Alfriston, East Sussex
Tel: 01323 874100
About Drusillas Park
Drusillas Park is located at Alfriston, Sussex, just off the A27, and is an enticing family attraction with both a zoo – widely regarded as the best small zoo in Britain – and a whole host of other attractions, ensuring a great family day out. Indeed, over 350,000 people visit the family attraction each year.
Within its conservation remit, Drusillas Park’s zoo emphasises fun, interactive involvement for visitors on a family day out and has innovatively designed, naturalistic animal enclosures, with low level viewing to allow ticket holders with children to see the animals face to face. With nearly 200 species and over 1600 animals in Drusillas Park’s 10 acres of parkland, the family attraction caters for children of all ages.
The focus of Drusillas Park is on smaller animals, such as cheeky Saki and Macaque monkeys, who regularly perform for visitors – livening up a family day out – small cats like servals, and various other types of mammals from across the globe, such as porcupines, fruit bats, llamas and two species of ever-playful otters, including the Asian short-clawed otter. For twitchers, there are many species of our feathered friends, including parrots and flamingos – just the ticket.
Among the other species that have proved a hit at the family attraction are Penguins, which put on a fine display at feeding time, the inquisitive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs, Beavers, Coatis, dwarf Crocodiles, a variety of slithering Snakes, Mongooses and Gibbons.
New for Easter 2008 is the walk-through Lemurland, while Drusillas Park’s Pet World concentrates on pet care for the likes of guinea pigs and rabbits, as well as exotic species. Keepers are on hand to give advice, and animals are kept in enclosures and tanks like those used at home. Information is provided on their food, company, grooming and heat.
Drusillas Park’s Bug World is a mini-beast exhibit adding a hair-raising aspect to the family attraction, while Drusillas Park’s small farmyard has domestic species such as sheep and goats, which can be groomed by ticket holders.
Additionally, there are numerous hands-on activities for ticket holders to grapple with and a ‘Zoolympics challenge’ where children can jump, shout, run and hold their breath in competition with a variety of animals.
What’s more, Drusillas Park Playland is chock-a-block with slides, swings, ropes and climbing frames. Playland also incorporates the Monkey Kingdom, a fire engine, the Toddlers’ indoor village, and an 18-hole Jungle Adventure Golf course.
Furthermore, Drusillas Park fun can be had by Panning for Gold, finding fossils on the Dino-Dig, to claim an Explorer’s Certificate, and taking in the Penguin Plunge & Jungle Jumper features, as well as climbing up Vertical Limit for the Matterhorn!
Elsewhere, the family attraction has a Wacky Workshop with face painting, non-indelible tattoos and paint’n’make-up, animal Spotter Books and trails, the wet-ride Explorers Lagoon, and a Discovery centre containing animal artefacts.
On top of all that, a family day out should take in Maasai Life, where ticket holders can learn about the African nomads and their culture, there’s a Shooting Gallery and the Spider Mountain ride.
Interactive displays are dotted about Drusillas Park and include talking telescopes with animal facts, the Where In The World boards that reveal where animals come from, displays of Countries and Capitals of the world, Milking a Cow and Farming facts, and Fascinating flap facts.
In addition, Mokomo’s Jungle Rock sings about the food chain, and the Amazon Adventure soft play area boasts 300 square metres of slides, an aerial runway, a cannon canyon, netted walkways, spinning poles, and an anaconda run. It’s separate from the under-sixes’ play area and is both heated and air-conditioned for all-year round fun.
Another popular element of the family attraction is Drusillas Park’s Thomas & Friends railway line, where Thomas, Annie and Clarabel provide a daily service throughout the day, 362 days a year.
Ticket holders can clamber aboard at Tidmouth Hault and take a ride on Thomas The Tank Engine through the Llama paddock to see the Fat Controller at Dryaw Halt. En route, visitors can look out for James in the engine shed, try to spot Diesel around the track and point out Cranky in the Sodor Dock yard. Afterwards, the Station Buffet serves up tasty treats, and the Gift Shop has a selection of Thomas merchandise.
Drusillas Park’s Oasis Café in Playland provides fine refreshments, along with the Amazon Adventure Café and Explorers Café, while further shopping opportunities at the family attraction include Mungo’s Trading Post, Teddy’s Jungle Safari and Candyland.
School groups are catered for with Animal Encounters, taking in a range of small animals and artefacts, Jungle Fun in a specially designed Rainforest Room, Let’s Compare, a Mini-beasts session, and Thomas Meets The Animals trips where parties join Thomas and friends on an adventure around the zoo.
Other excursions around the family attraction include Lenny The Lonely Land Snail, Harry Travels The World, focusing on a rat’s adventures, Tropical Rainforests, which provides a sight, sound and animal encounter reflecting the diversity of rainforest life in the Rainforest Room, and Maasai Life, where traditional costume and articles from everyday life give an insight into Maasai family ways.
Drusillas Park’s Classification sessions look at how animals are grouped as fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal, Habitats And Adaptations uses costumes and artefacts to explore the adaptations that animals make to their environment, and Homes And Families focuses on animal babies, welfare and homes.
Animal Care is a keystone of Drusillas Park and school parties can gain expert knowledge and top tips for pet care from keepers, as well as meet the creatures and learn how to keep them content. The Animal Care sessions at the family attraction include enclosure design, group size, diet and enrichment, and cover everything from penguins to primates. The session can be focused on farmyard or Petworld animals.
The Role Of Zoos And Conservation session covers zoo history and shows why some animals are endangered and how zoos work to help raise their numbers.
Additionally, Drusillas Park offers the chance to become a Keeper for the Day where visitors can experience many animal encounters and feed, clean and care for a variety of species, including lemurs, meerkats, penguins and capybaras.
Drusillas Park is accessible to wheelchairs, which are available, and has a ‘Sensory Trail’ with booklet, ensuring the family attraction is a splendid family day out that everyone can enjoy.