We are always up for an adventure, and when an attraction has that word in it, we know that we’re in for an exciting time. So, grab your safari jacket, hat, and sturdy walking shoes, because we are headed to Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park in the ‘wilds’ just beyond Stirling, Scotland.
We have a well-established love of animals as evidenced by our many posts on our local Edinburgh Zoo, but sometimes it’s fun to venture out and explore other places. Fortunately, we didn’t have to travel too far for our latest adventure as it is less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh to the outskirts of Stirling.
Drive-Thru Animal Reserves
When we arrived at Blair Drummond, we decided that we wanted to head out to do the drive-thru of the animal reserves first. We were banking on the fact that it was morning time and were hoping the animals would be out and about enjoying some breakfast. Fortunately, we were in luck as we were able to see a variety of species roaming their habitats.
As you drive through the animal reserves, it’s fun to imagine that you’ve been transported to the wide-open spaces of the plains or savannas of Africa. And that isn’t hard to do when you are driving around and see a pride of majestic lions!
Other animals you might see roaming the drive-thru reserves include Ankole Cattle, Greater Kudu, White Rhinos, Barbary Macaques, and Bactrian Camels to name just a few.
Animals Big & Small
After fascinating drive through the animal reserves, we parked our vehicle and headed to the Safari Park where the grounds are spread out over 160 acres. There are over 300 animals at Blair Drummond, so we recommend that you set aside an entire day to be able to properly explore the Park.
Look out for animals big and small. Some of our favourite animals at the bigger end of the spectrum included White rhinos, giraffes, zebra, and an African elephant.
We were also excited to see that Blair Drummond Safari Park recently had a rather hairy group of new arrivals…a fold of Highland cattle (affectionately known as ‘hairy coos’). According to Blair Drummond, there are five males- Avalon, Paddy, Ben, Ueli and Cowboy- and three females- White, Hika and Valentina. On our visit, we were fortunate to see some of them up close and they seemed as curious to check us out as we did them!
Close to the Highland cattle pastures is Chimp Island. This was one of my favourite habitats of the entire park as they have clearly done a wonderful job at creating a beautiful place where they chimpanzees can relax or have some fun climbing around their own adventure playground.
Not to be forgotten are some of the smaller animals. One fun area is the Pets Farm Animals section of the Safari Park.
Here are a few more of some of our smaller friends in the animal kingdom:
Dinosaurs at the Park!
While exploring Blair Drummond Safari Park, we came across a few surprise inhabitants. It seems that some of the dinosaurs that escaped Jurassic World have made their way to Blair Drummond! So, be sure to tread carefully through Park as you never know who or what you might come across. Scroll through the slideshow below (clicking on the back arrow) to see some of the dinosaurs we saw on our visit:
Activities For All Ages
The adventure park aspect of Blair Drummond has various activities that are great fun for all ages. For the wee ones, there is a large playground complex where kids can ‘set sail’ on their own adventures on land or water via the charming pedal boats.
Let’s be real for a second. Eating certainly qualifies as an important ‘activity’ that we all must do every day. Fortunately, Blair Drummond Safari Park has some excellent food options. For example, we got the Wagyu beef bacon cheeseburger from the Safari Shack Grill and BBQ and the dirty fries with pulled pork shoulder to share. I’m pleased to say that the food was excellent, and the portions were generous- meaning you get your money’s worth. This was a refreshing surprise in the age of paying more for less.
Conservation efforts are important to us, and we were pleased to see that Blair Drummond Safari Park puts it at the forefront of their work. They state that they work with the European Endangered Species Programme on various breeding programmes to help rare species. Additionally, Blair Drummond states that, “since 2014 we have disbursed over £192k, which has helped fund important projects, protecting endangered species in the wild from extinction”. Last, but not least, the Park works closely with Scottish Universities on various research programmes including ones that inform their conservation efforts.
Planning Your Visit
I hope you have enjoyed our brief visit to Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park. If you are in the Stirling area, we highly recommend that you visit them. Please note that, at the time of writing, tickets must be booked in advance and are not available to purchase at the gate. Be sure to head over to the Blair Drummond website for more information on how to best plan your visit.
As we close, if you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog as we have upcoming articles that we will be publishing on some amazing places we’ve visited on our travels around Edinburgh as well as further afield throughout Scotland.
Until next time- Explore & Discover!