Dudley zoo is a obviously a zoo that is obviously located in Dudley to state the obvious. We wanted a nice day out and maybe even a night away so I took to google in a search. I had been to Dudley zoo as a child but didn’t really have much memory of it. I came across it in my search and thought it would be a lovely day out so booked the tickets and then found a local hotel which was only a few minute walk from the zoo. I had thought Dudley was further away from Coventry but infact it was only a 30 minute train ride. I think if id have realised the distance we probably would have just came home instead of a stop over.
The pricing for the zoo was quite reasonable for an adult at £15 pp and a child fee of £9.50 with under 2s going free. We stayed in the village hotel and paid around £60 for the double room.
So the morning arrived and we packed our over night bag and set off for the train station which is 15 minute taxi ride from our home. We arrived in plenty time of the train so I took out a colouring book for corey and we sat train watching eating some snacks. The train soon arrived and we were on our way, luckly we’d got a direct train so didn’t need to change at Birmingham
On arrival to the station I quickly realised it wasn’t a big main station more countryside small station so no long line of taxis awaiting. Thank god for google. I searched local taxis and ordered one. The taxi ride to the zoo was around 10 minutes if that and costs us £10. Whilst driving there we drove past our hotel but our check in time wasn’t till 3 but at least we saw its location and really was a few minutes walk.
The zoo opening time was 10am and we arrived on the dot. Now if you’ve never been to Dudley zoo you wouldn’t be expecting the layout. Its located on a massive hill well more like a mountain. Its quite steep going up and around the paths that wined around the hill leading to the top point and castle. Coming down is a lot easier. Some parts in fact are very steep and I found it difficult with the pushchair especially on the way back down. And being totally honest at some points we both held the pushchair being it was a tandem with 2 seats it was heavier than an average stroller. But if you take the walk slow and steady its not to bad. There is however a chair lift & train that runs from the bottom to the top but neither were working the day we visited.
The variety of animals is very good and the enclosures are large for the animals and houses around 1300 animals. A lot of the enclosures are already built into what would have been castle grounds and structure which I thought was great keeping the history. A lot of the hill side is tree covered so on summer days it gives great shade. There are also many picnic stops especially at the top castle area which give amazing views over Dudley.
I have visited quite a lot of zoos and I must say Dudley zoos enclosures are very close to the animals this was something corey got a right kick out of being able to stand and touch the glass a tiger was lying on really made his day. It took us around 3-4 hours to get around the zoo and we actually walked at a faster pace than the average visitor as corey was getting tired towards the end. Derry had fallen asleep in the pushchair so she wasnt a problem.
At the top the castle area well I say castle its more a walled circle. So castle walls and open green space in the middle its a lovely area. There is a small café in that section that we brought chips from that were abit expensive but we hadn’t planned a picnic being id looked on google maps and a kfc was a few minute walk down the road for tea and I was hoping on a sandwich shop being located at the zoo. I think the café did do sandwiches but none we liked so we went for chips. There wasn’t any seating outside the café so we sat indoors. But plenty of running free space and picnic set up in there area.
The castle area holds many activities and while we were there they had a bird show and other things going on around. They hold events on there to and in june there is a under 5s picnic with bouncy castles and face paints that we are thinking of attending.
Throughout the day the zoo holds animal feedings and talks. We managed to time it right to see the giraffes being talked about and feed and corey loved watching them reaching for the food with there tongues really made him laugh.
They also offer experience days starting from £80 where by children can become a zoo keeper and help feed, clean and care for the animals this is only open to ages 8-13 years which abit of a shame. There are other animal experiences that I think are open age probably with in reason like meet the chimps or feed a lion plus more starting from £95. I think meeting a chimp is going on my buck-list!
At the base of the zoo there is a lovely little fair area with rides, park and shop.
We spent another hour in that section and was probably coreys highlight of the day. It was a big moment for us as Corey has autism he’s afraid of lights and moving objects like rides but out of nowhere asked to ride it and I literally burst with pride I rang every family member to tell them and everyone was amazed! It was a massive parent pride moment and achievement for Corey!
All in all we had a lovely day out, the kids loved it and was there first zoo experience. The only small downside was the hills but that was made harder for us with the tandem however on our next visit we will only have a stroller so will be a lot easier to manage. I would next time also go a lot slower around and read more about the animals on there enclosures, there were lots of information and facts. I actually think we may have even missed some parts out. We went into the reptile house 3 times because corey really liked this area.
I would highly recommend visiting, be prepared for the hills and take your own picnic. Maybe call on the day to check the train on site is working! Check out there website and up coming event.
Thanks for reading