2 The Broadway
Tel: 01384 215300
About Dudley Zoo
Dudley Zoo is based at the The Broadway, Dudley, in the West Midlands, on a lovely 40-acre site boasting both a ruined medieval castle and a rolling park with over 160 species of animals and some 900+ ceatures, making for a wonderfully varied and informative family day out.
Dudley Zoo is in the grounds of Dudley Castle, the Zoological Society having been founded in 1935, with the family attraction opening to the public two years later. Among the dozen Grade II listed buildings on the site at Dudley Zoo, many are art deco, and a stunning addition to the family attraction in 2008 are Eden Project-style glass domes that make up a new tropical environment development.
A ticket to Dudley Zoo grants the visitor access to a host of naturalistic enclosures, pens and aviaries, containing such star turns as Lion, Tigers and Snow Leopards in the big gat zone; Red Pandas and Bush Dogs out on the plain; the ever-playful Chimpanzees, with their climbing antics and feeding time performances for their guests; the venerable Orang Utans in their leafy trtee domain; and a plethora of Small Monkeys including many types of Lemur, the noisy Macaques, Spider Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Saki, Marmosets and Goeldis. For monkeying about on a family day out, it’s just the ticket!
Other areas of the renowned conservation and breeding centre of Dudley Zoo feature Giraffes; the show-off Sealions who engage the crowds at their daily feeds in their pool and splash zone; captivating and cuddly Otters and Snowy Owls; the pantomime of over 60 skittering and shuffling Penguins; and the ever-watchful and chirpy Meerkats.
The family attraction additionally boasts a range of native and exotic animal species kept in enclosures, tanks and in the Zoo’s own farmyard. These include Alpacas, Reindeers, Goats, Pigs, Sheep, a variety of slithering Snakes, dwarf Crocodiles, numerous Lizards, Tapirs, Porcupines, Gazelle, Oryx, Babirusa, Squirrels, Wallabies, squawking Parrots, a good number of Frogs, a hatful of Spiders of all shapes and sizes, Flamingos, Cockroaches, Terrapins, Chinchillas and BooBook owls.
Furthermore, Dudley Zoo holds regular talks on themes such as Tiger Tales – at the Tigers; African Adventure – at the Giraffe Paddock; Mammal Creature Feature and Reptile Encounters – both in the Discovery Centre; Watch the Keepers – feeding the Red Pandas; and Meet the Animals – on the Farm.
The latest addition to Dudley Zoo that adds another dimension to the family attraction is ‘Monkey Tails’, which is an immersive tropical walk-through, where ticket holders can encounter the monkeys and their neighbours, dwarf mongoose, otters and monitor lizards, basking in their own dedicated zone.
Dudley Zoo boasts a free land Train for ticket holders that takes them about the site, as well as entry to the Discovery Centre to learn about the natural world and come face to face with mini-beasts and other fascinating creatures. Nearby are the Safari Gift Shop with a host of goods, Queen Mary’s Suite for refreshments, and the Grey Lady Tearoom near the Entrance Information Centre.
Groups can book Animal Experiences that allow a look behind the scenes of Dudley Zoo with its keepers and take in Meet a Tiger; Meet the Chimps; Meet the Reptiles; Feed the Penguins; Feed the Giraffes; Tickle a Tapir; and even a ‘Wake up the Zoo’ package, where participants watch the Keepers at work and see the Zoo waking up before the public arrives.
The family attraction also offers a novel family day out for those who want to become a Keeper for a Day, with optional programmes including any two of: Chimps, Orangutans, Lemurs & other small primates; Tigers, Lions and other cats; Giraffes, Tapirs and other hoofed animals; and Penguins and other Birds.
‘Little Zoo Keepers’ can help feed, clean and care for the numerous animals on Dudley Zoo farm and meet other enchanting beasts, such as giraffes, Tapirs and lemurs, as well as acquire a goody bag memento.
The Arachnophobia Workshop at Dudley Zoo provides help for those with a fear of spiders as part of a three-hour group workshop with a Spider expert. For those scared of eight-legged freaks, it’s a must-have ticket!
Dudley Zoo is a family attraction made even more special on birthdays, with parties held that feature animal themes and face painting, while Zoo Explorers Activities aimed at the Birthday Child’s age-group include Zoo Craft Activity to make something to take home and an Animal Creature Feature.
Over and above Dudley Zoo, the family attraction presents a varied family day out as ticket holders can visit the extensive ruins of the Norman Dudley Castle, constructed in 1071. Rebuilt as a Renaissance palace in 1530 by John Dudley – who was beheaded by Queen Mary for hatching the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey plot – it was a Royalist stronghold during the British Civil Wars of 1642-51. It surrendered in 1646 after the defeat of Charles I at the Battle of Naseby and was the residence of the Earls of Dudley until 1750, when it was on fire for three days and made uninhabitable. The family moved to nearby Himley Hall, but retained the site and founded Dudley Zoo in 1937.
The castle at Dudley Zoo provides year-round costumed talks about its history and the characters who lived there, while the Visitor Centre displays detail the development of the house and grounds. Ghost Walks are offered too, as are ‘living history’ weekends with medieval re-enactments and archery demonstrations in the castle Courtyard.
The family attraction also has Paranormal Experience evenings with a paranormal investigator and detection equipment, séances, glass divination and pendulum dowsing. Mediums demonstrate their techniques and visitors can look out for the Grey Lady and the little drummer boy who was shot delivering a message to the grounds.
Dudley Zoo has wheelchair facilities and access, and so the family attraction provides an educational and fun family day out that everyone can enjoy.