Our regional centres (excluding Sidmouth, Devon) are open to visitors during designated times, this allows our teams to be available to answer all of your questions and queries about our fantastic herds of donkeys.
All our regional centres (Birmingham, Belfast, Ivybridge, Leeds and Manchester) are open during the following times:
- Monday-Friday 3pm to 5pm (last admission at 4.30pm).
- Closed Wednesdays.
- Weekends and selected Bank Holidays 10am to 3pm
- Closed first Saturday of each month
- Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day
- Closed Easter Sunday
Christmas opening times
All our regional centres will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and during the Christmas period, they will be open during the following times:
- Saturday 21 December 10am to 3pm
- Sunday 22 December 10am to 3pm
- Monday 23 December 10am – 3pm
- Tuesday 24 December 10am – 3pm
- Wednesday 25 December - Closed
- Thursday 26 December - Closed
- Friday 27 December 10am to 3pm
- Saturday 28 December 10am to 3pm
- Sunday 29 December 10am to 3pm
Why designated visitor times?
To ensure the highest standards of safeguarding policy and procedures, for our vulnerable clients, we have created designated visitor times outside of the programme sessions. This allows our teams to be available to answer all of your questions and queries about our donkeys.
Each centre has at least two adoption donkeys, and many visitors are adopters who come regularly to visit their adoption donkey, or who may have made a special trip (often from some distance) to see their donkey.
What can you expect at the regional centres?
Each regional centre has a unique flavour offering something slightly different for visitors at each location.
During visiting hours donkeys may be found in the paddocks grazing or alternatively in the arena or stable areas, being groomed, fed, or playing with a ball or one of the other enrichment activities we offer our donkeys, when they are having some down time.
Visitors have the opportunity to watch them, talk to the staff and learn what is their normal daily routine and behaviours. You may be lucky enough to give them a scratch if the donkeys decide to approach, as we honour the donkey's right to choose to interact at all of our centres.
Many visitors come specifically to see their adoption donkeys, who should (apart from occasional exceptional circumstances) always be available to observe during opening hours.
The visitor centres have displays on the wall highlighting donkey information such as feeding, The Donkey Sanctuary’s international work, individual donkey stories, and the benefits of life skills development programme.