The neighbouring (equally lovely) village is called Godstone, and you can wander from one village to the other, as they're only a mile or so apart. My parents, sister and niece still live in the family home I grew up in on the border between Bletchingley and Godstone, and so we go back there to visit them often.
This weekend, we headed back to catch up with everyone and spent a glorious day in the sunshine at the wonderful Godstone Farm, which is located just a five minute drive from my mums front door! Win!
The beautiful Godstone Farm & Playbarn is the perfect place for a family day out. It has been a regular haunt for my family ever since I was a small child. It's changed a fair bit since I was visiting 25+ years ago: it has expanded, modernised and they have added many amazing play aspects for all ages of children, making it so much more than just a 'day on the farm' experience. That being said, what I truly love about Godstone Farm is that is still retains that old fashioned children's farm vibe - it feels more farm than theme park, unlike other places that we have visited over the years. The farm caters for all needs, all ages and the facilities seem centred around making your visit as easy, fun and carefree as possible.
We haven't visited the farm since Connie came along, so we were excited to introduce her and my baby niece Elsie who is 5 months old, to the farm. Bert was of course thrilled to be returning (he's been 3 times before, but not for the last 2 years)...we already know that anything including animals will be a winner with our creature-mad boy!
We spent the day basking in the glorious sunshine and making our way round the vast collection of farm animals - animals always being the priority for Bert, we tried to ensure we saw absolutely every creature we could. Shetland ponies, alpacas, goats, cows, sheep, pigs, donkeys, Highland cows, chipmunks, ferrets, a range of birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises, terrapins, ducks, turkeys, chickens and even 'Creature Caves' containing lizards, snakes, tarantulas etc. For a traditional farm there are an awful lot of animals to see, and you can spend the majority of your visit exploring the animals without running out of things to see. Our favourite animals by FAR were the chipmunks - they were so full of personality and completely adorable. We loved the way their enclosure was filled up with interesting pieces of furniture (chairs, tables, bookcases, crockery etc) for them to climb, play on and explore. My personal absolute favourite (always) is the Highland cows - cutest animal ever!
The animals were hot too - it was lovely to see the caring staff giving them iced water from bottles to help cool them down.
Hahaha! Very sleepy bunnies!
Apart from seeing all of the animals, Bert's second favourite part of the day was walking around the Dino Trail - centred around a small lake, the Dino Trail is a lovely walk featuring huge dinosaur statues with realistic dinosaur noises in amongst the vegetation - complete with 'digging for dinosaur bones' sand boxes, lots of dinosaur facts and some fun photo opportunities too!
Uh-oh! Nanny Seaside got eaten by a T-Rex!
This weather forecast from cavemen times made us chuckle! :-)
We stopped to recharge at lunch time and headed to the cute Tea Rooms - it was lovely and quiet on Saturday (something to do with the England World Cup match possibly?) so even at peak lunch time (12-1) there was plenty of room for a table of 4 adults and 3 children, and we were thrilled with the lunch choices.
There's brilliant kids lunch boxes available where you can choose a sandwich (ham, cheese or jam), a drink (water, fruit shoot, juice carton or milkshake carton) and 3 other items (crisps, fruit, raisins, cakes, cheese dinosaurs, jelly pouches) for £4.95 - which is ideal for my snack-loving bambinos. I also love that if the kids don't get through all the lunch items at lunch time, you can pack them in your bag for them to snack on later in the day - no waste! My mum and sister are both currently on the Slimming World diet plan and they were also well-catered for - with a lovely salad bar and jacket potato option: they both chose a jacket with beans and salad and they said it was fresh and delicious.
Liam and I both fancied a cold lunch (as it was a sweltering hot day) so we went for their super fresh and really tasty 'doorstep' sandwiches with a Diet Pepsi each: I had crisps with mine and Liam chose a brownie cake bar. The whole lunch came to £35 for 4 adults and 2 children (baby Elsie just had her bottle!), which I actually think is really good value at around £5.80 per head, especially considering how much choice their was, and how fresh and delicious everything was.
There were lots of other hot food options for adults and kids, as well as snacks, ice creams, hot drinks and more cold foods like wraps etc available too. There is also free Wifi available in the tea room, which is a massive bonus for a social media addict like me, and perfect for me to share some snaps online from our morning!
Snacktastic lunch for Bertster!
Tasty cold lunch for the grown ups
Healthy hot lunch for the grown ups!
Baby Elsie enjoying some attention from her big cousin Bert in the Tea Rooms at Godstone Farm
After getting round the last of the animals we headed to the amazing outdoor play area which features a range of adventure playgrounds (for differing ages and abilities), a zip wire, a maze, a climbing wall, swings (including an amazing double swing where an adult and toddler/small child can swing together facing each other - see pic below - it blew my mind!), plus a HUGE sandpit with an awning to keep little ones out of the sun. Honestly, the kids loved this part of the day so much that it would be worth visiting for the adventure play alone. It was a perfect end to the day, allowing them to run free, let of steam and expel that final little bit of energy before the (5 minute!) drive home. Ha!
They both particularly enjoyed the sandpit and swings.
As well as the adventure playground outdoor play area, Godstone Farm also have a lovely outdoor Ride on Runway, which is essentially a little slope of tarmac that children can speed down on ride on tractor toys - both of mine had a go on this too and loved it (Connie at 2 was perhaps a little too young for it, but she is a daredevil and thinks she's 5, so she did it anyway!) They also have an outdoor but undercover ride on toys enclosed paved area which is full to bursting with ride on toys, bikes, tractors and trailers. The perfect place to let your tractor-driver-in-training zoom around and let off steam!
Aside from the vast range of ourdoor play facilities they also have a MASSIVE indoor soft Playbarn complete with the new Wiglets Play Village which is an indoor adventure area where children can role play being a vet, working on a construction site or serving in a cafe. It also includes a baby area and a thrilling ball play zone. So again, something for children of all ages. Also worth noting this is all under one roof, so perfect if you're a family with children of a range of ages. It looked so fun but we just didn't find the time to stop and play here during our visit, the weather was just too good to stay indoors - but I would imagine it's an absolute god send during the cooler or wetter weather.
Other things we've done during previous visits to Godstone Farm but we didn't have time for this weekend was the brilliant Tractor Ride (which is an extra cost of £1.20) which runs three times per day during the week and on the hour every hour between 11am-4pm during the weekend and holidays. Also the Hogstacle Race (pig obstacle course!) which happens once a day during weekdays and twice on the weekend.
We ended the action-packed day with a trip to the lovely Gift Shop to treat the kiddies to a few little bits. It is a gorgeous shop full of high-quality gifts, toys, cuddly toys, confectionery, books, garden toys and even gifts for grown ups like sweets, jams, chutneys, homeware etc. The prices are really reasonable, and range from small gifts for under a pound, pick and mix animal figures (4 for £1 - Bert's idea of HEAVEN) to the higher budget more luxury toys and items. I love that the Gift Shop is also totally avoidable: you don't have to pass through it to get into or out of the farm, like most attractions we've been too, meaning that if you are on a budget and want to avoid the 'can I have...' tantrums, then you absolutely can. Another parent win, nice one Godstone Farm!
By the end of the day (we lasted until 4pm!) the kids were absolutely shattered - so exhausted in fact that Connie had conked out by the time we got to the gift shop, bless her...
As well as being well equipped on the 'things to keep everyone amused' front, Godstone Farm also has brilliant facilities: plenty of nice clean toilets, hand washing stations all over the farm, loads of picnic tables for bringing along your own food, and an amazing baby changing room which is HUGE and has changing stations-a-plenty (honestly, there was enough room to change about 5/6 babies at a time) plus a toilet cubicle for parents to use in there too. The whole farm was easy to navigate with pushchairs and my favourite part about the farm is how well-kept it is: lots of care and attention has been made to make it pretty and welcoming - with lots of flowers and decorative displays, art work/murals etc all over the farm.
Beautiful pompoms adorn the garden area of the Tea Rooms
Gorgeous potting shed/greenhouse, which is used by the gardener to grow from seed the impressive veggie patch!
You could take along any age child at any time of the year and I guarantee you'll have a brilliant day out here. Personally I think the admission prices are incredibly reasonable considering just how much there is to do at Godstone Farm.
Admission prices are as follows (prices correct July 2018):
2 Adults & 2 Children (Over 2) £37.60 on the door or £33.60 online
Adult (16+) £9.40 on the door, or £8.40 online
Child (2-16 Years) £9.40 on the door, or £8.40 online
Child (Under 2 years) £3.60
Child (Under 1 year) FREE
We will absolutely be back time and again to Godstone Farm - I'll enjoy watching my kids grow with the farm as they work their way from the baby, toddler and pre-school areas, right up to the older equipment and activities.
I'll leave you with my favourite images from our day - these selfies of Connie and her daddy, while they were enjoying the play park together - if these don't convince you that you'll have the happiest of days at Godstone Farm, then I don't know what will? :-)
Have you visited Godstone Farm before? If not - add it to your to do list this summer!
We were given free admission to Godstone Farm in return for this honest review.
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