I was really sad to hear about Seaview Wildlife Encounter closing down for good this weekend. This is somewhere that we would sometimes visit with friends and it was big enough to justify the (relatively) long drive from the west side of the island.
It’s a real shame because Colemans Farm, another place that we really liked to go to, closed in October. This was a brilliant place – it had loads of interesting animals who you could feed with grain sold in the shop, a fantastic play barn and a little area with a bunch of trikes. My daughter, in particular, loved the kune kune pigs and would squat to watch them for ages. In peak times, they would also do things like lamb feeding, egg hunts and give tractor rides to the visiting kids.
To my way of thinking, it counted as one of the Enid Blyton-style experiences on the IoW – if the weather was nice, the kids would have fun looking at the animals and if it rained or was freezing, they would play in the barn (which counted as “time spent outdoors”).
It was also one of the rare places in the IoW which stayed open during the winter. I guess it’s difficult to make these sorts of places profitable.