The Swinton Park Bird of Prey Centre opened an aviary in the hotel grounds in 2008. The aviary is the restored orangery and is a very short walk from the hotel, adjacent to the four acre walled garden and children’s play area.
The falconer is Sophie Abbott, who masterminded the launch of the Bird of Prey Centre, and lives within walking distance of the hotel.Sophie Abbott has lived on the Swinton Estate all her life, and having worked with Birds of Prey since the age of 12, is a highly skilled and passionate falconer.
Watching the birds of prey at the aviary and flying them to your hand is a thrilling experience. Both hotel guests and non-residents are welcome to enjoy this, which appeals to all age groups both in a leisure or corporate entertainment environment. Bookings can be taken for individuals and groups and gift vouchers are available for all experiences, making an ideal present.
Enjoy the range of falconry experiences available, including hawk and owl experiences and a half day of falconry. These provide a close insight into birds of prey as you learn to handle and fly them under the guidance of an experienced falconer. Families particularly enjoy the half hour “Taster Experience” or the hour long “Family Falconry Experience”.
Each experience provides a lot of hands on time with birds of prey and a varying range of species from hawks, falcons, owls and corvids all within our beautiful landscaped parkland. We also provide opportunities to witness the incredible natural hunting ability of the birds within surrounding estate.
The aviary is home for up to 12 birds at time, with owls, eagles, falcons and hawks in residence.
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Thank goodness the sun has now come out and we seem to have finally put winter behind us! The Parkland has burst into bloom with clouds of blossom and a colourful carpet of daffodils and bluebells around the trees.
The Walled Garden is also getting going, with bright tulips swaying in the breeze and home grown asparagus bursting forth. Asparagus is at its most delicious when eaten closest to home, so dishes featuring home-grown asparagus are now on all our menus, including the bar and lounge. The garden furniture is out and soon it will be time for afternoon teas on the lawn and evening drinks on the terrace at sunset. English summertime at it’s best.
Please click here if you are making plans for 2013 and want to see our Events and Activities Calendar to book a cookery course, themed lunch or family event. Our inspirational Themed Lunch and Dining Experiences page includes Wine Appreciation Lunches, with talks and tastings led by our new sommelier David Borwick, together with our Gardening Lunches, which include a talk and tour with garden designer Susan Cunliffe-Lister.