Miller’s Ark Lambing Weekend

Dear Mummy, we headed to our local farm over the weekend. We wanted to take full advantage of the sunshine, so bundled into the car and took the short journey to the outskirts of Basingstoke. We’ve never been to Miller’s Ark but had heard great things from other local mums on social media. Miller’s Ark is based at Manor Farm off Blackstocks Lane, in Hook, Hampshire RG27 9PH. It’s really easy to get to and you can see the farm from the A30, 5 minutes from Basingstoke. When we arrived they had a lower carpark (overflow) just off the lane and a top car park on the farm for customers.

Millers Ark Review

Miller’s Ark Animals is what the company at the farm is called and was first established in 1991 by Elizabeth Miller to offer an interactive farm-yard experiences. Miller’s Ark Animals is one of the original ‘mobile farms’ and travels to nurseries, schools, residential homes and corporate events, allowing everyone to have a wonderful farm experience and meet the animals without travelling out to the countryside.

Millers Ark Review

Elizabeth Miller also launched Animal Touch a registered charity in 2002, reflecting the growing demand for therapeutic interaction with the farm animals. Animal Touch welcomes visits on the farm by individuals or groups with special needs and can also take animals to private homes or specialist centres. What a great idea!
Millers Ark Review
We were lucky enough to visit on Lambing Weekend at Miller’s Ark. They opened up their working farm to members of the public. Opening hours were from 11am until 4pm and we went for the afternoon. Entry was £7 for adults and for children aged 2 and over. Children under 2 were free. Don’t forget your loyalty card, visit 5 times and your 6th family visit is FREE!  However, Miller Ark do NOT have credit card facilities at the farm, so make such you take plenty of cash. There is a shop and a garage in the next village off the A30 in Hook incase you forget.
Millers Ark Review
Miller’s Ark is based on the Earl of Malmesbury’s estate at Hook in Hampshire and the farm specialises in breeding Irish Moiled rare breed cattle, traditional Belted Galloways, rare breed sheep, Pygmy goats. Kune Kune pigs, standard and miniature donkeys, ducks, geese, turkeys and chicken. The miniature donkeys were very vocal on our visit! All the animals looked well cared for and we loved all the chickens and ducks roaming around.
Millers Ark Review

I had loads of fun feeding the sheep, however I was a bit wary to begin with! The sunshine was so bright that I had to wear my sunglasses. They were special feed zones to feed the animals, so I bought a cup of feed for £1 with my pocket-money. On the Miller’s Ark Open Day members of the public could go into every pen and handle all the animals which is amazing! The staff encouraged us to groom the baby donkeys and ponies, cuddle cute little lambs and baby goats, stroke the rabbits and guinea pigs on our laps, hold tiny chicks and ducklings and tickle the piglets tummies. We were in our element and just wished we had gone down earlier! We could have spent hours down on the farm with the animals – apologies for the lack of animal handling shots in this post – we were too busy handling the animals! 😉

Millers Ark Review

I liked jumping around in the play barn area amongst the hay bales and it was good ol’ fashioned fun. They even had mini tractors for me to sit on. We’ve never had so much opportunity to touch and stroke animals, much better than other farms we’ve been too when we’ve had to wait for a turn at certain timed sessions. There was lots of animals and staff on hand to help. Even though it was busy we could walk into an animal pen without queuing and sit amongst the animals.

Miller's Ark Review

Everyone knows that visiting a farm is an enjoyable and educational experience for little ones and we found it very therapeutic and calming. I even started chatting to the goats! They were rubbing their heads against my mummy boots as they had an itch which I thought was very funny! In all her life my mummy has never been up close with so many animals in such a small period of time. It was better than going to the zoo! She really enjoyed the experience too.

Millers Ark Review

I had fun riding on the blue land train called Looby Loo and it cost £1 a ride per person. It was really informative too and the lady on the train told us all about the history of the farm and the animals. We’d actually recommend starting off with this little tour so you can get your bearings. It’s only a small working farm but its great to spot all the lively characters who live on it!

Millers Ark Review

I loved that we were freely allowed to enter the pens and that built my confidence. I wasn’t scared of the animals at the end of our visit. The farm animals are all extremely friendly and used to human contact. We didn’t see any lambs being born on the afternoon we visited, but usually over the Lambing Weekend some visitors are lucky enough to see it. We were instructed to wash our hands after petting and handling the animals with informative posters and signs up. The washing facilities were basic, but worked perfectly and had a station outside every handling area. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands so much and so often, in a very long time! It was very cold afterwards so mittens and gloves are a must.

Millers Ark Review

We had a late lunch around 3pm in the Old Dairy Tea Barn. I enjoyed warm tomato soup with bread and my mummy had a slice of delicious homemade cake with her tea. There is no designated picnic area, however Miller’s Ark had a heated Tea Barn which paying customers could use and enjoy. There was also a lovely patio area with sheepskin rugs and fleecy blankets which we thought was nice touch. The range of food was impressive with a large selection of sandwiches and warm hearty food at reasonable prices and vegetarian and gluten-free food was available too. They even had farm produce on sale too. The toilet facilities were clean and the cubicles large enough for families, which is great for single pair of hands with kids, as it means you can get all your children in there at one time. My mummy found that really handy.

Millers Ark Review

Miller’s Ark is well worth a visit if you want your children to see what a REAL working farm is like. Miller’s Ark had really friendly staff of all different ages, it was nice to see some of the young helpers get a lot of responsibility. The location is quite rural so don’t forget your wellies and wet weather gear, as it can get muddy.

We will definitely be visiting this farm again, I can’t believe it’s taken us so long to get down here!

You can find Miller’s Ark on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we love the animal social media updates!

Love Bella x

Travel Monkey

Life UnexpectedCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

23 thoughts on “Miller’s Ark Lambing Weekend

  1. I am yet to have a farm experience and hope one day I will. Miller’s Ark sounds like a great place to hang and looks like you had great fun on he farm.

  2. Oh what a fabulous looking farm. thanks for sharing your visit and how awesome to go on lambing week. I think the tractor looks fun for riding on too!

  3. Looks like you all had such a fantastic time. I find it quite upsetting how many children now don’t have such simple adventures as visiting a farm and seeing the animals.Even now at 12 and 13 my pair still talk of a visit we once had where they spent about 3 hours watching lambs being born. I couldn’t drag them away

  4. What a great place – love that it’s a working farm that opens its doors to the public. It looks well set up to cope with visitors too. Looks like you had a fab time #mondayescapes

  5. I love visiting farm. My secondary school had a small farm and we used to help out every now and then. Great to see that the farm is a dedicated field work farm – not many does that now-a-day. Also great to see that your lo is enjoying the farm – never mind the sleepy bit – I’m sure you’ll visit again. Thank you for sharing. x #letkidsbekids

  6. This is soooo much fun!! The bunnies are waaaay too cute 😀
    I can only image how Bella had fun there. I grew up in a farm and I used to love to play around with the animals 😀

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  7. So many lovely comments. I’ll pass them on to the team.
    We pride ourselves on being a working farm and taking our mobile out to schools, nurseries, residential homes,festivals and so much more. So children and adults can experience farm animals.
    A recent study revealed a third of children had not heard a cow ‘Moo’.

    We have new Pygmy goat triplets called Profiterole, Choux and Pastry!
    I love them they are so tiny and extremely cute!
    Think it may be a wet one today at our Open Day-doesn’t stop farm life!
    Thank you again 🙂

  8. This looks like such a fab day out, I bet it was great getting up close to all the animals without having to queue. There’s definitely a lot for you all to do there, it’s great that they’ve got so many facilities there to keep everyone occupied. The lambs look adorable too, ours aren’t due until next month. Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

  9. This sounds like a great family day out and its not very far from us too. I’m going to have to add it to my list of places to visit. #CountryKids

  10. It looks like an an amazing place to visit! How lovely to be able to visit so many animals and get in their pens with them. You must have had so much fun if your mummy didn’t even manage to get photos of the handling! I wish there was something like that near us, but nothing quite as exciting.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  11. It’s so great to get to experience a real working farm first hand. It sounds so interesting. I adore the sunglasses. So much fun! And those rabbits are seriously cute..and so are those lambs! It’s great they’re open at this time of year to explore as well and amazing how much is on offer like the little tractor rides etc. Thank you so much for sharing with #whatevertheweather

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