My kids have a love/hate relationship with animals or, more accurately, love/fear – my daughter adores them whilst my son is rather more apprehensive around them. Prime example; during a visit to a local farm, we walked through a field of animals where Miss J tried to ride a goat whilst the boy was running away from a goose.
Still, we find Drusillas to be quite a good compromise as there are enough animals to keep Miss J happy, and there is also plenty for the boy to do as well. Cuddling Meerkat statues, for example.
And logging stamps in the spotters book.
Of course, for the train enthusiast, Drusillas also boasts a Thomas train that will take you right the way round the park, as well as a few other characters to spot throughout the day.
As mentioned previously, there are enough animals to keep Miss J happy, with meerkats and flamingoes being highlights for her.
And what I quite like about the attraction is the opportunity to do something a little different. The Zoolympic challenges are always fun and it’s nice to see how the children have grown and improved at the activities, considering we first brought Miss J when she had just turned one and she is now seven.
I think one of her very favourites parts of the day was the Lorikeet Landing, where she was able to feed the birds from a little pot of nectar (these pots are available to purchase at £1 each).
We ended up eating at one of the cafes during our visit – we had brought a picnic but it was a little too wet to eat outside in the end – which offered the usual fast food options. The children ate chicken nuggets and chips, which was slightly less healthy than I would have liked their lunch to be, but they did finish the meal with fruit so all was not lost. Prices were reasonable, I managed to feed us all for under £20.
After lunch, we braved the wet weather to use some of the play equipment on offer. The children enjoyed both the outdoor and indoor play areas, each one a good size with plenty of space to run around.
One benefit of it being a rainy day was that we didn’t have to queue for a ride on Thomas, which can be quite a wait in the summer. The boy, although not as obsessed with trains as he used to be, still really loves this part of his day at Drusillas. Miss J, however, merely tolerates it.
On the way out of the park lies a fairly new addition consisting of three Hello Kitty-themed rides. This is a nice way to round of a visit and I found it was a good way of encouraging my children to leave the play areas! The rides are tame and suitable for willing children as young as two, I would say.
Finally, we found ourselves in the Thomas-themed gift shop, where the children spent their pocket money. It’s very easy to spend a lot of money in this shop but equally there are smaller items available at more reasonable prices.
Being a wet, cold day, we didn’t make use of some of the outdoor attractions that Drusillas has to offer, including the popular splash pad. We may well head back during the summer holidays to utilise these – as you can tell, my little ones had a great time!
Here are our tops tips for a visit to Drusillas Park:
If you can, drive – we visited by train and were dismayed to find there is no shuttle bus between Berwick station and the park. The walk is fairly straightforward but quite a long way for little legs.
Take a picnic – whilst there are a number of onsite eateries, if you’re visiting as a family, the cost will stack up considerably. There are plenty of benches suitable for picnics.
Remember swimming gear – on a warm day, the paddling pool is well worth a visit so remember to pack swimming stuff and towels just in case!
Drusillas is open 362 days a year and online ticket prices start at £11; we were provided with complimentary family entry for the purposes of this review.