Friday, 6 July 2018

Visiting Butterfly World at Preston Park, Stockton

During our North East staycation we found ourselves driving through Teesside on our way towards the North Yorkshire coast, desperately trying to dodge the grey clouds overhead that threatened rain. Not ideal when my weather app had promised sunshine meaning our white legs were out for all to see and smothered in sunblock especially for the occasion. Realising the weather wasn't on our side we ditched the original plan and found ourselves at Butterfly World at Preston Park in Stockton.

Visiting Butterfly World at Preston Park, Stockton


Now, I have to admit I didn't have high hopes that Butterfly World was going to be able to rescue a day that was rapidly turning into a bit of a disaster but the thought of wandering around some lovely hot tropical gardens on a gloomy day was enough for us to decide to give it a go.

Thank goodness we did!

Butterfly World at Preston Park, Stockton
Butterfly World is small yet perfectly formed and despite not being the largest attraction in the North East we could have happily spent an entire day wandering about. We were kicking ourselves a little that we'd visited so late in the day and only had an hour or so to wander before closing time (we stayed until the very last possible second and for a brief moment I did consider hiding myself in a bush so I could stay the night!)

From the second we stepped into Butterfly World our jaws hit the floor. I'd expected to have to hunt out the butterflies but they were everywhere and with flashes of the  most beautiful vibrant colours dashing about in front of our eyes we didn't know where to look first.   It must have taken us a good 20 minutes to even begin our exploring because we were so mesmerised by what we saw two steps in!

Butterfly World Preston Park, Stockton
The first butterflies to really capture our attention were the Blue Morphos who could be seen from the second that we stepped into Butterfly World. They certainly aren't shy and were darting about all over the place dancing for us and showing off their beautiful blue colours. Until we got our camera out of course and then they would land and turn their gorgeous wings to their intricate camouflage pattern - they are almost impossible to photograph!

That didn't stop them playing with us though and I had several dancing about me at one point and one even landed on my head which, although rather lovely, did result in me pulling this rather special face!

Butterfly World Preston Park, Stockton - Blue Morpho


Although there are strict rules at Butterfly World not to attempt to touch or capture the butterflies if you are very still, gentle and lucky they will land on you for brief moments which is such a magical experience. I spent a good while sitting on benches that were dotted around Butterfly World just watching and hoping that a beautifully coloured butterfly would land on me and say hello.

We explored carefully watching each step to ensure we weren't about to crush any of the beautiful insects. You definitely can't go stomping around as you please as there are butterflies constantly flitting around and they move so silently it's easy to miss them.

Butterfly World Preston Park, Stockton - Butterflies


Simon and I were in our absolute element wandering around photographing the butterflies, it's a dream for amateur photographers like us and we enjoyed playing about with the settings on our camera to attempt to capture the butterflies mid flight. Although I was sulking each time Simon ran off with the camera (he tends to do that when wildlife is involved) it's worth noting that I actually managed to get some amazing shots on my iPhone. The butterflies are very easy to photograph as you can get really close so there's definitely no need to have a fancy camera to walk away with some pretty decent photographs.

Butterfly World Preston Park, Stockton - Butterfly


There are over 80 species of butterfly flying freely at Butterfly World and we had great fun trying to spot them all. Some were definitely harder to track down than others and when we finally managed to get a photo of the "green one" it was high fives all round (I'm also fairly smug as Simon had attempted to photograph it and I managed to get there first!)

Butterfly World Preston Park, Teesside
It took us probably our third lap to start looking a little closer at the plants around us and to realise that there were furry caterpillars on some of the branches. Don't ask me how on earth we missed it the first time round. Apparently there are more than a few hidden on the plants so I'd certainly say it's worth going walking round Butterfly World a few times because on each walk around you will see something new.

Butterflies Preston Park, Teesside


Butterfly World is also home to a few other creatures and we were surprised to discover snakes, lizards and meerkats in an adjacent room. I don't think I've ever been able to get so close to meerkats before and they were so lovely to watch.

Butterflies Preston Park, Teesside - Meerkat


We never expected to enjoy Butterfly World as much as we did and if you are looking for something a little different to do this Summer then I'd highly recommend an afternoon of butterfly spotting!

Butterfly World is open between 10:00 am and 4:30 pm daily and costs £4.25 for adults and £3.75 for children.

Find Butterfly World at:

Preston Park
Yarm Road
Stockton-on-Tees
TS18 3RH

01642 791 414

http://www.butterfly-world.co.uk/
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4 comments

  1. It's such a fabulous day out isn't it - we like to team it with a visit to Preston Park. We're well overdue a visit!

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    1. Gutted we didn't have enough time to do anything else, we got there so late!

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  2. I didn't realise this was where you were when you put the photos on Instagram. It's not far from my parents at all :-) Although I have to say, I don't think I could have dealt with all the butterflies flying around me, as beautiful as they are, I'm such a pansy when it comes to flying things. Haha. Fab photos Chloe!!

    Claire. X www.clairemac.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. It did freak me out a bit, never thought I'd dislike having a butterfly flying towards me but when it came at my face I was a bit like ARGGGHHH!

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