7 FARMS TO VISIT THIS SUMMER
Posted by Francesca De Franco on 29 Jul 2019
From flowers and ‘pick your own’ to crazy carp and great play facilities, there’s more to farms in our area than a few sheep and cows. Here are some great places to try over the summer holidays…
Hobbledown, Horton Lane, Epsom, KT19 8PT
At Hobbledown, amongst the alpacas, camels, coatis, otters, wallabies, rabbits, guinea pigs, meerkats and farm animals, you’ll find a giant indoor play barn, outdoor play village with a labyrinth of passageways, and costumed characters.
Its Raptor Centre has some amazing birds of prey, which you can meet daily from 11am to 2pm (except Wednesdays). There are also two flying displays a day (also excluding Wednesdays) at 12pm and 2pm.
It’s a full day out, with plenty of daily additional activities and events on offer as well as an extensive menu in the Hobnosh eatery. The high ropes (available at peak times only), jumping pillows and crystallite mine are particular favourites of ours.
Its Wildflowers Family Festival – a three-day family festival – is on 16th – 18th August inclusive. You’ll be treated to live music, theatre, magic, circus acts, dance, music and science workshops.
It’s not cheap and of course its peak time during the summer holidays.
£16 child over two years (reduces to £11.50 after 3pm)
£15 per adult (reduces to £10.50 after 3pm).
You can get a 5% saving if you book 1-7 days in advance and a 20% saving if you book online 8+ days ahead of your visit.
Peak time opening hours:
Monday to Thursday – 9am-6.30pm
Friday and Saturday – 9am-7pm
Sunday – 9am-6.30pm
Full details can be found here: https://www.hobbledown.com
Mayfield Lavender, 1 Carshalton Rd, Banstead, SM7 3JA
Celebrate the heritage of the area with a trip to the Mayfield Lavender farm. On the site of an original Victorian lavender field, the 25-acre farm is a sight to behold in season. The lavender is in full bloom right now and there are almost daily photo updates on social media.
There’s an outdoor café – with plenty of seating – selling sandwiches, paninis, burgers etc and plenty of sweet treats including homemade cakes and biscuits (many of which contain lavender). The venue is licensed so you can enjoy a cheeky Prosecco or even some lavender cider!
You can also have a lavender cream tea, or a barbecue during July and August and enjoy a tractor ride. There’s an on-site shop stocking plenty of lavender plants as well as lavender toiletries and other lavender products.
Costs: £2.50 per adult; children 16 and under are free, as is parking.
Opening hours: The farm is open seven days per week from 9am to 6pm (last entry for cars is 5.45pm) until September 1st, 2019.
Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, Redhill, Surrey RH1 4EJ
Priory Farm boasts a wonderful, well-stocked farm shop and the charming Discovery Walk. Whilst the former is more for the adults (love it!), the latter, which includes a nature trail, is really great wholesome fun for all the family.
There’s a picture-based nature trail for little ones and a fact-gathering one for children up to about 12 years-old. Whilst getting the trail answers you’ll discover a great pirate ship to play on and lots of things to climb and explore including a maze. There are also guinea fowl, chickens, ducks, drums (yes) and lovely flowers.
Make sure you visit the crazy carp. Ring the feeding bell and see them all go into a frenzy! Fish/duck food is available from Wendy’s cabin at the start of the trail for £1 per bag.
Wendy’s cabin also sells a good selection of food, drinks and ice creams.
Costs: Entry to the Discovery Walk is £3.00 per person and the Children’s Nature Trail is included. Duck River (duck racing suitable for little ones) costs £1 each and you get to keep the plastic duck.
Opening times: The Discovery Walk is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 4.30pm and Sunday – 10:30am – 4:30pm. The Farm Shop has slightly longer opening hours.
Full details here: https://www.prioryfarm.co.uk/
Bocketts Farm Park, Leatherhead, KT22 9BS
Bocketts Farm is big on animals and big on play equipment.
Its large undercover animal barn houses sheep, goats, llamas, pigs and cows, which children get the chance to feed (animal feed costs £1 per bag) and its small animal village, which is like a small petting zoo contains guinea pigs, rabbits, chipmunks, chinchillas and mice. There are specific times throughout the day when children can hold and stroke the multitude of furry creatures.
At the Stable Yard, you’ll find ponies and donkeys including tiny miniature Shetland ponies and giant Poitou donkeys. Elsewhere, look out for then hens and the Swedish Fallow deer.
Make sure you catch a pig race (held at 12.45pm and 3.45pm every day) and cheer on your favourite.
On the play front, there’s a large indoor play barn, which includes an astro-slide
and baby play zone; there are also six undercover trampolines. Outside you’ll find swings, a maze, slides, adventure trails, sandpits, play houses and Treehouse Towers, which has net climbers, bridges, slides, tunnels and mounds to explore.
Children can also have pony and tractor rides and play on the electric ride-on-tractors. These are all optional extras and aren’t included in the admission price.
In addition to the usual programme from 26th July until 1st September 2019 there’ll be Summer Fun on the Farm which includes:
- A magical trail
- Bubble disco
- Wand making
- Water Wars and panning for gold (additional cost)
- Full programme of farm activities
The Old Barn Tearooms sell hot lunch specials as well as all day breakfasts, sandwiches, homemade cakes and cream teas. The Cow Shed Coffee Bar sells lighter bites (including children’s picnic boxes), ice creams and cakes.
Standard prices – shown below – apply during the summer holidays, but off-peak tickets are available at other times.
- Adult (17+) £11.95
- Child (2-17 Years) £12.95
- Child (2 Years) £10.95
- Child (Under 2 Years) Free
Opening times: 10am to 5.30pm every day of the year except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
More information here: https://www.bockettsfarm.co.uk/
Godstone Farm, Tilburstow Hill Road, Godstone RH9 8LX
Godstone Farm is more of a traditional farm and has less of a theme park feel, but that completely adds to its charm. It has a really nice vibe and is very well-staffed.
It’s cheaper than nearby Bocketts Farm and you can save quite a bit of money if you book online (online tickets are available to purchase up until midnight the night before your visit).
It boasts plenty of farmyard animals with ponies, horses and donkeys grazing in the fields and birds and poultry visible all around the farm. There are also the more exotic llamas and alpacas. There’s a host of little furry friends to see, and in the animal holding area you can get up close to rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, a chinchilla, degu, terrapins, tortoises and other small animals.
There is a huge outdoor adventure playground with sandpits, slides, climbing walls, animal rockers, climbing towers and a zip line. In the area there is The Top Shop snack shed which is open at peak times and sells drinks, snacks and ice-creams. Elsewhere outside there are ride-on toys specifically for the under sixes.
The indoor play barn has soft play suitable for a wide variety of ages and has its own café, which serves drinks, snacks and cakes (the main Tea Room in the centre of the farm sells hot and cold lunches). A new addition is the Wiglets Play Village; here children can role play being a vet, working on a construction site or serving in a café.
The Dino Trail is packed with lots of information and displays about different dinosaurs. Alongside the trail, children can visit the real-life closest living relatives of the dinosaurs.
Its Festival on the Farm (celebrating 40 years of Godstone) is on between the 27th of July and the 1st of September.
Online advance ticket prices:
- Adult (16+) £8.90
- Child (2-16 Years) £8.90
- Child (Under 2 Years) £3.90
- Child (Under 1 Years) Free
Farm opens 10am
Playbarn 10.30am — 5.30pm, last entry 5pm
Tea Rooms 10.30am – 5pm, last orders 4.30pm
Animal Holiding 10am – 5.30pm
Tractor Rides* Weekends & Holidays – 11am — 4pm on the hour
Pig Feeding – 12.15pm & 3.15pm
Hog’stacle Course* (weekends & school holidays only) 11.30am & 2.30pm
Dino Trail – Open all day
Farm Closes 5.45pm
Find out more: https://godstonefarm.co.uk/
Garsons Esher, Winterdown Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8LS
Garsons is an award-winning garden centre and farm Shop. Its Esher location also boasts one of the UK’s largest ‘Pick Your Own’ (PYO) Farms, which my children absolutely love.
The PYO farm has 30 crops (totalling over 75 different varieties) so picking season lasts from June until October. You can check out exactly what’s picking here: https://www.garsons.co.uk/pyo-farm/pyo-crops-a-z
By each type of produce there’s a board explaining a bit about it and how to know if it’s ready to pick. So, just grab your punnet or bag and get picking! Then when you’re finished, head over to one of the many stations to get your produce weighed and priced.
A visit to Garsons feels like a day out and is a lot of fun. The produce is great quality and we found it lasted really well. My girls love fruit, but vegetables can be a harder sell. I found that they were much more willing to give different veggies a go when they’d picked them themselves.
The restaurant and toilets are located in the garden centre.
You definitely need a car as the site is 155 acres.
Costs: It used to be free entry all year round but now there’s a £4 minimum spend per adult charged on entry (there’s no charge for under 17s) during peak season. However, this is refunded against the total bill of what you’ve picked. The Spring and Autumn season still operates on a ‘weigh & pay’ system ie no minimum spend.
Parking is free.
PYO Opening Times:
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
(last entry 15 minutes before closing time)
Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor Ave, London SW19 2RR
Deen City Farm is an urban farm and riding school in south-west London (it’s one of London’s oldest community-run farms) with a heavy focus on education.
It houses around 120-150 animals on its 5-acre site and includes cows, goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks, an alpaca, farm cats, owls, ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits. Its aviary contains a selection of finches, canaries and quail. Animal feed is available on the farm in dispensers for 50p.
‘Meet and Greet’ sessions with a selection of the farm’s animals run between 10.00am – 12.00pm and 2.00pm – 4.00pm during the summer holidays. These cost £2 per child and tickets are available to buy from the information desk in the café.
Pony rides for children aged seven and under start at 12pm daily and cost £2. Tickets don’t need to be purchased in advance just queue up by the pony!
A visit to Deen City Farm can easily be combined with a trip to Morden Hall Park. It’s an easy, buggy-friendly walk, which will take you through the wetlands (with boardwalk). This will make it a full day out.
Cost: It’s free. However, Deen City Farm is a registered charity and relies on donations.
Opening times: 10am to 4.30pm all year round, but closed on Mondays, unless otherwise advertised. The café summer opening times are Tuesday-Sunday 10am-3pm.
Which ever one you visit have fun!