“ Address: Stoneygate / Houghton Le Spring / DH5 8JG / Tel: 0191 5841873 „
Down at the Farm
This is quite near the school in which I teach and we usually visit a couple of times a year, especially in the summer months.
Down at the farm is easily accessible from all major routes and is very near to Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Washington & Middlesborough. When you get to the farm there is a large car park, and plenty of space for cars and coaches. This is also right off the main road which is handy when getting young children on and off transport.
Payment is made in side the café area which is kind of like a large tent, and there are lots of tables and chairs- the café serves light snacks and drinks, and by the café is a small enclosed wooden play area.
Once payment is made then the farm can be explored. The area is large and wide open with plenty of things to keep children occupied. Children can sit on the static tractor, play in the large tepee and a favourite with the children in my class- play in the large sand pit complete with sit on cranes. Another favourite is the large jumping pillow, which again is nicely set in an enclosed area and set on sand so should anyone fall off the landing is soft.
There are plenty of activities which are seasonal, and visitors can chose from: Washing the Pigs; grooming the Prize Ram; Bottle Feeding; Hand feeding the Deer; Grooming the Horses; Collecting the Eggs; Reptile Handling; Sheep/Pig Racing. I haven't been to the new play zones but apparently new from 24th July (for the hols) isa quad bike trail, octopus ride, mega tube maze and a giant bouncy slide. No doubt I will be checking them out.
Of course this is a farm and no farm would be complete without animals. The animals are generally kept in enclosed areas although the ducks and hens do roam free. Some of the animals include: Bantam hens; mini dexter cows; ducks; geese; sheep; pigs; lop rabbits; red deer; prairie dogs; giant tortoise. Food can be bought to feed the animals and on the fence of each enclosure is a little plaque giving information about the animals inside. They all also tend to have a name which makes it more personal for the children
Children over 2: £4.75
There are family and annual tickets.
The Farm is open 7 days a week in the summer season. Out of school holidays, it is open Tuesday- Sunday 10am- 5pm.
Down at the Farm
Houghton Le Spring
This is a really fun day out, and because of the size of the place, it is possible to make a day of it- either take a picnic or eat in the café. The whole place is well set out and very large so it doesn't feel too packed, although I think the new rides will encourage some queuing. I like the fact that many of the areas are enclosed, so adults don't have to so worried about children running off- I tend to sit at the gate to make extra sure. There are plenty of animals to look at and interact with and the activities involving the animals are very hands on.
I would recommend this place as worth a visit to anyone in the area.
Thanks for reading.