Cotswold Falconry Centre, near Moreton-in-Marsh

Cotswold Falconry Centre, near Moreton-in-Marsh

Sitting alongside Batsford Arboretum, just up the road from the Cotswold town of Moreton in Marsh, the Cotswold Falconry Centre provides a fascinating insight into the lives of magnificent birds of prey and the importance of their conservation. 

Lifelong bird enthusiast, Geoff Dalton, and his wife Naomi, opened the Cotswold Falconry Centre, back in 1988. Their aim was to give visitors a greater understanding of birds of prey, as well as to showcase the ancient art of falconry. 

There are over 130 birds living at the Falconry Centre, including 60 different species. They include buzzards, eagles, falcons, harriers, hawks, kites and owls. Hour-long flying displays take place at various times throughout the day. Each display features different birds, offering the opportunity to observe how each species hunts and catches their prey and the chance to understand which skills they use to make them successful predators. 

When you are not watching one of the dazzling displays, you can wander around the breeding aviaries; cameras on some of the nest sites reveal an even closer view. Cotswold Falconry Centre is home to some critically endangered species and you will be able to gain an insight into their lives and the dangers they face in the wild. 

In addition to the birds on display, you might also spot some native wild birds of prey swooping high above the Cotswolds’ countryside. Keep your eyes peeled for buzzards, kestrels, sparrowhawks, Peregrine falcons and red kites. 

As well as the usual admission, it is also possible to book experience days in advance. An ‘Introductory Day’ teaches some of the basics of falconry. This includes handling and walking with a variety of birds of prey and experiencing the unique feeling of a bird returning to the glove. If you have less time, the ‘Flying Start’ is a one-to-one, hour-long experience with an expert falconer, where you will experience the thrill of flying one of the birds. 

Snacks and ice creams are available at the centre, but, if you’re feeling properly peckish, the Garden Terrace Café at neighbouring Batsford Arboretum offers delicious homemade food throughout the day. 

Combine your trip to the Cotswold Falconry Centre with a visit to spectacular Batsford Arboretum. If you pay full entry at one, you will receive a 10% discount at the other. The quintessentially Cotswold town of Moreton in Marsh is nearby, where you will find independent cafes, pubs and shops. 

The Falconry Centre opens mid-February to early November. Check their website for opening times and admission charges.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9AB | 01386 701 043 |  

Images copyright Cotswold Falconry Centre

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