Ananda Animal Sanctuary Scotland
Europe,  scotland

How to visit Ananda Animal Sanctuary in Scotland

Ananda Animal Rescue Sanctuary is a happy little haven for animals who have been saved from slaughter, abuse, neglect, and unwanted homes. At present, they have built a forever retreat for over 70 lucky animals.

In July 2021, we were fortunate enough to head down to their wonderful animal oasis to meet some of the residents, including 2 Kune Kune pigs, a duo of cuddly calves, and a field load of curious lambs. Get your booping finger at the ready!

How to get to Ananda animal sanctuary

The rescue sanctuary is located in the South of Scotland, just outside Biggar in South Lanarkshire. The journey from Edinburgh took us around an hour, a pleasant one that takes you past the Pentlands and through the pretty towns nearing the Borders.

Directions will be sent to guests by email, following confirmation of a visit. Contact Ananda Animal Rescue or follow Ananda on Instagram for their next open day details.

goat rescue scotland

When can I visit Ananda animal rescue sanctuary?

Our visit to the sanctuary was the first in a trial for them. They plan to host their open days on Saturdays, with visits lasting around 1.5 hours.

How much does it cost to visit Ananda animal sanctuary?

At present, the sanctuary asks for a recommended donation of around £5-£10. Please donate more! Consider how much a trip to the zoo would cost. Or, more importantly, how much it might cost to feed fields full of animals.

Can I take kids to Ananda animal rescue?

Children are welcome at the sanctuary, however, parents bringing along kids should note that the rescue site is a sanctuary, not a petting zoo. As a result, children must be supervised and kept back from chasing animals around. They should wait to be approached. It’s a good idea to explain that these animals are here to live happy lives and that the sanctuary is a place of respect for them.

What does the sanctuary tour include?

We arrived for the 12.30 tour and enjoyed meeting the other visitors as we waited for everyone from the group to arrive. Everyone was so friendly and excited about meeting the animals and we actually ended up doing a lot of the tour with two other ladies.
The outing began with a stroll into the free-range pens to meet the rescue hens, ducks, goose and (a rather grumpy) turkey, Bruce. The team gave us a little background about where the ladies had come from, alongside the rescue tale behind big Bruce (I won’t drop the spoiler … you’ll need to pay a visit for the tale behind his rescue).

hen rescue sanctuary scotland

Following our meeting with the hens, we moved on to the goat field, with Ben and Jerry being the first to spot the food buckets and bound across the grass to say hello. Everyone visiting got the opportunity to feed them a snack and attempt a selfie.

Rescue calves Buddha and Rye were next on our list. We found them lazily chomping on the grass up the hill. Both of these handsome babies were rescued from the dairy industry and they were definitely the highlight for many of the visitors. Rye exchanged big wet kisses for treats, whilst Buddha seemed quite content soaking up the attention in the sun. The two calves share their field with some of the older sheep here, and they also came shuffling down the hillside to greet anyone handing out foodie favours.

cow rescue sanctuary scotland

Next stop, the lambs. This was by far my favourite stop of the day. Having lived most of their young rescue lives at Ananda, these little babies are a far cry from the lambs you find in a farmer’s field. Surrounded by hay bales and plenty of space to play, they came galloping over to us like excited puppies.
They say you shouldn’t have favourites, but there were two amongst the gang that stole my heart from minute one: selfie-loving Harris, and attention-loving Tinto (who had a permanent case of cuddle FOMO). Just leave me here, like seriously, because I could have sat there dishing out tummy rubs all day! The lambs are almost ready to go out into the big field with their aunties and uncles, so watch this space!

sheep rescue sanctuary scotland

Speaking of tummy rubs, our last four-legged meet and greet was with piggy partners in crime, Ruru and Rongo. The adorable duo showed off their football skill before slumping down next to us for a spot of sunbathing and happy grunts.

Our visit was part of Ananda’s very first open day. The team and volunteers at Ananda Sanctuary had laid on drinks, freshly baked goods (all vegan, of course), and plants for sale. For a quick extra donation, this was a great way to end the day and fuel up for the drive home.

pig rescue sanctuary scotland

How can I donate to animal rescue?

This wonderful animal refuge doesn’t receive any government funding to help with the costs. As a result, I’m asking my animal-loving readers to support them and help continue the sanctuary’s wonderful work:

Donate with PayPal – A quick click and the cost of a coffee means little to most but makes such a huge difference to them. Donate to Ananda Animal Sanctuary today.

Sponsor a resident – Every year, I buy friends and family animal adoption sponsors for Christmas gifts. It gives people such a happy reason to get out and visit their new pal. Rye, Buddha, Toto, Ruru, and Cookie are all currently available for sponsor. When you sign up, you’ll be sent a wonderful goodie pack with a bag, certificate and photo of your new four-legged pal. You won’t find this option on their website just yet, however, the team asked me to let you all know that you can do so by e-mailing them direct.

Amazon Wishlist – if buying a brush for a cow who loves a scratch isn’t the most wholesome thing you do today, I can’t imagine what is! Take a look at their wishlist.

Host a fundraiser – Get yourself on Facebook and clear out all that unwanted stuff! People are so generous when they know it’s for a good cause. Already completed your Spring/Summer clean? Get your oven mitts on and host a bake sale (a vegan one, of course!).

How do I volunteer at the animal rescue sanctuary?

The team at Ananda could always use a helping hand. Check out their ‘Get Involved‘ page for more volunteer information.

In Summary …

After over a year of people being locked up and limited to space, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to visit a zoo and pay to fund the exact same thing. Choosing to visit an animal sanctuary allows people the opportunity to interact with animals and learn about their lives without contributing to any kind of suffering.

I can’t recommend Ananda Animal Sanctuary enough. The full team here were incredibly enthusiastic about the lives in their care and the stories behind them. We left in high spirits, sound in the knowledge that there are people like them who truly care about animal welfare.

Travel writer, marketing adviser and blogger based in Edinburgh, with a focus on budget and vegan travel. 39 countries to date, with extensive knowledge of travel within Asia, particularly within Thailand.

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