Address: Fernham Road, Longcot, Faringdon, SN7 7PR
Price Band: ££
Farmer Gows is a working farm near Faringdon, Oxfordshire which specialises in ‘hands on’ animal feeding and handling experiences. They are open daily from 10am til 5pm except over the Xmas period. The farm rears livestock and some of their produce can be bought in the on site shop, including meat, freshly laid eggs and firewood. The shop also has loads of farm themed gifts and toys which make a lovely souvenir of your trip. Cody and I visited Farmer Gows on a week day during term time as part of a local childrens group bus trip.
The daily program of farmer led activities at the farm includes chick handling, lamb and goat kid bottle feeding, pig and sheep feeding, egg collecting, as well as various play areas to explore and a tractor trailer ride around the farm.
The main barn is where the animal handling and feeding takes place. The feeding is organised using colour co-ordinated bottles for each lamb/goat kid. When the animals are let loose it can be quite chaotic but it is very enjoyable and the children love getting to bottle feed the gorgeous little lambs. After the babies have had their turn the adult sheep, goats and pigs get their turn. They are hand fed solid feed. Throughout the feeding times the staff explain everything very well although you do have to listen carefully if its busy as the barn can get quite noisy.
After feeding the animals we were able to go to the chicken pens and collect the freshly laid eggs. I think its really important children understand where their food comes from (not just the supermarket shelf!). Cody really enjoyed choosing his own egg from the laying box.
The other outdoor areas at Farmer Gows include a giant hay bale barn with hidden tunnels which the kids absolutely love. Next to it is the pedal tractor yard which is every tractor fan’s dream play area. One thing I will advise – wear wellies and old clothes. Even on the driest day your kids will get dirty here whether you like it or not. After all, it is a farm! They do have a shelf full of spare wellies to borrow but if you have your own then do wear them.
Next to the play areas are hand washing facilities and toilets. There are loads of picnic benches both outside and under cover in the main barn to sit and eat your lunch. You can take your own picnic or there is a tea room with a small menu of refreshments. The food our friends ordered took a while to arrive as it’s all made fresh to order but it was worth the wait.
In the afternoon we enjoyed a ride on the tractor trailer around the farm. This took us up to the top field where the pigs are kept. We were able to get off and feed them. WARNING: it is VERY muddy up there! Did I mention wearing wellies?! The tractor ride lasts approximately 30 minutes in total but does cost extra on top of your entry fee.
There are often special events at Farmer Gows and they generally hold a treasure hunt on the hay bales most days. Check the website for up to date details of whats on.
If you have a child who loves farm animals, tractors, etc then this is definitely the place for them. Personally I would say it is ideal for children aged 2-10 years. Make sure you go prepared with suitable clothing and footwear to make the most of your day. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Farmer Gows have had no involvement in this review. All photos, words and opinions are that of my own 🙂
Also In The Area: The Funky Teapot