The Swannery at Abbotsbury

According to the legend, the hatching of the first cygnets (baby swan) signifies the first day of summer. My visit to Weymouth was for pure leisure. However when I heard that there was a swannery nearby, I was keen to visit it. Feeding ducks and swans has almost become routine in parks and lakes in England, especially if you have young kids. However there was something about the swannery that intrigued. The website hinted that there was the possibility of watching an egg crack to see a cygnet being born. Now who could possibly resist that?

We arrived just in time for the feeding, which takes place from 12 to 4. A large crowd was already waiting. We somehow found a place from which we could peek through. The swans were some distance away. The crowds were kept in place away from the swans by means of a railing. This was the first disappointment. I had been under the impression that we would be left free to wander amongst the swans to feed them. There was a person addressing the crowds via a microphone who said that he would be taking the children in small groups to feed the swans. He gave an assurance that every child, without fail, would get a chance. True to his word, without any further delay my daughter was taken to feed the swans while we could only watch from behind the railing. In spite of having fed numerous swans and ducks on countless occasions in the past, she seemed to be thrilled by the experience.

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We set off on a designated path after the feeding. A volunteer came by with a bucket that had an egg in it which was about to hatch. It was already cracked and we could see something moving inside it. Fascinating to watch and worth half the price of the ticket, I guess. We then came across this swan that was sitting on her eggs and cygnets and nearly squashing them, in the process. We were hoping that an egg would crack open to reveal a cygnet being born but luck was not on our side that day.

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I do not know whether the site and the experience merit the charge of £11 per adult. However the combined ticket, which includes the Abbotsbury farm and gardens along with the swannery, gives better value for your buck. Overall an interesting and unique experience and very enjoyable for the kids. The site includes a small playground and a willow maze, which happened to be a lot of fun!

 

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