Yesterday, we visited Ash End House Farm, which is near Tamworth – and I can definitely recommend it as a great day out for kids and adults.
It was a bit of a spur of the moment visit. My brothers and dad are on holiday from work, and my mum suggested a day out. We decided on Ash End House Farm, as when I went a few years ago I thought it was pretty good, and my mum had been on a school trip there last term and said how good it was.
We loaded the kids into the car and off we went. You have to keep an eye out for it as it is down a tight country lane and suddenly appears. Considering it was a sunny warm day in the summer holidays, we had no problem parking the two cars. I have to say the car park could do with a bit of work – the main bit is that horrible gravelly stuff and the overflow area where we parked was grass – but extremely overgrown.
Whilst my mum went in to pay, the kids had a sit on the tractors in the entrance area. You did need to pay to actually use them, which was a shame as I think it would have been lovely to have a go on them included in the entry price. The kids had fun sitting on them and posing for photos though, and it kept them quiet whilst we were waiting.
It was almost lunchtime so we decided to have something to eat before looking around, which was good timing as soon after it became really busy. We ordered five portions of chips, four cheeseburgers, three coffees and a sausage roll, which came to just under £40. Sounds quite a lot but they were decent sized portions and really nice. The only problem was that the server forgot to bring out our chips, so we got those after we had finished our burgers. Never mind!
The farm is a small, family owned farm. It’s not immaculately organised and ‘tidy’ like some of the bigger, more commercialised farms but to me that adds to the authenticity of it, and makes it seem like a proper farm. There are activities going on all day every day. We didn’t make it to any, other than the tractor ride and falconry display, as we always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They all sounded brilliant though.
The entrance price for children (which I thought was pretty reasonable!) includes the activities, a bucket of feed, which can be replenished for £1, and an egg from one of the chickens. The kids absolutely loved carrying around their buckets of feed and giving it to the animals. We first visited the goat shed. What is nice about the farm is that a lot of it is undercover so if the weather is a bit iffy, there are plenty of places to stay dry. There were plenty of goats for the kids to feed and pet, and all so friendly. Sharing the goat shed are the small animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs. At certain points of the day I think there are chances to pet and hold some of them.
We then moved onto the sheep barn, and again could feed them. It was lovely to see the little lambs who were born this spring feeding from their mums! There was also an area where children can do colouring and make things like badges for a small cost. We didn’t look too closely as Harrison and Alex wanted to look at the sheep, but it looked pretty good. I know a bit later on there was some sort of fairy and wizard thing going on in there.
We carried on walking round and looked at the horses. They were massive but so calm and friendly, but I couldn’t get over how beautiful they were. There were also some adorable little Shetland ponies. Next to the ponies were my favourite animals – the pigs. I love pigs! It is lovely because along the wall of the barn are rows and rows of dummies. I think if you had a child struggling to let go of their dummy, encouraging them to leave them for the baby pigs would be a really nice idea.
There is a great little indoor play area, with playhouses, scooters, sit in cars and various other toys. The toys aren’t in the greatest condition but the kids don’t care – they had fun! On site there is a big play barn, which I assume has soft play equipment, but this is at an additional cost so we didn’t bother- there was more than enough for us to do!
We went over towards the tractor rides but was a little early, so sat and watched the falconry. A really nice bloke told us all about barn owls and how endangered they are levitra in Britain. There was an opportunity to hold the owl. Harrison didn’t want to but Alex had a go (with the help of nanny!).
We then went on the tractor ride. This lasted about ten minutes around a field. It was very bumpy and probably not something I would do close to my due date, but we enjoyed trying to spot all the hidden scarecrows
By this point the kids were starting to get a little tired so we headed towards the exit, stopping off at the playground on the way. It was a great area, and nice and quiet so the kids could run off and play. There were slides, things to climb up and an amazing ‘jumping cushion’, which I would have loved to have gone on as a kid. Harrison wasn’t keen but Alex was straight up bouncing away with the big kids!
It was a brilliant day, and definitely worth the very reasonable entrance price! You can fiind out all the details including prices and times on the website here.