Captains Log: Dear mummy, I’ve got some good news to share with you. We’ve been selected to be official astronauts (Bloggers) for the space programme that is Camp Bestival! We are over the moon (how many puns can I put … Continue reading
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.
Dear 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 discounted 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.
The 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.
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.
Outside 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
She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore. The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure. For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells. We headed to Bournemouth in Dorset, UK over the weekend … Continue reading
Visiting Kingston Lacy, National Trust, Dorset.
January 19, 2015.
Dear mummy, this week we headed across the county border into Dorset to visit to Kingston Lacy.
Kingston Lacy is a Grade 1 listed country house and estate owned by the National Trust. It’s just on the other side of the quaint Wimborne Minster, off the A31, past Ringwood and the New Forest.
It’s a bright and sunny day so we decide to brave the cold and go on an hour journey down the motorway and into the countryside.
We nearly get lost heading to Poole (which wouldn’t be a bad thing as we quite like the coast and the beach) after doubling back a couple of times we finally find Kingston Lacy.
Huge imposing gates and a long drive lead into the car park right next to the entrance to the visitors reception.
With plenty of space to park, we bundle everything into the buggy (warm clothes, wellies, rucksack, camera and changing bag etc) and head into the estate. The entrance doors are narrow and we have trouble getting the buggy through. We have to get help entering the visitors reception and this is the first hurdle of the day.
It hurts my eyes and I winge all the way to the main house, my mummy tries to walk against the low sun in the sky but it still bothers me.
Finally, I’m let off the rein onto the grass where I have a really good run around, tripping over my own feet in excitement and covering myself in mud.
It seems quiet but then again it is midweek. There are only older couples waking around the estate and I destroy all the peace and quiet with my laughing and shouting.
In fact my shenanigans draw so much attention that people start to walk the other way!! However it does draw some interest in the form of a friendly black cat. He runs over from the main house to give us a big leg rub.
Unfortunately Lime Walk is closed today, so we miss the carpet of Snowdrops. However, we do see lots of Snowdrops poking out of the brown soil in and around the woods.
We play on the South Lawn and then head into the cafe to warm up with a cuppa.
Hurdle number 2. Doors aren’t wide in the cafe area and a lot of the seating has been sectioned off for NT staff training. So we are squished in this barn/stable style cafe with wonky cobbled floors and chairs all bunched together.
We put the buggy away in the corner and mummy juggles an overloaded tray, soup, hot drinks and while dragging me to find a high chair… while staff look on. It’s a shame really as they could have helped as there where enough of them milling around. We then had the fasted lunch on record, as we felt unwelcome in the silent dining room, attracting unwanted glances from elderly couples.
Back outside we explored the courtyard while mummy finished her drink and I was causing mayhem, balancing precariously on little curbs and jumping in puddles. We set off to the woodland walk, my mummy pushing the buggy and me trailing behind her.
Unfortunately that’s when I fell, tripping over my wellies in my eagerness to hold onto the buggy. I split my lip on the gravel path 😦 a lovely ‘off duty’ National Trust staff member came over to offer us help which was nice and my mummy probably appeared rude refusing. A kind ‘on duty’ lady from reception came over to point us in the direction of the toilets while my mummy tried to comfort me and stop the bleeding.
A long way to go for us but it was very pretty at Kingston Lacy. We can’t always have brilliant days.
We’d like to go back when the house and Lime Avenue is back open and when the Kitchen Garden isn’t as bleak. With safety in numbers I’m sure we’d have a lovely time with friends and family.
Lemur Linkup for Bloggers in Dorset and Hampshire At Lemur Landings Soft Play, Tower Park Poole on Monday 6th October. Entrance £10, early birds £5. Dear mummy, you ventured out on Monday night to attend your first ‘proper’ bloggers networking … Continue reading