A family of swans at Abbotsbury Swannery

Abbotsbury in Dorset is home to a trio of wonderful attractions. In June 2017, we were invited to have a look around Abbotsbury Swannery during their baby swans event, and we had a great time. If you’re fans of wildlife, then this place is well worth a visit.

Abbotsbury Swannery is on the fleet, a short walk from the village of Abbotsbury. It is home to hundreds of swans who come back every year to breed and bring up their cygnets before they all depart again in the Autumn. Abbotsbury Swannery Review

Getting to Abbotsbury Swannery

It’s fairly easy to find. The swannery is signposted from around Abbotsbury. There is plenty of free car parking available, or it is a short walk from the Children’s Farm up the road.

The swan colony lives a little walk away from the main visitor centre/shop/toilets. It takes about five to ten minutes to walk down there, depending on the size of your legs. There is a tractor ride for an extra charge, which will take you to the edge of the woods, and you then walk down a little further to the feeding area at the water’s edge.

Tractor ride at Abbotsbury Swannery

The walk through to the feeding area is very pleasant. The shade was very welcome on the hot day that we visited, and there were lots of swan families to say hello to on the way through

swans at Abbotsbury Swannery

Swan feeding at Abbotsbury Swannery

Feeding time is twice a day. At the feeding area, there are soooo many swans, all ready for you to feed them. There is a keeper to give you a talk on the swans and other water fowl who live on the Fleet, and lots of volunteers to dish out the food. When we went it was extremely busy, so the priority was to give all the children a turn first. And they did all get a turn, even if it meant having to wait until the very end. The food was starting to disappear fast though with lots of hungry swans.

Top tip – get to the feeding zone early and stand next to one of the two gates in the fence. This should mean you’re front of the queue and not have to wait quite so long

Feeding time at Abbotsbury Swannery

Around this area, there are also family pens to separate the very young families from the rest of the colony.

A family of swans at Abbotsbury Swannery

Once feeding time was over, we made our way back through the nature trail. Beware of the water hazards here, though it should be ok for littlies as long as they don’t try climbing any barriers!

The nature trail at Abbotsbury Swannery

You can even see a bouncing bomb at the end!

A bouncing bomb at Abbotsbury Swannery

What to do at Abbotsbury Swannery

Aside from swans and other wildlife, there are plenty of other things to keep children entertained here. There is also a go-kart track (free), a hay bale climbing area, and a swan-shaped maze complete with trail sheet.

Go karts at Abbotsbury Swannery

Hay bale climbing area at Abbotsbury Swannery

The maze was particularly good – collect a sheet from the shop on your way in and you can find clues to spell out a word, and enter your sheet into a prize draw.

The swan maze at Abbotsbury Swannery

There is also a play area back up next to the reception/shop/cafe but we didn’t get chance to try it out – there was plenty to be doing elsewhere!

About Abbotsbury Swannery

Visit time – Allow at least two hours, up to around five hours. Feeding time is at 12 noon and 4pm daily.

  • Cygnets Hatching event is from mid May to end of June
  • The Ugly Ducklings is July to October
  • Cygnets Learning to Fly is September to October

For more information please visit Abbotsbury Swannery

You can buy a ‘passport’ which will give you entry to the Swannery, and also to Abbotsbury Children’s Farm, and the Subtropical Gardens. Check out the website of Abbotsbury Tourism to learn more

Disclosure – we were guests of Abbotsbury Swannery. All opinion is our own.

A review of Abbotsbury Swannery Dorset

Eco-Gites of LenaultCountry Kids


Joanne and the girly gang review family days out around the UK and beyond, with a little help from their friends.

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  1. What a great looking place to visit and sooooo many swans. It must be nice to get up so close to them. #AnimalTales

  2. How much was the tractor ride if you don’t mind me asking? 🙂

    1. Do you know, I’m not sure. We didn’t actually go on it. I think it was about £1 – £2 per person

  3. That looks like such an interesting place to visit. I love the photos of the swans with their cygnets. I have to admit that I’m a little nervous around swans but my girls would love to visit somewhere like this. Love the look of the nature trail too 🙂 #countrykids

    1. They stay out of your way mainly and only get aggressive if you get too close. I think they’re pretty used to visitors by now!

  4. This does look a wonderful day out with plenty to do for children. the little signets are proper ugly ducklings yet so cute all at once. How wonderful to be there at feeding times and some top tips to make the most of things too. I’m loving the go cart course, it is something we have often looked at for Coombe Mill but as yet is still on the ‘one day’ list. It is so refreshing to find somewhere where the extras like the go carts and maze are free.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. The Go karts were a huge hit and I’m sure they would be at your place too. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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