So the Easter School Holidays are finally over and we are free to return to our toddler hang-outs in the relative peace of term time! I asked The Bear what we would like to do and his reply was that he would like to ‘feed the baa baa black sheep’ as he thinks ‘they be very hungry mummy’ (I have a feeling he thinks the poor sheep haven’t eaten since his last visit over a month ago – the mind of a 2 year old!).
Our favourite place to ‘feed the baa baas’ is without a doubt Bockett’s Farm. Set in the Surrey Hills (an area of outstanding natural beauty) Bockett’s Farm is one of The Terrorists favourite places in the world. You enter the farm straight into a huge barn (it makes it great for rainy days as well as the sunny ones) and we can reliably spend a happy 45 minutes with me sat on a bench with a coffee from the kiosk and The Terrorists running off their excess energy between a huge trampoline bed, ride on tractors, a proper tractor that can be sat in for some serious pretend driving, huge jigsaws and wooden cows, goats and sheep which can be ‘milked’ (they pull the udders and squirt water – I must confess even I enjoy this one!).
Eventually we make it through to the actual animals. First stop is another barn full of bunnies and other little animals. There are regular show and tells (every hour) where rabbits, goats and other animals are brought out for well supervised stroking (one of Bollie’s favourite bits).
We then make it outside and check out the horses, donkeys and goats before The Bear can’t take the suspense any longer and we head to the Baa Baas. This is another undercover barn where the children are able to feed the animals by hand (you can buy a bag of food for 90p at the entrance). It is a great time of year as there are loads of baby lambs and pigs and for 30 minutes The Terrorists have the time of their life giving each animal a piece of food at a time (poor animals really have to work for it with my two!) and running between the fluffly Lamas and thre lambs ensuring that everyone is well fed!
The rest of the trip is spent between the huge outdoor play area (complete with tunnel slides, little houses, blow up cushions etc), the indoor soft play (with fab bumpy slide), the pig races, a trip round the farm on a tractor (this is an extra £1.25 each and is pretty bumpy and cold but one of The Bears top bits of the day!).
Also available are pony rides, goat milking and at Christmas the a truly fantastic opportunity to meet Father Christmas (the Guardian rates them in the top 10). There is tonnes of space outside for picnics and there is a heated and covered picnic space next to the soft play inside. As usual the terrorists had their Yumbox’s (with a bento farm themed lunch – see www.yumbox-uk.co.uk and we had a lovely picnic outside.
If you would rather there are also lovely tea rooms selling hot and cold fresh and healthy lunches (only drawback is that they get very busy).
All in all a fantastic day in a great place for The Terrorists to run wild and for me to enjoy some lovely time out from the city.
Top Tip – make sure you check out one of the animal handling sessions so your little ones get to stroke some animals. Also buy some feed as even if you just put it on the little ledge and don’t let them eat from your hand the kids love a chance to actually feed the animals themselves
Time to visit – this can definitely occupy a whole day
Highlights – feeding the animals (not all farms allow this these days so this is quite unique), the big bumpy slide and the tractor ride
Getting there – Bockett’s Farm is 5 minutes drive from junction 9 on the M25. You can also get a train to Leatherhead and it is 5 minutes in a taxi
Pushchair access – everywhere is accessible with pushchairs and you can easily avoid the mud (with a pushchair though probably not with a walking toddler if they are anything like The Terrorists!)
Price – the prices are quite steep in the summer months. Adult are £9.20, Children (3-17yrs) are £9.80, Children 2yrs are £8.00 and Children under 2 are Free. This includes everythingexcept the feed for the animals, the tractor and pony rides and the sand diggers) It is worth signing up for their newsletter on their website (see below) as they often offer discounts and prices are heavily discounted over the winter months (when we usually go)
Food and Drink – there is a kiosk selling sandwiches (a pretty basic selection) in the main barn and then a tearoom just outside (they allow re-entry) which does lovely food. We always take a picnic and there are lots of picnic areas inside and out
Other attractions nearby – not really needed as this is a full day
Baby facilities – there is baby change in both the tearooms and the main barn and it is very clean. The tearooms will heat bottles and there are lots of high chairs in both the tearooms and the indoor picnic area. There is nowhere specific to breastfeed but there are lots of benches around
Website – http://www.bockettsfarm.co.uk/