“ Address: Next to Union Hall Farm Liveries / Brasside / Durham / DH1 5SG / Tel: 0191 386 8291 „
Headline says it all. I was expecting much more for the money. The soft play area is good but the cafe is uninspiring. The most worrying thing is that the animals don't look well cared for. Activities that were advertised were not running with no prior warning. It all felt very cheap and nasty which given the admission price and all the extra £1 rides etc it is not a cheap day out.Go to hall hill farm instead. Much cheaper, larger, better activities, more animals with greater care shown in my opinion to the visitors but most importantly the animals. I won't be going back.
Having read the predominantly negative reviews I thought I would add another perspective on this place. Am sure age is a consideration as per the other reviews, but I suggested to my daughter that we go here on Saturday when I went to visit her and she told me she had been before and was excited about going back.
It was better weather than some of the other reviews had by the sounds of it, but my (almost) 5 year old had a wonderful time. The entrance prices are available online, but since we spent almost 7 hours here, I did not think it was bad value for 2 adults and one child. Yes, you need some £1s handy for the extras, but that is true of most kids attractions these days. Not that I disagree - it certainly does add up, but it was not detrimental to our enjoyment.
There are activities that do not cost extra. Aside from the animals, there is outdoor play equipment, tractor pushbikes, a sizeable indoor play area, bouncy pillows (which were a massive hit) and the 'panning for gold' which again she loved. At the end we found the rubber tyre slide which is fantastic too.
It was such a good day that my daughter wants to go back there next week! I would probably advise to take note of all the opinions, but personally I was very impressed and the staff were very helpful.
First of all the entrance prices here are ridiculously high for what it is! Especially when they charge extra for all the little 'extras' inside (animal feed, tractor ride, barell ride, etc etc), at £1 or £2 each, they soon add up if you have a couple of kids wanting to do different things!
Secondly the place itself isn't even worth the price of admission, it is tiny, we walked around and saw it all in less than an hour at a very slow pace. The so called activities are less than impressive, most of them were closed or unattended (and therefore unuseable) when we went, and the ones that were left (the bouncing pillows/castle and sandpit) were rotten and filthy.
The animal pens were really dirty too and the animals didn't look all that well cared for. Too many animals in one small pen, no food and water, itdid not leave a good impression.
We were given a piece of paper upon entry with all the planned activities for that day. NONE of them ran. None at all. There was no explanation given, they just weren't on. The kids were really dissapointed as they really wanted to hold an animal.
The staff members that were there were miserable and unprofessional. They weren't any help at all and were more interested in standing around gossiping.
The indoor play area was okay, but a little crowded. All that was there for me and my partner to do was sit at the cafe and have a horribly overpriced cup of tea whilst the kids played. We did not get any food as it was ridiculously expensive, we ended up going down the road to a pub for dinner instead.
It is a horrible place, will never go back.
I could not believe how expensive it was, very little to see or do, place looks run down. Over £5 for a 2year old, dont go, there are better attractions with more to see and less to pay. Very disappointed!!
With May half term in full swing, we are once again visiting places of interest to Little Miss. This time, we decided to try out one of the newest attractions in this neck of the woods- I believe it opened only last month.
The place is divided into Adventure zones, with three undercover areas (handy if it rains).
The areas are:
* Runaway Ranch which boasts a zip wire sheeps races and a Slide Stampede
* Indoor Play Town with electric cars, playframes and a separate area for under 5s
* Busy Bees barn which has a giant sand pit
* The farmyard- animals to feed with scheduled animal activities
* Action Creek with Go karts, Trailer Rides and Jumping Pillows.
Well, as expected, it was raining but this didn't seem to dampen the girls' enthusiasm. We entered the shop and payment area and after paying almost £30 for the four of us, we were in. The first thing which struck me was the size of the place- lots of big converted barns and more past the barn; this made me think that this used to be a farm. Close to entrance was the first activity the girls wanted to try their hand at- panning for gold. So we have to take the trays and rake along the bottom of freezing cold water to pull out stones and try to find the gold bits- for our efforts we get a certificate!
We had been given a leaflet telling us about the activities and having bought our animal food for 60p a bag we went straight to the indoor animal area. Here there were plenty of alpacas, llamas, goats, miniature horses and pigs as well as reptiles. The programme for the day clearly stated what time the animals could be groomed, fed, held etc and particularly entertaining was the show put on by the miniature pig. All of the staff in the area were really helpful and gave the children lots of information, not hurrying them at all. Outside and close to the café there are other animals and all of the animal pens were large clean and had notices with information about the animals.
From mid day there were free tractor rides every hour and we watched a few go off merrily singing "Old macdonald". Unfortunately because of the weather the jumping pillows and the large slide were not in use but this didn't deter the girls from enjoying the zip wire and go karts which are located in two different areas and again have attendants helping the drivers.
The large indoor area had plenty of big slides and climbing areas to keep two 9 year olds amused and was a welcome relief for me from the relentless rain.
There was also a large outdoor play area with big slides and activity areas as well as the usual swings and also a swinging basket thing which proved particularly popular.
There is an Italia Café serving pizzas and paninis which is located in the indoor area. Outside there are café style tables and chairs but these were getting no use at all. We did eat lunch here and even though it is in the indoor play area the place is big enough to take the tables and chairs as well as the children so it almost felt as though we were in a normal (albeit noisy!) café. The children's menu was priced at £2.95 and the girls had a good portions of pasta and cheese burger and chps whilst I opted for the pizza- the food was surprisingly delicious and authentic for this type of place and well worth the money. However, picnics can be taken and there was a large party eating their own food in the café, probably because the staff didn't have the heart to send them into the rain.
There are toilets situated in the indoor area and also those portable loos outside. We used the indoor ones which were really clean.
Throughout the whole area are signs telling people to wash their mucky paws and there are taps with warm water, soap and anti bacterial cleaners.
Annual memberships are available. I always wonder why these places charge more for adult entry when we don't really use the facilities!
Open daily from 10am. I think the times change once we get to November so it's worth checking out the website for details.
Address: Next to Union Hall Farm, Braesside, Durham. DH1 5SG
Telephone: 0191 3868239
E Mail: email@example.com
We had fun even though it rained. The place opened on 19th may and some parts seemed as though they were a work in progress and I imagine they will add lots more activities. However, had all of the activities been open then £5.95 a child is reasonable value for what could be a whole day out- we managed 5 hours, and even then the girls were loath to leave.
The staff are friendly and helpful, the food is good and the activities varied with lots of wide open spaces for the children to run about in.
A great addition to North east activity areas.
Thanks for reading