Regarded as one of the best attractions in Sussex, Drusillas Park is a small zoo in Alfriston, East Sussex. I have very fond memories of visiting Drusillas as a little girl and I was so excited to be given the opportunity to pop down and review the park recently with the family. Do not be fooled by the mention of small, as a visit to Drusillas will provide an action packed family day out like no other! As well as the zoo, the park boasts a huge adventure playground complete with splash pad (for those warmer months!), farm animals, Petworld, an interactive maze, indoor soft play, rides and much more. Read on for our review and to find out why Drusillas really is no ordinary Zoo!
The route through the zoo is well marked and easy to follow to ensure you don’t miss anything! With over 100 different species of animals, there’s plenty of exciting things to see to keep the little ones entertained. In addition, there are loads of added extras spotted about this includes histories, facts, stamping stations and zoo olympics (comparing how you fair to different animals). You get given your Animal Spotter Book and Zoolympics Record Book at the entrance. This is a great touch, Finlay really wanted to fill all his stamps so was super keen to search them out! The cages are all clean and the animals are all super happy and healthy which is great to see. Quite a few were even happy to come up the glass edge to say hello, which Emmie loved!
There’s quite a few interactive areas (some of which link into the zoolympics), a tunnel into the Meerkat enclosure, underwater viewing for the penguins and plenty of walk through enclosures (Bats, Lemurs, Lorikeets). There’s a really cute ‘Down the Farmyard‘ area where you can even ‘Milk‘ a (pretend) cow. I couldn’t get Finlay to play, but I certainly pulled up my stool and gave it a good go! You can also find the Pet’s corner nestled away en route too. You will also find the Maasai Exhibit which includes a replica mud house and Maasai artefacts – pretty cool! There are set feed times and keeper talks, these are well advertised so you shouldn’t miss them. We ended up at the penguins just as they were about to feed, so we stayed and watched which was great.
The Adventure Park
Once we finished the zoo trail Finlay wanted to head into the adventure park. There was so much to do in here, it could be a day out on its own! There’s ‘go Bananas’ for the under 6’s, we couldn’t get Finlay off the inground trampoline! Then there’s ‘Go Wild‘ for the 7 – 12 year olds. Finlay had a good old play in here too. He loves to climb, so he was in his element, there was so much to climb and swing on! He went wild on the ziplines and climbed to the top of the helter skelter and shot down.
If the weathers not on your side, there’s the indoor ‘Amazon Adventure‘, or soft play as you and I call it! We popped in to have a rest, feed the baby and have a coffee. There are not many seats available in here. I can imagine on a busy day it can get quite crowded. Luckily for us, it wasn’t too busy. The toilets here were nice and clean which is good, nothing worse than going to a place that doesn’t keep the loo’s spick and span! Finlay played while we rested. I really like how secure it feels, there’s and only one way in and out and I could keep a keen eye on it easily, so he couldn’t disappear without me seeing!
For the warmer months, there’s the splash pad adjacent to the play area. We didn’t use it on our visit but it looks a really nice size and I think Finlay would really enjoy at some point next year. Across the way there’s ‘Edens Eye‘ an interactive Maze. We enjoyed walking around seeing what surprises were in store. Beware of the talking parrot I almost pee’d my pants when it squawked at me above my head, much to everyone else’s amusement!
I think Finlay’s favourite part, he is a little adrenaline junkie! The rides are split into two worlds. ‘Go Safari’ (new for 2017) and ‘Hello Kitty Secret Garden‘. In the go Safari, you will find the Safari express. This takes you on a little train ride around the park. The Hippopotobus and the Flying Cheetahs. Finlay went on the Hippopotobus all on his own, he little face was a picture as it took him up, around and down. However, it was him dragging Nanny onto the flying cheetas that made my day!
Hello Kitty Secret Garden contains the Hello Kitty Hopper, the Hello Kitty car ride and The Hello Kitty Tea Cups. I was a bit worried the pink girly theme might put Finlay off as he is a real boys boy, but he loved it. He was on the hopper on his own laughing away. I joined him on the gentle cars and daddy spun the life out of him on the teacups!
Drusillas always has something going on throughout the year, and from the 18th November 2017 the magical Winter Wonderland returns once again! The winter wonderland will light up daily from November 18th, with a synchronised light show to music every day from 4.30pm until 01st January.
Visitors will also get the chance to meet Santa in his cosy Christmas cottage during the weekends from 18th November. Then daily from Thursday 14th December to Saturday 23rd December. For an additional charge children can also meet Santa and receive a high quality gift! In addition, visitors also get to Hug a Husky and meet two of Santa’s reindeer!
As a conservation postgraduate, I love the work that Drusillas puts into both local and international conservation programmes. It’s also obvious how proud Drusillas are of their achievements, and they should be. They do great work and run a fantastic small zoo, that provides families an extraordinary day out. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and highly recommend a visit!