Windsor Home Page
From 1969 - 1992 Windsor Safari Park was
a large and popular safari park situated just outside Windsor
in the former grounds of 'Dodge Mansion' on St Leonards Hill.
It was established by the Smart family of 'Billy Smart's Circus'
fame, The Smart's had for a number of years used nearby Winkfield
as their winter quarters, where a large brick built barn, with
a number of outbuildings were used when not on tour to house
the elephants, lions and tigers as well as many other circus
animals and circus paraphernalia such as the multitude of brightly
painted circus vehicles.
But for one reason or another, the attractions
of circus life faded for the Smart's and regular touring ceased
in 1971 although very successful TV 'specials' from Windsor and
elsewhere continued for a number of years thereafter from the
specially erected Big Top.
In 1986 an auction was held of remaining circus
equipment at the Winkfield Winter Quarters and the site sold.
The area is now occupied by HFC Bank.
In 2003 the Billy Smart Circus took to
the road again. Details
Windsor Safari Park closed its gates
in 1992 and the area lay idle for several years until Legoland
opened its doors in 1996 as its first theme park outside Denmark.
A website has now been created celebrating
Windsor Safari Park. The
following introduction to the site has been supplied by 'Falkor',
the administrator of Windsor Safari Park.org.uk
An Introduction to Windsor
From its opening in 1969 and into the 1980s,
Windsor Safari Park was a large and exciting Safari Park to explore,
especially when you ventured into the chimpanzees enclosure.
You literally took your 'car in your hands' as the chimpanzees
were extremely curious, mischievous and boisterous. Stopping
was a big mistake, not only for you but all the cars following
behind. The chimps would spot a stationary car from a hundred
yards away and within seconds would be swarming all over it.
Wing mirrors, windscreen wipers, petrol caps, aerials, hub caps,
you name it, it would be HISTORY! But seeing this band of child-like
animals at work was often more a subject of laughter than tears,
especially if you were watching them unleash their energies on
somebody else's car!!
Having survived the chimpanzees, you moved
on to the tigers' lair just in time for dinner. The tigers would
have been licking their lips for hours and then 'meals on wheels'
appeared. Can you imagine being on the inside of that cage as
the wire door just swings wide open, "...Eeeerrrr Fred,
you forgot to latch the back gate again!"
I remember that the Killer Whale was a
big hit at Windsor Safari Park, the dolphins she worked with
would often display on their own and they each had their own
separate routines, although they were quite content to swim around
The routines were the same every day but
even though you soon got to know them, they remained extremely
interesting and entertaining to watch. Winnie and the dolphins
were capable of launching themselves out of the water, high into
the air, to the gasps of a packed audience, and screams of those
in the 'splash-zone'!
By the 1990s Windsor Safari Park had been the
subject of so many improvements and building works, major new
rides and areas - that to close the place down in 1992 must have
seemed complete insanity in the face of such enormous and very
recent investment. The park contained
not just a safari route, not just a few children's rides, not
just a museum and educational centre, not just a conference suite
and butterfly house but all of these things and more. To have
this incredible achievement bulldozed to the ground must have
caused heartbreak at all levels. Why did it happen? Why couldn't
a buyer have been found to take on Windsor Safari Park as a going
Well, it is all too late to worry about that
now, simply enjoy the photos of 10 - 20 years ago, the legendary
era of Windsor safari Park. Say your piece, reply to what others
have said, join the holy brethren of the Windsor Safari Park
site, you would be most welcome to come in for a chat, put your
feet up and make yourself at home once more at Windsor Safari Park.org.uk
Top regards from
Falkor, Web Site Administrator
Windsor Home Page
To contact us, email