Farmer Palmers

Farmer Palmers winter experience.

Who says you can’t go to the farm in winter? Usually we wait until the Spring but on this occasion we brave the cold weather.

Farmer Palmers 1Dear mummy, frost is on the car when we head off to Dorset to Farmer Palmers adventure farm. It’s over an hour’s journey from our house and it’s bright and freezing!

We wrap up warm and head off on our epic adventure into the unknown.

Luckily for my mummy she has her side-kick Grandma with her for support as I’m up to my usual tricks and mischievous ways today.

It’s just before Christmas and part of the #LemurLinkup (a regular bloggers meet in Dorset) we met some of the Farmer Palmers staff who handed us a leaflet and a Farmer Palmers 4discounted entrance voucher to the farm to see Father Christmas.

This is why we’re heading there today to see what the farm is like.

The car journey is a bit of a slog. I sleep the majority of it, much to my mummy’s delight. We head straight down the M3, M27, A31 and onto the A388 which takes us past Poole. The farm is situated about 10 minutes away from Poole with good road and a large car park.

It’s easy to find. We seem to be the only ones here as it’s still early and very cold. It’s a Monday and when we unpack the boot, we see other families start to arrive which is reassuring.

Farmer Palmers 2The Staff are VERY friendly which is lovely. A lot of them are teenagers and they are all dressed up as elves and in red and green (because it’s Christmas time) The entrance is clearly signposted and has large walkways, perfect for buggies.

We enter the farm’s courtyard which is surrounded by loads of barns and outbuildings which house cows, sheep, goats, guinea pigs, chickens and large hay bales.

The main barn is where you can see the demonstrations and feed the animals. It’s a perfect space with viewing platforms. There are lots of things happening at the farm during the day and an up-to-date timetable can be found on their website. We fed the goats and the sheep today and it was a great experience!

The first open barn area has a mini track area for toy tractors, picnic tables and a large bouncy castle (which is protected from the elements) a great idea, as one thing we hate is wet bouncy castles. We have loads of room to play and walk around.

We love the custom murals and artwork on the walls and everything is branded up in the Farmer Palmers logo which looks professional and organised.

Farmer Palmers 3The second barn is head to toe hay bales and slides.

There is also a small milking shed which does milking demonstrations. It’s nice finding out how the staff care for the animals too and you can find out

The main outbuilding is the large restaurant called the Hen House and soft play centre. However today the soft play area is busy and noisy with older kids using the toddler areas which is a shame.

The indoor soft play area is a bit cramped too and clearly geared up for parties, with separate areas with long tables and chairs in. The restaurant’s food was good and hot, with a wide range of picnic boxes, hot kids meals and lots of cake! My mummy enjoyed eating the Christmas themed cakes and biscuits.

The newest addition to Farmer Palmers is a wooden barn which has been fitted with a Santa’s grotto, a sensory tunnel, hiding below a wooden play structure. Inside is another small soft play area with soft play bricks, a large fake Cow (which creeped me out) musical instruments and loads of toys. There is a large wendy house with fully fitted kitchen inside as well which I spend a lot of time in.

Farmer Palmers 5Outside there are a wealth of activities and things to do. We explore the wooden play area and venture further out into the fields to see the donkeys and wooden sculptures. There is even a woodland walk which we sadly didn’t try as it was too cold.

In the fields my favourite wooden character is the caterpillar and we spend a lot of time climbing and running around.

We had a fab adventure to Farmers Palmer and burnt off a lot of energy in the fresh air! Well worth the entrance fee of £8 and you get a lot of fun for the whole day. One of the best farms we’ve been to 🙂 It’s an added bonus that the farm has an indoor soft play area too and decent restaurant. Shame it’s so far away from us and not our local farm. We can’t wait to return in the warmer months with a picnic blanket and friends for the whole day.

Love Bella x

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Sunday by the Soggy Seaside

Sunday by the Soggy Seaside.

Sunday, April 6, 2014.

BournemouthDear mummy, the weather is awful! So what possessed you and daddy to take me to the South Coast today is beyond me! We could have picked a better day surely!?! I better pack an umbrella…..

It’s soggy and damp and the rain is a horizontal mist. We load the car up ready for my nap and I sleep on the 50 mile journey. It’s not until later that I realise why we are going to the beach on this miserable day in Bournemouth.

Fish and ChipsMummy has booked tickets online (much cheaper than on the door) to take us to The Bournemouth Oceanarium, Bournemouth’s answer to Brighton’s SeaLife Centre.

The tickets are £7.50 online and £9.50 on the door for adults and free for children under 3. We arrive after the doors open at 10:30am and park across the road at the pay and display car park which costs us £4.50 for 4 hours. A short walk through the underpass and we are on the beach.

It’s very cold and windy! We are blown into Harry Ramsdens fish & chip shop where we are warmed up with a nice cup of tea (well for mummy) and a huge portion of cod and chips for the whole family. Yummy. It’s my second attempt at eating fish and I’m not doing too bad at it. I love vinegar and suck it off all the soggy chips. I peel the batter off the cod to eat and then discard the fish on the floor to mummy’s dismay! I do manage to get some of it into my mouth though!

OceanaruimWe meet up with other family members (by coincidence) and after lunch head into the Oceanarium.

It’s hot and sticky and very busy, much smaller than Brighton Sealife centre. The buggy park is right at the front door and pushchairs are rammed to the brim. We must have picked feeding time at the aquarium as queues of people shuffle up into the entrance and onto the first attraction which is The Amazon.

Freshwater Sting RayThe Amazon circle tank (Backwater Steam) house some pretty looking Ocellated River Sting Rays and shiny Hatchet Fish. It is one of the highlights of the whole tour around the aquarium. It is overlooked by the visitors and you can see why, as it’s at the base of the stairs leading upto the main attractions and people ignore it to get upstairs. It’s brilliant for a small baby like me.

I can stand and lean against the huge tank and watch in awe at all the freshwater fishys.

PiranhaWe head upstairs and continue on our Amazon Adventure, past the Iguana and into the Piranhas lair. Ooooo mummy, this place gives me the creeps. It’s dark and these fishys are just floating around aimlessly waiting to attack a small creature like me. Mummy informs me that they can’t eat me as they are behind very thick glass.

The guidebooks says that ‘Piranha’s teeth are so sharp they can leave a mark in steel but are not a serious threat to humans…” Yeah right.

Tunnel We walk past the busy area of the River Otters and struggle to get a good look as loads of people are congregating in this area. Large adults stand in children’s way, which mummy gets annoyed about so we quickly exit into Turtle Bay which is nice and bright and open. We lean over the side to see the giant green turtles swim past. Underneath the reef a large tunnel can be seen were visitors can walk through and see the sharks glide above them.

When we get downstairs and it’s our time to walk throughout the underwater tunnel, I grab hold of daddy tightly as I gasp at fish and the sharks swim over my head. I reach out to touch them and crank my head back. Daddy’s worried my head might fall off!

Next we are plunged into darkness as we enter The Abyss. However I get scared and walk alongside Daddy gripping his hand tightly, it’s very busy in here as people push and shove. It’s far too hectic for a small person like me so we make a swift exit. It’s ok daddy…I didn’t want to see the creepy spider crabs anyway. Even mummy felt claustrophobic.

We visit the Dragon eels on the way out where it is a bit quieter and see some more Stingrays. I enjoying walking on the decking around the tanks, at last, space to move around. It’s such a shame we didn’t see more fishys but the aquarium was too packed, maybe next time we will come during the week when it’s a bit calmer and we can see and reach the tanks.

Bella x