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~~PETS CORNER~~ Oulton Broad, Lowestoft ~~TIMES SPENT AT PET'S CORNER~~ I have been visiting Pets Corner in Oulton Broad, Lowestoft for a long time now. As I have enjoyed many holidays in the county of Suffolk, Pet's Corner has become over many years, a popular place for myself and many members of my family to visit. We tend to visit for a morning during most of our Suffolk breaks. This can be at all times, in all weather, as we have holidayed in Suffolk during all four seasons of the year. More recently we are more likely to be in Suffolk for Easter, autumn and over the New Year's holiday. When the children were young we would spend a week in the summer here but those days are now gone. But because of the times I have been, in all weathers, even in the snow, I would consider Pet's Corner to be a place worth visiting any time of the year. I think it's enjoyable to come here on a crisp autumn day but spring is especially interesting as, of course, this is the best time to see baby animals. In the spring there always seems to be at least one ewe about to give birth to her lamb or her twins. You could easily be lucky and see some very new babies putting in an appearance. And the kid goats look cute gambolling about in their own field too. Pets Corner is open to the public most times over the year and usually seven days a week. We have never found it closed but it is advisable to ring first as a precaution. As my holidays in Suffolk are always a family affair, and by this I mean my extended family, this means that often there is a crowd of us arriving at Pet's Corner, although over the years and as the children in the family have now mostly grown up, there are less of us wanting to go (the teenaged boys aren't always interested) but we are expecting that in a few years' time there will be some more young ones in the family able to enjoy the animals. Now when we visit we usually have two, or even four, young children in our group. Where did those days go when there were at least ten? I can't remember when I first came here but I do know it was quite some time ago and there have been many times when myself and my husband were pushing those buggies around. As my four children grew it was only really my youngest, being such an animal lover, who would still pester us to spend a morning of our holiday here. My husband usually groans about going but he is the driver so has to oblige. We usually turn up mainly as a group of adults, with few children, depending upon who has come along for this East Anglian break, but we range from about five years in age to eighty. ~~WHAT IS HERE?~~ I can best describe Pet's Corner as a mini zoo. It's a very visitor friendly place. It is accessed by entering a building through one door and then, on entering you pay your admission charges and can also purchase food to feed the animals with. This is building also serves as a gift shop. Once payment has been made another door opens onto Pet's Corner and the first area where the animals are housed. If you run out of food too quickly then you can buy more; it's cheap too so this makes it an enjoyable pastime for all ages. Once through this door one is immediately faced with a large pleasant grassed area where some animals roam free during the daytime, such as chickens and geese. Several pens and runs are positioned on the grass and contain guinea pigs, rabbits and at times some contain chicks. I remember my husband lifting my youngest daughter into a run when she was around eighteen months old (it was allowed) so that she could gently pet the animals. She loved being so close to these animals and now she is eighteen and still enjoys 'talking' to the animals. Bordering the grass are cages, and indoor areas which one can walk through to see animals such as: young guinea pigs and rabbits (which can be purchased form here), parrots, budgerigars, snakes, rats and mice. I prefer the open area and the rabbits and guinea pigs as I find the smell in the mice enclosure very strong. I also don't really enjoy seeing animals enclosed and behind glass. Everything is clearly labelled and signed to explain which animals should NOT be fed and why. All animals which roam or are in accessible pens/runs may be fed unless otherwise stated. The names of the animals and some information about them are supplied. Also staff can be seen around and they are always willing to supply further information about those in their care. At certain times other animals can be removed from their enclosures and petted with staff present. Moving on and to the next area meerkats can be seen and these always seems to provide great entertainment. And then to a small field, which is fenced off but can be reached via gates, and has numerous goats jumping about. I haven't spent too long in here as these goats crowd around you, nudging and jumping up as they are so greedy and on a never ending search for food. If visiting here then it is best remembered that goats will eat just about anything so be careful with bags and scarves. My youngest was upset when she was very young and a goat grabbed her cup of animal feed and quickly devoured the food and cup! I personally prefer to feed these funny animals from the other side of the fence. Opposite this enclosure there is another grassed area for sheep. Near to this is further area with rabbits. And if the children have now had their fill for a while of seeing the animals a bouncy castle is here for their enjoyment. And of course after a break and shoes put back on they can then go to see the ducks on the river. ~~GIFT SHOP~~ The gift shop sells cold drinks and snacks such as crisps, biscuits and sweets. This gift shop is small but usually adequate for the amount of visitors inside it at any one time. I always find it to be well stocked for its size. Most items sitting on the shelves are relevant to Pets Corner; notebooks, colouring books and pencils with pictures of rabbits and guinea pigs abound, as does furry toy animals and delicate ornaments. My daughter would have bought the shop had we allowed it. She would also beg to buy rabbits to take home. We always said "There's hardly room in the car for us and our luggage, let along a hutch and a rabbit!" This was true. ~~DISABLED VISITORS~~ Pet's Corner is accessible to disabled visitors, although certain areas may be a little difficult in wet weather as they would become muddy so may be difficult for wheelchairs although, if not everything has to be seen close up then I think it's accessible enough to enjoy the experience. Much of Pet's Corner is paved. The surrounding area of the park ( I think this is called Nicholas Everitt park) at Oulton Broad is fairly flat, with a few paved slopes here and there. ~~ FACILITIES~~ Ample car parking is available Disabled access to Pet's Corner Public toilets Snacks and drinks Picnic areas ~~OPENING TIMES~~ Pet's Corner opens to the public seven days a week from ten a.m. until five p.m. in the summer and from ten a.m. until three p.m. in the winter during school holidays and weekends but it is advised that you phone first as they may close during wet weather. ~~ENTRANCE FEES~~ Adults £3.90 Children £2.90 Children aged under 3 are allowed in free. ~~LOCATION~~ Pet's Corner is in a good location on Oulton Broad. It is easily reached from surrounding areas of Suffolk. It borders the neighbouring East Anglian county of Norfolk and is close to Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Hopton. Oulton Broad offers boat rides, trampolines and swings for children, a coffee shop and sports facilities. It has an outdoor swimming pool. The area has the benefit of large, lush and very well-kept gardens with the added delights of the broads running through it. We drive here but it is served by local buses. Pet's Corner is on Bridge Road, which is off of the A12 London Road. Address: Pet's Corner, Bridge Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, NR33 9JU Telephone: 01502 563533 Website: http://www.petscornerlowestoft.co.uk/ ~~VANDALS~~ I was very upset when I heard that Pet's Corner had been savaged by mindless vandals in April 2009 when vandals gained entry and released and killed around fifty small animals. It is beyond most of us, whether animal lovers or not, to understand how anyone can derive pleasure from killing defenceless animals. I won't go into details as it's so sickening and I would like this to be a positive and pleasant review BUT I would like to commend the staff at Pet's Corner for moving on and continuing in their work. ~~WHO WOULD ENJOY VISITING HERE~~ Although when I first visited Pet's Corner it was with the intention of entertaining my four children, as they've grown it's sort of become a habit to visit here. For my family a short while spent here is always a pleasant way to spend a morning. I would honestly say that one to two hours is plenty of time to spend in the actual mini zoo but we always go outside for a short walk and then stop for coffee and a snack in the café immediately outside Pet's Corner. It's a lovely, friendly and relaxed place for children to acquaint themselves with the animals and learn about them. Children can also have fun while using up some energy on the bouncy castle or in the children's playground just outside Pet's Corner. I have found that it isn't unusual to see small groups (other than ourselves) walking around here which are made up wholly of adults. After all, it isn't only the young who enjoy feeding the animal is it? Pet's Corner is an attraction which can be enjoyed by all ages although I think it isn't somewhere to spend all day, although if the weather is dry, then if visiting Pets Corner and Oulton Broad there is plenty to do for a day's visit. The area is in a lovely location for picnics. I like visiting Pet's Corner because it's a pleasant and enjoyable place to visit for a morning or afternoon. Often our breaks to Suffolk are short ones, so it is nice to have some places to go for a few hours rather than the whole day especially as, when, as is often the case, there are a lot of us on holiday together not everyone wants to do the same things or go to the same places, and so we can go our separate ways, choosing short visits to places which only take a few hours enabling us to meet up for lunch. I would recommend Pet's Corner for a visit if you are in the area.