Newbridge Farm Park
Last weekend we had a wonderful day out at Newbridge Farm Park. It is a family-run farm which is just outside of the Gloucestershire boundary, near Ledbury. As you would expect, there are lots of the “traditional” farm animals including sheep, pigs, chickens, goats, ponies and donkeys, but also more unusual ones such as alpacas and llamas. You can purchase bags of feed, and the animals are very friendly and keen to feed from the hands of the visitors.
The girls loved seeing the animals close up, in their enclosures, but were far too nervous to actually allow them to feed out of their hands, despite our reassurances about how gentle they actually were. They were also unconvinced even when they watched far younger children than them happily feeding the animals, giggling from the tickle as the animal ate the food from their hand. They were more than happy to instruct myself and Rich which animals we had to feed on their behalf. Not that I minded, it was lovely!
There are far more animals than the ones in the enclosures. There is a large barn with lots of “pets” and baby animals. Freyja loved seeing the guinea pigs and rabbits and Emily was very excited to see the chicks. I was completely smitten by some rather cute puppies. I am not really a dog person, I have a cat. But these puppies were the most adorable little animals you could imagine. At various times throughout the day there are hands-on sessions in the barn. Emily and I went to check it out, and she was more than happy to see the guinea pigs and chinchillas close up, but as she is terrified of dogs, she wouldn’t even let me have a cuddle with one of the puppies.
She seemed to be up for a ride on one of the ponies. We selected a helmet that fitted her, and she waited her turn. When the smallest pony was available, one of the members of staff chatted to her and told her about the pony she was going to ride. However, on the other side of the fence, next to the pony (which must be quite large to a three year old) she got a bit scared. We persuaded her to sit on it, but she didn’t like it when the pony started to move, so her ride ended prematurely. Freyja, on the other hand, after initially not wanting to have a pony ride, decided that she would, and loved her little ride down the field and back on one of the larger ponies.
In addition to all of the animals, there are outdoor and indoor play areas. The girls had lots of fun in the huge sandpits, allowing Rich and I to sit nearby and enjoy a coffee from the cafe. The cafe also sells sandwiches, paninis, baked potatoes, soup and snacks such as crisps and ice creams. The Farm Park are also happy for visitors to bring picnics, and there are plenty of picnic tables and seating on which to enjoy it. Although the weather was lovely, the girls spent a lot of time in the indoor playbarn. They were drawn to the hay bales, which had been arranged in a sort of pyramid structure for the children to climb on or crawl through the passageways between them. They spent ages on here, and it was lovely to watch their confidence increase as they climbed up higher or jumped between the bales.
Entry into the Farm Park costs £6 for adults and £5 for children aged 2 to 17 and concessions, with under 2’s being free. If you do go as a family, it may be cheaper to buy a £20 group ticket to admit 4 people. You are also able to leave and re-enter, which means that if you do bring a picnic, you could leave it in the car and go back at collect it rather than have to carry it around with you all day. The staff at Newbridge Farm Park and friendly and helpful, and as was evident at the Pony Rides, very patient with the children. There is an additional £2 charge per pony ride.
We felt that Newbridge Farm Park was a really good value day out. There were lots of animals (all looking to be in good condition and well cared-for) and plenty to do to cater for children of all ages, with several indoor attractions if there were to be showers. During the school holidays, the Farm Park is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, but during term time it is only open Wednesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm. It is worth checking out their website for the daily activities which also differ depending on whether it is term time or school holidays.
Disclaimer: We were given free entry to Newbridge Farm Park in exchange for an honest review. We had a great time there and intend to visit again (and this time I WILL get to cuddle a puppy!)