I put on the thick leather glove and Paul gave me a little treat
to place on top of the glove and then Bob swooped in for the treat and sat on my hand. It was such a privilege to be so close to such a magnificent bird. At one point Bob decided to relocate from my hand to my head - which we had been warned he might do! What a character, loved him.
One of the Gyrfalcons

After this we walked back in to the walled garden to meet Otto the eagle owl - who is very popular and has his own fan page on Facebook here. He was huge, there's just something so cute about owls and I was able to stroke him gently on his very soft tummy. Apparently the reason owls are so quiet in flight is because of the softness of their feathers.

We then walked to look at Tinkerbelle the bald eagle who was massive yet the sound she made didn't go with her size! She wasn't taken out of her cage unfortunately, would have loved to have touched her too.

Then the show ended, it normally runs from 2-4pm but it didn't finish until 4.30. Paul was obviously dedicated to these gorgeous birds and talked a bit about the conservation and breeding programmes he is involved with.

Paul and Otto
There was a little antique shop that we looked around before going back into the cafe so I could buy a piece of chocolate cake to take home (it was as yummy as it looked!) There is also a small shop there that we looked around before heading home.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend a visit to The Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre for an informative, funny and very special afternoon, how often can you get close to such magnificent birds?  It's well worth the entry fee.

The centre is open 11.30-5.00 April to November. The adult entry fee is £8.50, however we got entry and tea and scones for two for £14 via a Travelzoo offer, brilliant value!

Address: Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre
               Near Penrith
               Cumbria CA10 2HH


The Stunning Tinkerbelle

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