Godstone Farm

One of the things I love most as a parent is sharing the things I love, or loved as a child, with my own kids. growing up in the South London area, both Matt and I visited Godstone Farm as children for school and family trips and have lots of happy memories there.

So when we were invited to visit on Father's Day we were both really excited to take Lily and Ollie. It's no surprise that we love visiting a farm, I'm yet to meet a child who doesn't get excited about meeting the animals - my kids love it!


A lot has changed at Godstone Farm over the years. As a kid, I remembered all the animals and Matt has fond memories of playing on the ride on tractors - but now there are even more activities to take part in and keep the kids busy all day long. As an adult, I find I'm just as appreciative of good toilet facilities, a decent cup of tea and some good quality food in the tearoom as I was of all the fun stuff I enjoyed when I was much younger.

There was so much to do at Godstone Farm that I've broken down our activities into sections - I hope you enjoy the read as much as we enjoyed our day!

Arrival

We arrived early on the Sunday morning at 10:30. The farm was easy to find and well signposted and there was plenty of parking available. There were a few other families parking up at the same time but with two gates open, entry to the Farm was quick and painless. The staff at the great were friendly and welcoming, letting you know about events happening on the day and giving you a leaflet with all the information and timings on it.

We were invited to visit the farm and did not pay for entry, however, prices are reasonable at £9.40 for everyone ages 2 and above. 1 year olds are only £3.60 and under 1's go free. Booking online in advance saves you more money, so it's definitely worth taking a look at their website at godstonefarm.co.uk


Animals

There were so many different animals to see around the farm - from tiny chipmunks, guinea pigs and rabbits to horses, pigs and donkeys. After a quick trip to the toilets (which were clean and easy to find) our first stop was the Main Barn, home to sheep, goats and llamas.


As you come out of the main barn you find yourself next to the Animal Handling centre. In here you'll find a selection of small farm animals, many of which can be stroked and some can be held under the supervision of the kind and approachable staff. Lily was able to hold a chick and a rabbit, stroke some guinea pigs and see some extremely cute baby turkeys!



Outside again there are lots of pigs, chickens, goats, donkeys, ponies and ducks. All the animals you would usually expect to find on a farm with handy information posters telling you about the different breeds on view and the names of the animals - I particularly liked the pigs named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Tractor Ride

Ollie was really excited about going on the tractor rides. There are plenty on during the day with more added on busy days. Tickets were available from the Play Barn Cafe where I was able to pay by card or from the entrance to the Play Barn if you have the cash with you. We bought our tickets for the 11:15 ride and didn't have too long to wait with plenty of animals nearby to keep us interested.

The ride itself was short but packed in plenty to see. It gives you a tour of most of the animals as well as the dinosaur trail. We hadn't told Lily and Ollie about the dinosaurs and so that came as a huge surprise and they couldn't wait to explore further when the ride was over.


Tearoom

At 11:30 we stopped for a quick bite to eat. The kids always seem to get hungry early and by getting in early we beat the lunchtime rush. The food available in the tearoom was simple but lovely and they had some daily specials on offer which Matt was happy to sample.

Adult main meals were between £5 and £7.50 and smaller children's portions are available at a reduced price. Lily went for the picnic box option which was £4.95 for a sandwich, drink and three items from a selection of crisps, fruit, snacks and cake. Ollie chose the butcher's sausage with chips and beans. It cost £26 for the whole family but if you were looking to save money there were plenty of appointed picnic places, tables and areas as well as snacks and ice creams available at the Adventure Playground, Play Barn and Ice Cream Shed.


Dinosaur Trail

You might not realise it from the website, but Godstone Farm is so much more than a farmyard. There are plenty of activities and points of interest to occupy children of all ages throughout the day. One of these is the 'Dinosaur Trail' which has a number of dinosaur models - realistic enough to pique the excitement of young children! Again, there were some great facts along the way and places where the children can dig in the sand to discover dinosaur fossils. A game area, photo opportunity and even some exhibits with realistic roaring.


Ollie adored this area, he loves dinosaurs and was excited to see 'real dinosaurs' as opposed to the dinosaur bones we saw at the museum for his birthday treat.

Ride On Toys

One of Matt's enduring memories of visiting the farm as a child included time spent playing on the ride on tractors and he was pleasantly surprised to find that the farm still has this facility. The play area, specifically for under 6's included plenty of trucks and tractors to play on and was decorated to look like a road which really added to the fun. It was great to see Lily and Ollie driving round and playing before we headed next door into the Play Barn.


Playbarn

The Playbarn was a brighter and more airy than I imagined a soft play area to be. There was a wide range of soft play equipment for children of all ages, including a dedicated area for toddlers. For older children the frame was large and included some great slides which my two children enjoyed immensely. During busy times the staff do advise that there will be a time limit on your stay but this was not in place during our visit. I was impressed that even though it was busy, it didn't feel overcrowded or uncomfortable.

Whilst the children play there is plenty of seating for the adults, clean toilets for both children and grown-ups and a Cafe area serving hot drinks, snacks and some yummy cakes which I barely managed to resist.

Fairy Woodland

As we tried out even more ride on toys, this time on a great little ramp perfect for racing, we spotted another activity in the shape of the Fairy Woodland. Lily especially loved running along the woodland trails looking out for fairies, their homes and secret fairy doors. It was simple but lovely and I felt like they could really make a lot more of this area.

Gift Shop

Who doesn't enjoy a bit of retail therapy? I'm sure that somewhere in my box of childhood treasures is the handpainted egg I bought on a visit to the farm on a school trip. I'm a sucker for the little souvenirs you can buy on days out and the gift shop at Godstone Farm did not disappoint. It was reasonably priced and had plenty of choice. Ollie bought a Dinosaur Truck and Lily chose yet another cuddly toy!


Hogstacle Race

After seeing this on the website and in the leaflet we were given I still didn't know what to expect from the 'Hogstacle' race and yet it really was an obstacle race for pigs! The kids found this highly entertaining and couldn't wait to watch.


Adventure Playground

With so much else to do around the farm I regretted leaving the outside Adventure Playground until last as it was huge and had loads to do, including a massive sandpit. There were picnic tables scattered throughout so the adults could grab a seat as the children went exploring.



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