Top 10 farm experiences for children
Many farms across the country welcome members of the public to visit and find out more about farming life. Children love hands on activities with the animals and there is always lots to see! Grab some wellies and enjoy a day out at one of our favourites...
If you’re a fan of Adam’s Farm on Countryfile, don’t miss the opportunity to visit for yourself. Set in a stunning landscape, the Cotswold Farm Park is home to the Rare Breeds Conservation Trust so there are lots of unusual breeds to meet, including the rather beautiful Golden Guernsey goats and local Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. There are a huge number of fun and interactive activities for children of all ages, and with seasonal farming demonstrations there is always something different to see.
Cotswold Farm Park Limited, Guiting Power, nr. Cheltenham, Glos. GL54 5UG
Entry: £8.95 for an adult, £7.95 for a child, £30 for a family
Open: February-December from 10:30am
Stepney City Farm and Rural Arts Centre
Proof that you don’t need to live in the countryside to experience farm life; London boasts no fewer than 14 city farms nestled amongst the high-rises. One of these, Stepney City Farm, owes its success to members of the local community who rescued it from closure in 2009. The farm is now at the heart of that community and runs projects and events for children and adults, such as ‘Crafty Saturdays’ on the first Saturday of every month. Drop in during the week to meet the animals and indulge the foodie within by trying some local produce at the farm café.
Stepney Way, London E1 3DG (Underground: Stepney Green on the Hammersmith & City or District lines, Limehouse on the DLR)
Open: 10am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday and on bank holidays
Windmill Hill City Farm
City farms don’t come much more interactive than Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol. Regular activities include ‘Tiny Trowels’ for family gardening and ‘Farm Adventurers’, where little ones can take part in a range of farming and nature activities whilst adults relax at their own workshop, including yoga, gardening and crafts. Book a place on an exciting foraging event, or simply visit the farm and gardens, and make the most of the adventure playground!
Philip Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4EA
Entry: Free, although check the website for event and activity charges.
Open: 7 days a week from 9am
Farming is a seasonal business and each year Gaston Farm runs Open Farm Days, enabling visitors to make the most of the biggest occasions of the sheep farming year – lambing and shearing. Children can see lambs being born and help to care for orphans or roll fleeces fresh from the sheep’s back. There are also baby chicks and ducklings to hold, trailer rides and talks by the shepherd. Not your traditional farm park, Gaston Farm offers an insight into real farming life. There is just time to catch the end of lambing this year, and look out for shearing at the end of May.
Entry: £5 per person, 2s and under free (cash only)
Open: Keep an eye on the website for seasonal opening times
If you have a group of older children looking for something different, or a plucky group of adults, then look no further than Farm Adventure. They offer an opportunity to get stuck into a range of team building activities including treasure hunts, pig herding, tractor driving and the ‘Farm Olympics’. School groups can also be accommodated, and there are camping facilities on site.
Hill Top Farm, Ilton, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4JY
Entry: Contact the farm for an individual quote
Glebe Farm Astbury
Glebe Farm has something for the little ones and the big ones, with lots of animals and a courtyard of gorgeous independent shops. All of the animals have names and individual personalities, and children have the opportunity to touch and feed them in a covered barn. Don’t miss out on a visit to the Jack in the Green art studio where there are Fair Trade craft activities for the whole family.
Glebe Farm, Astbury, Congleton, CW12 4RQ
Open: Weekdays from 8:30am, Sundays and bank holidays from 9:30am
Bucklebury Farm Park
Bucklebury Farm Park is a large farm park with plenty to offer visitors. As well as meeting all the animals on site, children can get a taste of farming life with activities such as pony grooming, pig bathing and mucking out all on offer. The whole family can enjoy a wild nature trail, or even try your hand at some bushcraft! If the weather is against you there is an indoor play area and restaurant to warm up and dry off.
Bucklebury Farm Park, Bucklebury, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 6RR
Entry: £8.95 for an adult, £7.95 for children, £30 for a family. 2s and under are free and concessions are available
Open: February-December 9:30am-6pm
Hawkhurst Fish Farm
Farms and livestock come in all shapes and sizes, and you can try something new at Hawkhurst Fish Farm. With four lakes including junior lakes, the farm is the perfect place for your children to make their first exciting catch of the day, and maybe get hooked! Friendly staff are available to ensure you’re successful and all equipment is available for hire – or you can bring your own. If fishing doesn’t tickle everyone’s fancy there are beautiful grounds to enjoy, a café and pottery painting workshop.
Hawkhurst Fish Farm, Hastings Road, Hawkhurst, Kent, TN18 4RT
Entry: £10 for an adult to fish or £7.50 to accompany a child, £6 for a child to fish. Hire of rods, nets and bait is £2 each (Cash only)
Open: 7 days a week 10am-5pm
A herd of stunning red deer means that a visit to Snettisham Park cannot fail to impress. Watch out for fawns in the spring and marvel at the stag’s impressive antlers on one of the park’s guided deer safaris. Back at the farm, children can help with egg collecting, bottle feeding orphan lambs and grooming the ponies. There are also three walking trails of different lengths and don’t miss an exhilarating ride on the grass sledging slope.
Snettisham Park, Bircham Road, Snettisham, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 7NG
Entry: For farm and deer safari it is £12 for an adult, £9 for a child, £39 for a family. 2s and under go free and concessions are available.
Open: 7 days a week, 10am-5pm
Farms for City Children
Farms for City Children offer primary aged urban children the opportunity to become a farmer for a week on one of their three farms. Children feed and care for livestock, work in the vegetable garden, help with all kinds of jobs on the farm and have lots of fun of course!
The farms aren’t open to members of the public, but why not suggest a visit to your child’s school?