By Phie Bannister
Whether you want to get up-close with a sloth, walk amongst wallabies, or adopt a rescue animal, we’ve got you covered!
We are spoiled for choice in East Sussex with zoos, farms, animal sanctuaries and wild animals. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to get your furry fix!
This animal sanctuary near Ringmer is free to enter (donations are welcome) and is home to numerous dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, alpacas, goats, rodents and birds. Lots of the animals are looking for new homes, and you may just fall in love with one. There is a good-sized playground, a café and charity shop.
This dairy farm near Uckfield has an ancient nature trail with wallabies, ducks and chickens that you can walk round for just a couple of pounds per person. They also have an incredible ice cream parlour on site and a small play area. You can pay extra for an indoor play barn and crazy golf.
This fabulous farm in Stone Cross is less than £5 per person. You can say hello to pigs, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens and ducks along the farm play trail and enjoy some seasonal ‘pick-your-own’ produce. There is a lovely café and farm shop too.
A more expensive day out, but amazing for the whole family. Animals include monkeys, sloths, anteaters, porcupines, penguins, red pandas, farm animals and much more. You can pay for up-close encounters and ‘keeper for the day’ experiences. There are also lots of rides and play areas, a train, a splash pad and various restaurants, so you can definitely spend a whole day here.
Visiting Knockhatch is fun for the whole family. There is so much to do. Prices vary across the year, but get up to £18.99 per person at peak times. There are wallabies, deer, donkeys, ponies, cows, pigs, llamas, goats, birds, meerkats, and rodents in the play farm. There is also an impressive owl sanctuary and flying displays and talks are run daily. Aside from the animals, you can enjoy a boating lake, soft play, a virtual reality ride, a dinosaur adventure, numerous play areas and more.
Tickets are £12.50 for everyone aged 2 and over, but there is lots to do. There are pigs, goats, ponies, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, cows, rodents, ducks and chickens, some of which can be fed and handled. There is also a huge outdoor and indoor play area, tractor rides and pony rides.
You can visit the open farm at this working farm, for £7 per person (prices change throughout the season). There are cows, ponies, goats, pigs, ducks, chickens, sheep and small furry animals. The farm shop is amazing, and you can even sample and take home the farm’s renowned cider selection. There is a café, a play area, and a brilliant play hay-barn.
For a free day out, head for a walk and you could spot some of the sheep, cattle and ponies that graze on the forest. If you’re lucky you might catch glimpse of the deer, foxes, birds of prey, rabbits, weasels and badgers that also live here.
This large nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its diverse bird and insect communities. Sheep, cattle and ponies also graze here, in rotation. You may even spot a wild adder, common lizard or amphibian. Dog walking and horse riding are permitted, but not cycling.
We are blessed with so many beaches, some of which get incredible rock pools. There is plenty to catch with a net and bucket, including crabs, shrimps and fish. Some lucky people have even spotted dolphins and seals at the coast.
Local parks and walks
The diversity of our county means that you can encounter wildlife anywhere you go! We have deer in abundance, sea birds, birds of prey, foxes, badgers, snakes, amphibians, farm animals and pigeons galore! Just getting out in nature is good for the soul.
Have we missed anywhere? Please let us know in the comments if so.