What we did on our visit
This article was very kindly sent to us by a mother who visited with her three children and her own mother. Here’s what they got up to….
We turn into the Farm Park and can see the sectioned paddocks in front of us. Already my children are excited at all the animals we can see. To the right is a road, which leads us to the parking area, this stretches the whole length of the farm, no traffic queues on the yard. There is a vehicle crossing point half way up and a safe path to walk along which is fenced off from moving vehicles.
When we reached the top there is a large car park, which has ample car parking for 70 vehicles, coach parking for 1.
Walking along the path to the pay entrance window, I am greeted by a member of staff, who asks us to use the hand washing facilities. She then points out the clear pricing board and the park rules. I have decided to purchase a family ticket which allows me, my mum and three children to use all the facilities today for just £20.00. We are given our large cup of animal feed and asked if we need a pushchair. We decide that we will look at the animals first, with the weather on our side, so we walk across the disinfectant mat.
Using the gate to the animal trail we head towards the peacock enclosure, we can also see the Maras and owls here. We move on to meet the reindeers and their babies, Billy spots the hand gell dispenser and we all use it, remembering what the lady at the kiosk told us.
The Dexter cows, and Rhea look pleased to see us. We head off in search of the Trotter family. Their field is really muddy, they look like they’re having a ball and can’t wait to see if we have any lovely food for them. We meet Jacqui the owner on our way to feed the chickens and ducks and she asks us if weve spotted the new baby Wallaby.
My children love walking under the willow arch where we meet lots of horses, including some really tiny Shetland ponies. They look like we could fit them in our car! I have a hard job convincing Patsy we can’t keep one but that we can come and visit again. There are lots of horses and they are all so friendly. Patsy makes sure she feeds them all as we make our way back up to top.
The Alpacas come running towards us, excited that we might have something yummy for them. Their fleece is so soft. We read all about where they originate from and when the babies are due to be born.
Out of the corner of their eyes my children spot some massive eggs in the Rhea’s pen. Billy is convinced that they are dinosaur eggs and can’t wait to hold one in the Education Centre, which is in the barn behind us. We head off to meet the lambs in the
petting corner, there are lots of them jumping and running around their mums.
My children are excited to be able to bottle-feed the lambs and hold the rabbits and guinea pigs. The ducks come waddling over to see if we have any bread. Before we go inside, we wash our hands again, and let the children burn off some energy in the outdoor play area.
When we come inside the barn, the children are very excited to see the Giant Tortoise house and the Bearded Dragon. We go off to wash our hands again before we eat. Mum and me find a seat in the cafe and look at the ‘Specials Board’. The children
decide on a ready-made packed lunch and quickly deposit their shoes before heading into the soft play area. Mum and I chose and order our food then sit and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea whilst the children play.
Lunch arrives and the children excitedly recall the animals we saw today. Patsy talks about “her” pony and how it’s her best friend. I suggest we look for a picture of her in the gift shop before we leave. When lunch is finished, and before the children run back into the play area, I suggest we go and look at the eggs and stick insects and giant snails and all the other reptiles in the reptile room. Billy remembers the dinosaur eggs and with help from Nana, puts his shoes on quickly. After a quick trip to toilets first, we were soon holding stick insects. The animal worker was very patient with us, especially as we were all a little scared of them on our hands because they tickled! Billy is fascinated with the life-cycle of an egg and wants to have chickens at home!
Ruby spots a lady demonstrating how to spin wool. We go and watch for a while. The lady talks to Ruby about where the wool comes from and shows her the process of getting the wool from the Alpaca to crocheting. Ruby tries washing the wool and even spinning some too. Ruby is able to take a little piece home with her and some basic finger knitting skills. I think I might have a budding crafter on my hands.
Before heading back to the car we go into the gift shop as Patsy hasn’t forgotten we can look for a picture. Even better than a picture she has found that she can adopt “her” pony and receive letters and photos from the farm sharing its fun times. I give them each their £2.00 pocket money and let them pick a souvenir to take home. Billy picks a life-cycle book, Ruby chooses a crochet hook and Patsy signs up to adopt her pony and receive a newsletter about him. That cost £5.95 but Nana kindly gave Patsy an advance on her pocket money.
As we head back to the car, via the toilets again, there’s lots of talk about,new hobbies, pets and when can we come again! I’m glad to say we’ve really enjoyed our day out. It’s not been overrun with people, we’ve met and chatted to the owner, and I can’t wait to come back. In fact, mum and I are thinking of taking up knitting, if not as a serious hobby, but for the coffee and cake in the picnic area.