Destination UK

Meeting Red Squirrels at Wildwood Escot

Posted on
June 15, 2017

During the half term holidays we stayed at Andrewshayes Holiday Park for a short break and I was keen to explore the local area.
One place to visit that was recommended to me was Wildwood Escot, set just 15 minutes away in Ottery St Mary.
Wildwood Escot is home to a wonderful collection of native and formerly native wildlife, a fascinating Saxon village, a rather tricky beech hedge maze and lots of woodland paths to explore with fun parks to play in and fallen trees to climb, perfect for my adventure loving kids.
When we arrived we were given a map and the times of activities that would be hosted throughout the day and set off in search of some animals, meeting our first just outside the door.
Wildwood Escot
There were several peacocks roaming the grounds who didn’t seem phased by the kids who were running around among them. Sadly we didn’t get a full feather display, but we did get to admire them at close range.
Wildwood Escot has a main pathway which runs around the grounds and then lots of smaller winding pathways which head into 200 acres of stunning woodland with animals dotted around every corner including lynx, wild boar and birds of prey . One of our favourites had to be the Otter who seemed very happy to see us.
Wildwood Escot
The one animal we were really looking forward to seeing was the red squirrel. We have them locally on Brownsea Island but they are very shy creatures and therefore difficult to see. At Wildwood Escot they have 5 squirrels who live in a specially adapted area and do talks at 11am each day.
Red Squirrel
The talk was informative and aimed perfectly at the children and the keeper had some nuts with her to coax the squirrels closer. She let the squirrels know she was here with a clicker and it wasn’t long before one, Bramble, appeared.
Red Squirrel
She darted around our feet, much to the kids delight and then ran off to hide her nutty prize several times. Although we only saw one red squirrel it was a real treat.
Red Squirrel
Once the talk had finished and the kids had finished asking questions we headed back into the park, eager to find Edcott, their Anglo-Saxon village.
At weekends and during the school holidays it comes to life with a working forge, woodwork and the opportunity to also make your own Saxon penny but the kids were more than happy to investigate everything it had to offer on their own.
Next to Escott was the beech hedge maze and like all good explorers we got ourselves helplessly lost.
beech hedge maze
After finding our way out…….eventually, we carried on exploring and found some fabulous trees to climb…..
Wildwood Escot
…..alongside a fun frame to pose in and have our photo’s taken.
Wildwood Escot
Activities in the park are quite spread out and we found an indoor soft play area and a death slide on our way around it, meaning there are places to hide if the weather turns.
Wildwood Escot
Sebby’s favourite area was the pirate themed play area, where he was in his element playing pirates with his brother and sister!
Wildwood Escot
Excitingly they have just introduced a pack of wolves to Wildwood Escot, but they are currently settling into their new environment so we didn’t get to see them, but contented ourselves with the wild boar and birds of prey.
Wildwood Escot
Wildwood Escott is the perfect blend of education and fun and I would love to return in the school holidays to see the activities we missed.

  1. Reply

    Sarah - let them be small

    June 15, 2017

    looks wonderful. We saw red squirrels last year in Formby – they’re such a beautiful colour aren’t they?

  2. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    June 15, 2017

    It must have been so nice trying to spot wild animals, I saw loads of hedgehogs and rabbits last weekend, it’s amazing what you can find outside of London x

  3. Reply


    June 15, 2017

    The pictures are beautiful! I love doing outdoor activities. The squirrel is beautiful. We have peacocks that roam our local zoo. They are never phased by all the people. Peacocks are also beautiful animals. Glad you had a good time!

  4. Reply


    June 15, 2017

    This sounds like a fun day out for the whole family.

  5. Reply

    Suzy Mccullough

    June 15, 2017

    I hadn’t heard of this place before. It sounds and looks lovely. I adore your photos of the red squirrel. Death slide looks terrifying

  6. Reply


    June 15, 2017

    Great photos! I’ve never seen a squirrel so close! Death slides really scare me! Haha. I had a bad experience as a child!

  7. Reply


    June 17, 2017

    Looks like a real mix of activities and wildlife. Love the ‘Vikings’ sign too!

  8. Reply

    Agness of aTukTuk

    June 17, 2017

    Wow! This truly seems like an awesome experience! I would love to see all these animals!

  9. Reply

    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...

    June 17, 2017

    Wow what an amazing opportunity to get close to nature and fab activities for the children too

  10. Reply


    June 17, 2017

    I’ve been looking for somewhere to holiday this year. This looks perfect! My 4yo would love seeing the red squirrels, too.

  11. Reply

    Becca Talbot

    June 18, 2017

    I’d never heard of Wildwood Escot before, but it looks like a great place to spend a few days 🙂 I’m glad you had fun, and I love your pics of the peacock x

  12. Reply

    Ana De- Jesus

    June 18, 2017

    The death slide looks like so much fun and how beautiful are the red squirrels . I like that the park had so many activities to offer x

  13. Reply


    June 19, 2017

    omg I love this. I miss family days out like this, I loved them as a kid 🙂

  14. Reply


    June 19, 2017

    What a fantastic way to spend a day. Lovely photos!

  15. Reply


    June 19, 2017

    What a wonderful place! It looks super fun, I hate hedge mazes though…..hate not knowing how to get out!!

  16. Reply

    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    June 20, 2017

    Looks like there is lots to see and do and what fab captures of the squirrels.

  17. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    July 14, 2017

    Amazing photography here. The animals are so beautiful!

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog