Sunday 14 August 2016

Drusillas Park, Sussex Review

We recently went to Drusillas Park for a family day out. We first visited last year for my boy's second birthday and as we had such a fun time we decided to return for his third birthday too! Drusilla's Park is one of the top tourist attractions in East Sussex and comprises of a small zoo and theme park. It's particularly great for small kids as there is so much to do and see. We spent six hours there in total and still didn't get to see and do everything although we did go on the Thomas train three times!

We saw many of the same animals as we did last year. The park has mostly small animals such as meerkats, penguins, lemurs, monkeys, owls, sloths, tamarins, otters, racoons, snakes and several farm animals. There are also some bigger animals including camels, gibbons, macaques, alpacas, donkeys etc. As my boy was a bit older this year we also used a lot of the playground activities and ventured into the Amazon Adventure softplay centre. This year Drusillas has also introduced an outside ultimate splash pad experience and new animals such as a Parma wallaby, four lambs and a little baby saki monkey that is so cute!

As well as going through the park the highlight for us was venturing on the Thomas the Tank Engine ride that runs through the park and also spotting James, Diesel, Cranky and Bulgy the Bus! My boy is a huge fan of Thomas and he even took some of his little trains along with him on the day. Coincidently, on my boy's birthday, the Fat Controller (Sir Topham Hatt) made an appearance and this was one of the highlights of our visit. He even sang happy birthday to my son at the end of the day which was lovely.

We had lunch in the Explorers cafe where the food is of a reasonable price. There is a great selection of kids meals such as sandwich sets and hot food options for both children and adults. There are also salads and deserts and it's exactly what you need.

One of the things I was a little disappointed with is the size of some of the enclosures. Last year, I remember thinking the enclosures were fairly big for all the animals however, this time, I noticed that some of them are far too small. For example, the Rhinoceros Iguana was in an enclosure about double its body length. The Serval was pacing up and down in an enclosure too small for it to run around in. I know this is the nature of zoos but it's a sad thought knowing this is how some animals spend their whole lives. My son is three and in a particularly inquisitive phase right now. He is so curious about everything around him, asks questions all the time and as a result I am becoming more conscious about what I show him. I'm not sure I want him to see animals behind bars. Of course it's the same issue with any zoo, aquarium, animal park, farm, pet shop etc. Other animals at Drusillas seem to have bigger spaces to roam such as the lemurs which have a walk through enclosure. It would be interesting to know if the animals at Drusillas are taken out of their enclosures and let to roam free in a bigger space from time to time however, I doubt it. Compared to what the same species have in their wild natural habitats these animals have a minuscule fraction of that. For these reasons I'm not sure about visiting animal parks or zoos in the future. Friends have suggested I visit a safari instead and perhaps that's more in line with my views. What are your thoughts? Saying that though, we had a lovely great day out at Drusillas and more importantly my son had a wonderful birthday trip!

Thanks to Drusillas for providing us with tickets for the purpose of the review. All words, opinions & photos are my own. A family ticket for three during the peak season usually costs £48. See website for more details. 



1 comment

  1. That is the sad thing about zoos, the lack of space and stimulation for the animals. So sorry about your boy and the tests and all! Sending a prayer your way and for the doctors to have wisdom.


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