Farmer Gows

Address: Fernham Road, Longcot, Faringdon, SN7 7PR

Price Band: ££

Website: http://www.farmergows.co.uk/

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 eggs freshly laid that morning.  I think its really important children understand where their food comes from (not just the supermarket shelf) and Cody really enjoyed choosing his own egg from the laying box.

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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 and the children 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 every day.  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

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4 kingdoms

4 Kingdoms Adventure Park

Address: Headley House, Newbury Road, Headley, RG19 8JY

Price Band: ££

Website: https://www.4-kingdoms.co.uk/

4 Kingdoms Adventure Park & Family Farm is a fairly new family run park not far from Newbury on the Hampshire/Berkshire border.  It has been open for around 4-5 years now I believe and we have been lucky enough to visit on several occasions with various friends, one of which was on a Superhero special event day.  The photos in this blog are a mixture from various visits.  Every time we go there is something new so it is well worth going back again and again.

I’m going to keep this one simple. This. Place. Is. Awesome.  Ok so you’re going to want to know a little more about it before you believe me.  Here are our top 5 reasons we love 4 Kingdoms:

  1. No matter what the weather there is always something to do.  Inside you have the soft play frames, laser tag arena, arcade rides, craft activities and animal petting barn.  Outside you have huge climbing frames, bouncy castles, fairytale woods, tractor trailer rides, pedal boats, crazy golf, go karts and more.

2. Everything is included in the price you pay at the door.  Yes that’s right. Even the arcade rides that are usually £1 a ride or the electric quad bikes you always have to pay extra for. They are all free to ride as many times as you like 🙂

3. There are adult sized activities!  The play frames are large enough that an adult can climb around on them to assist younger children if they wish and you can ride on the electric quad bikes with your younger ones so even if they aren’t quite big enough to reach the pedals they don’t have to miss out.

4. They have animal feeding and handling times throughout the entire day. There is a full timetable for the animal barn every day which includes handling small creatures such as chicks and rabbits, feeding calves and lambs, or brushing miniature shetland ponies.  There are also sinks with soap and hand towels right by the animal barn for washing hands after you’ve handled the animals.

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5. School holidays are rammed with special events.  These include superhero days, Easter egg hunts, pirate themed days, pantomimes, Halloween spectacular and of course a magical Christmas experience which sees the park transformed into a festive wonderland.  Check the website for details of upcoming events.

Basically this place has something to suit every child of every age and I cannot see how you could ever get bored with so much to do.  You can easily spend a whole day here and better still you can take your own picnic too or alternatively there is food available from the barn cafe.  This place is ideal if you have a wide age range of kids as it will keep everyone happy.  There is even a large soft play area for babies and tots separate from the big kids one.  Car parking is easy and free and there are plenty of toilet facilities which are all well looked after and clean.

Disclaimer: 4 Kingdoms had no involvement with this review and any photos, words and opinions are that of my own 🙂

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