Monkey has a thing about tractors at the moment. He loves playing with them, looking at them and talking about them. While reading one of his tractor books a few days ago he kept asking if he could ride on the tractors… which is slightly difficult when they are in a book! I started thinking about where we could go for tractor rides and thought about a great farm which is really close to where we live – Sacrewell Farm. Perfect!
Both hubs and I remember visiting Sacrewell Farm as kids but it has changed a lot over the years. We took Monkey last year but bless him he was terrified of the noisy sheep so we hadn’t been since. He is of course older now and with his new-found love of Tractors we decided it was worth a visit. Plus I knew they had completely renovated their indoor play barn since we last went so if the weather turned or he was still afraid of sheep, there was still lots to do. So after checking the weather forecast a few times we headed over there on Sunday, which was a glorious day and possibly the last one we will have for a while.
It turns out that Monkey is still afraid of sheep, or at least the noise they make. He doesn’t mind them until they start bleating and then he gets really scared poor thing! Anyway he did really well… as long as weren’t too close to noisy sheep.
Almost as soon as we arrived we found a fantastic tractor for him to sit on! It was near some sheep so he wasn’t sure to start with but the tractor love soon overpowered his fears and he had a great time on there.
We also saw lots of other lovely animals. He enjoyed showing the goats his map of the farm, thought “Mummy Pig” was hilarious, liked the Shire Horses and Donkeys and absolutely loved the chickens!
He particularly loved this lone wandering chicken and gave her feathers a bit of a stroke…
and then chased after her – poor chicken!!
They have some lovely smaller animals too, with bunnies, guinea pigs and some baby chicks in their discovery centre. The discovery centre has some lovely animals and also lots of information about wildlife around the farm. I also thought it was fascinating that they had lots of eggs in incubators which included the dates which they were due to hatch!
The grounds are just beautiful and we had a lovely wander round and there is a great outdoor play area, which Monkey loved, including a fab climbing frame and slide in the shape of a tractor! This definitely appealed to our boy.
After a play we then went on a proper tractor ride and a tour of the farm. As well as being a great visitor centre Sacrewell Farm is also a working farm and their farm tenants Riverford Organic Farms produce a variety of crops all year round. It was a good 20 minute ride on the tractor and we weren’t sure how much Monkey would enjoy it but he did really well and had lovely cuddles from his Daddy along the way (and I have to admit I enjoyed the sit down!! :))
There is also a working mill on the farm but that is currently undergoing a huge renovation, which is a shame, but we will look forward to seeing it when it is finished, hopefully by summer 2015.
There are lots of picnic spots around the farm for you to take your own food but we were a bit lazy and ate at the cafe. The cafe is actually really reasonable, unlike so many places, and Monkey and I both had mini pizzas for just £2.50 each and Daddy had some delicious Sausage and mash for just £4.95. Very reasonable.
After lunch we headed to the recently renovated soft play barn, and, well it is amazing! I had heard it was wonderful and it really is. There is a small area for under 2s, another area for ages 2-5 and a huge area aimed at 5-12 yr olds. Though to be honest Monkey loved the big area as much as the bigger kids. Many little ones were quite brave and navigating it alone but Monkey does like company and encouragement, and as I am not in a suitable condition for soft play, Daddy went on with him.
It was quite a work out for Daddy, especially squeezing his 6’2″ self on the play area for 2-5 yr olds!! So they spent most of their time on the bigger play area, and going down the HUGE slide! Plus there were some more tractors for Monkey to ride on!! Lots of fun to be had in there. There is somewhere in the soft play barn to be able to purchse food and drinks but I didn’t see any signs anywhere advising that you cannot eat your own food and drink in the play barn. I was quite impressed with this as so many soft play places expect you to buy food too which can make a day out very expensive!
It isn’t the cheapest of places to visit, but these days not many places are and there are lots of things to see and do there. In high season, prices are £7.50 per adult, £5.50 per child (age 2-16) or £23.00 for 2 adults and 2 children. Tractor rides are an additional £1.50 per person.
There is membership available and with the playbarn being as fantastic as it is I am considering it, but in my opinion you would need to visit quite often in order to make it worthwhile and I am not 100% convinced on that at the moment!
We had a really fantastic day out though and Monkey got to ride on 3 different types of tractor, lucky boy!