Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Filby, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR29 3DR
Tel: +44 (0)1493 369477 Fax: +44 (0)1493 368256 „
Having recently visited Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens and not really having very high expectations, I was very surprised to have a great afternoon out and was quite impressed by the amount squeezed into quite a small zoo.
Thrigby Hall is located in a village called Filby around 10 miles or so from Great Yarmouth. Entry for adults was only £10 which I thought was more than fair, with children being charged £7.50, and £8.50 for OAP's, I did not actually see a family ticket price listed.
On arriving at Thrigby Hall parking is very basic being a dirt and grass car park. When entering the park there is a small payment booth and then through this there is a hand stamp area so that you can stamp your own hand to allow re-entry without being charged.
There was most certainly a lot to see here the first animals you come across when entering the park are some avaries with a selection of colourful birds then the next thing you are confronted with are 2 huge american alligators with nothing but a low glass surround around 3-4 feet tall so you can look down into the enclosure with nothing between yourself and the alligators.
The Swamp house is close by to the alligators and houses two more american alligators as well as two salt water crocs.
Also in the swamp house is a large pool which contains quite a few goldfish and also a couple of large catfish with an observation window at water level. Also there are a few enclosed tropical birds in here. A word of warning this area is very hot and humid but makes for a good look round.
There is also a reptile house here with a huge python around 12 - 14 foot long. There are also a few other snakes here along with geckos, a small variety of tortoises and salamanders.
On from the reptile house there are the otters whose enclosure is surrounded by a low wall with a window below water level to allow you to see them if they are in the water.
There are a large selection of monkeys here and all have large tall enclosures to allow them to play and swing about as naturally as possible. This part dose have some narrow access up to the higher parts so not suitable for buggies, or wheelchairs.
Just down the hill from the monkeys are the red pandas which again are only surrounded by a low brick wall with a large tree in the middle, I did wonder here if the red pandas had ever escaped as they are able to climb and the tree overhangs the low wall in places.
The walk through aviary here contains a large variety of birds including various large exotic birds as well as ducks, pheasents, and cormarants.
There are also some avaries nearby containg cockatoos, and even more smaller exotic birds.
Last but not least is the cats area of the park with a small area with wild cats, and the larger area with the leopards and tigers which is the main area of the park I liked and thought it was worth the £10 entry alone.
The Tigers have a fairly large area with a viewing platform that looks down into the enclosure with logs laid so the Tigers can get up to the platform. All that seperates you from the tigers is double depth wired fence and around 6 inches of air inbetween. This was amazing as the tiger ran up whilst we were there only to lay down and sun bathe and give us a good ten minutes as close to a tiger as you will probably ever get.
The Leopards enclosures also allow you to get very close to the animals with viewing platforms to give you a better look at them when they are on the move. There are black leopards and snow leopards here with the snow leopards enclosure as with the tigers you could almost touch them, with only the mesh fence stopping you.
The gift shop here was quite large and had a large variety of all the usual zoo items, teddies, t-shirts, and cups etc. Some of the items are fairly priced but as with most gift shops the majority is at least slightly over-priced. The cafe here was clean and served a variety of hot and cold food and snacks but once again over-priced, but there are plenty of picnic benches dotted about if you decide to take your own food.
The toilets were clean and well maintained which quite a few smaller zoos like this tend to let slip.
Overall we had an excellent time here and got quite close to a lot of dangerous animals. All of the animals enclosures were well kept, and all well enough built to make you feel confident being as close as you get to some of these animals. All the enclosures made to simulate the animals natural environment as much as possible. I would definately recommend this to anyone who passes or anyone likely to visit Great Yarmouth at all as the extra few miles are well worth it.
I visited Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens during the Easter Holidays with my five year old daughter. I have been previously but it was several years ago and it has changed a bit since then.
The Zoo is situated close to Great Yarmouth and can be reached by following the brown signs on the A47 or the A149.
There is ample free parking and the admission prices were £8.90 for myself and £6.90 for my daughter. Seniors are £7.90 and unders 3s are free. You can buy a year long season ticket for £24 for adults and £16 for children, this is well worth investing in if you are local.
There is a voucher on the website which gives 50p off the admission price for up to six people, and there is often discount vouchers in the local press.
We visited the swamp house first, and be warned the heat literally hits you as you walk in. If you wear glasses these will steam up instantly, as did the lens on my camera.
There are some absolutely huge crocodiles in here and some smaller ones too, but its an excellent habitat that has been provided for them.
Next, its on to the monkeys, and through the leopard walk and past the red panda.
There is a small childrens play area with some good climbing frames to keep them amused for a while.
Then it was up to the Lime Tree Lookout with overlooks the lake. It is quite high, so not for those who don't like heights!!
There is a little bridge across the lake which displays the chinese signs of the zodiac, what they mean, and celebrities born under that sign. I found this very interesting.
The main attraction for me is the tigers, there is a walkway which goes above their cage and you get a really good view of them if they are at the top on the ledge, which they were when we were there. But for the double fences they were near enough to reach out and touch!!
After this we visited another area which houses some other big cats, but I felt that some of the enclosures were a little small, so that was a bit disappointing.
There are several other species that I haven't mentioned, so you can easily spend a good few hours at this zoo, there is plenty to see and do.
There is a small gift shop with a good selection of gifts from less then a pound, so ok for pocket money toys.
We took a picnic, and there are plenty of benches around to sit on. There is a large cafe with hot and cold food available, but we didn't use it, so I can't comment on the price, but it did look very nice and clean.
The toilets are large and kept very clean.
One thing to look out for is the stork who nests on top of the Hall, apprantly its been there for years, and the nest is huge.
All in all, a good day out at a reasonable price for a Zoo, we will definately visit later again in the year.
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens: This is a lovely small zoo, not as big as most standard sized zoo's but it makes up for it with its outstanding Chinese landscaped grounds and gardens. You can spend ages looking at the scenery of the area itself.
Where to find them:
You will find them south of the village of Filby just 8 miles outside Great Yarmouth. Follow the brown road signs from the A47 at Acle or from A149 at Caister on Sea.
The park is open everyday of the year from 10am. Park closes between 5pm and 6pm depending on time of year.
2006 prices are: £7.70 an adult, £5.90 a child 4-14, £6.90 for a SENIOR CITIZEN.
You can also buy a season ticket which are priced as follows:
£22.00 for an adult
£16.00 for a child 4-14
£18.00 for a SENIOR CITIZEN.
If you look out in local press you can normally pick up a voucher which gives 50p off per person up to 6 people.
The park has a Free car park, this carpark has plenty of space and has an extra area if needed.
The park has a wide selection of animals including tigers, crocodiles, gibbons, birds, wild cats, otters plus plenty more for you to see. I love the pot bellied pigs they just have lovely little personalities.
The swamp house: I have never been to a zoo or wildlife park and seen something as amazing as the swamp house. Be warned its very hot,lovely in cold weather. The Swamp house was built for crocodiles, so its as close to their environment as possible. The swamp house also house's snakes and Lizards.
Lime Tree Lookout
The lime tree lookout provides an excellent vantage point from which to study the various wildfowl in the willow pattern lake. It can be very scarey if you don't like heights like myself, whom took ages to get from one end to the other.
Tiger Tree Walk
The tiger tree walk high in the trees is not for the faint hearted. It is a special walk constructed in the trees which surround the tigers' enclosure to provide the opportunity for an excellent birds' eye view. You can not get wheel chairs or pushchairs up there, but they do cater for this as they have recently added a ramped area which looks over the tigers cage.
Cafe & Gift Shop:
To be honest i would bring a picnic as the shop is very pricey with little choice. The gift shop is okay but it is quit small so try and pick a less busier time of the day to pop in. The items in the shop are quit cheap but they could do with a better selection of Park related gifts.
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