ANIMAL FARM. Cudham Road, Downe Village, Kent BR6 7LF. Tel: +44 (0)1689 861 603.
I have been to this farm a few times now. It's about 35 minutes away from where i live so it's a treat when we do go. A trusty sat nav is an essential too, well for me anyway. It is situated in the village of Downe which is the Bromley borough. This area is very rural and peaceful so is a lovely day out.
It has always been nice weather when i've been so the car park can get full pretty quickly, after that people end up parking on the country road which isn't very big, but needs must.
Before entering into the farm there is a small grass area with picnic tables and today they had a bouncy castle. There's a reasonably priced refreshments hut, plants for sale, a small toy/souvenier shop and toilets, with large facilities to wash and dry your hands.
Entrance is £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children. There was a sign saying prices are going up but it was only an extra pound or so. I think this is a great price seeing as for other farms or zoos you can pay up to £10 each. They have buckets of food for the animals for sale at 50p for small and £1 for large. A large bucket comfortably lasts round the whole farm, for my daughter anyway. Latex gloves are also available at this point if you don't like animal slobber.
The animals are kept behind their wooden fences, although some chickens, ducks and a peacock are loose so keep an eye on the kids. I have never seen a bad experience though (touch wood). The goats pen was open today so we could go in with them and feed them. It's great to go this time of year with all the newborn baby animals.
There are loads of animals to see cows, horses, ponies, sheep, lambs, goats, pigs, ostriches, llamas, donkeys, alpacas, and a turkey.
Outside each pen is an educational description of each animal which is good and all around the farm there are safety signs on how to treat the animals, what not to do etc.
I say the animals are in a pen but they are very happy and content. The field is huge so they have plenty of room and getting fed all day can't be a bad thing.
Once you've looked around outside there's an inside barn where you will find rabbits,guinea pigs, ferrets,chicks, chinchillas, birds, parotts and hens, some of which you can buy.
Sometimes they have a magician and a Punch & Judy puppet show to entertain the children and you can also have your childs party here for only £9 per head. You can read more on this on there website www.xmastreefarm.co.uk.
Overall this is a great cheap day out. I spent about an hour walking around the farm which is about the average time i'd say, but you can stay as long as you like. The only downfall is the parking, but that just proves how popular it is.
TIP: Wear wellies. Can be quite muddy.
10/10 from me :-)
We went to Christmas Tree Farm last weekend on the recommendation of friends. It is essentially a farm of animals, most of which which can be petted and fed by adults and children alike. Some of the animals are not traditional farm animals e.g. Ostriches and Alpacas and a few cannot be petted, but you can still get pretty close. You can buy little buckets of feed for 50p/£1. This feed is suitable for all animals. Entrance is great value at £3 for adults. £1.50 for children and Under 2's free.
*What animals are there?
There are 2 Jersey cows called " Betty & Daisy, 2 Donkeys called Ellie & J.C. and various ponies, including miniature Shetlands. The are also enclosures of Chickens, Sheep, Pigs, Goats, Alpacas, Ostriches and more
When we first entered the farm, we were greeted by chickens, ducks and geese AND a fantastic peacock which was displaying all his feathers, beautiful. Children were running around chasing the chickens who didn't seem to mind at all and a couple of boy scouts were looking quizically at a large turkey - as we passed we heard the words "Paxo up his ***" and some giggles...
The mini shetlands are gorgeous and just the right height for small children to pat.
Probably the busiest area was the Pygmy goats, you can go into the enclosure - walk around stroke the friendly little goats, feed them - it's so much fun for children (and adults). The animals are very friendly and not at all boisterous, a toddler would be fine walking around with an adult. Our son is pre-walking but he still had a marvellous time being carried and allowed to stroke the animals.
My favourite were the big snorty pigs, including a vietnamese pot belly.
Once you've seen all the outdoor animals, there is a small indoor area with Guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, chicks, ducklings and very sweet chipmunks. Outside is an aviary with Budgies, Finches, Parrots and Cockatiels.
What else is there?
There is a decent tea shop with plenty of outside seating in the grounds (the picnic area is away from animals). The farm asks that no outside food and drink is consumed on the farm - which I think is pretty fair as the entrance fee is low. When we ere there there was also a magician/punch and judy show and facepainting - but I think this may be Bank Hols only.
I didn't use the loos, so can't comment on these but did spot that there was a baby changing facility.
There is also an area of plants which can be purchased. Good prices and selection.
There is parking at the farm but it is limited, you can usually find a parking space in a nearby lane.
Where is it?
146 (Mon-Sun) Bromley to Downe via Hayes & Keston.
R8 (Mon-Sat) Orpington to Biggin Hill via Green Street Green, Shire Lane, North End Lane, Downe & Luxted Road.
Nearest Stations: Orpington, Hayes or Bromley South
Kent. BR6 7LF.
(200meters from High Elms Road)
By Road M25 Junction 4
Follow Signs A21 London (Biggin Hill)
At round about take 3rd Exit A21 London
Follow A21 for 2.8 miles at the second roundabout fork left Farnborough Hill.
Turn Left Mini Roundabout into Shire Lane.
Follow for 0.6 miles
Turn Left into High Elms Road
Follow for 1.6 miles
At T junction turn left farm is 200 meters on right.
What are the Opening Times?
Summer Time = 10:00 hrs till 17:30 hrs
School Holidays & Weekends in Summer = 09:00 hrs till 18:00 hrs
Winter = 10:00 hrs till Dusk
Last admission 1 hour before closing.
Phone 01689 861603
Overall, this is a fantastic day out at a very reasonable cost, we will definitely be going back many times as baby gets older. You could also combine with a visit to Downe House (Darwin's Home) if you liked.
When I was little farms were a part of our childhood. On a sunday we would get in a the car and drive until we found a children's farm so we could feed the animals. Now, unfortunatly they are slowly but surely closing due to lack of funding. When we had our daughter we decided to look for a farm and came accross christmas tree farm, which by the way is not full of christmas trees. It is in the heart of kent off the m25 junction 4 in Down village near Cudham. When you approach the car park you can see all the sweet animals running around in the fields. It costs 50p for children over two and £1.50 for adults. Under two's are free. You can also purchase food to feed the chickens, goats and ducks. All the animals are in large open pens roaming around. They are not in enclosed spaces and people are free to enter the chickens, goats, horses and sheeps section. The only sections that you can not enter are the ostriches, bull's, cows and pigs. Everywhere else the children can go and feed an animal by hand. Our daughter loves the chickens as they all run along behind her looking for food and when she sits down to feed them they came up close and some will eat from her hand. They have a small pet enclosure where the biggest rabbits you have ever seen are homed with the chipmonks and guinea pigs. Once we went and they had a cage full of the farm cat's kittens for all the children to see. The reason I think this is a particularly good farm is the way they encourage the children to mix with the animals but also to wash there hands afterwards. Other facilites here are the cafe where you can buy homemade cakes and other refreashments at reasonable prices. There are picnic tables set out for you to sit at but you are not allowed to take your own picnic although next door is a huge counrty park where they encourage people to picnic. If this is not enough for you then you can also visit the animal rescue centr
e at foal farm which is further down towards Biggin Hill from Down. About a ten minute drive away. Here you can see cats, dogs, donkeys and even ducks. If you are lucky they may let you take one home!!!!! On the whole it is a great day out and fun for all the children and adults and there are lots of other places to visit in the area but i would still love to know why it is called christmas tree farm.
Christmas Tree Farm offers us all the opportunity to visit the country. I actually dropped in there last year when travelling around Kent on a camping holiday. I had intended to simply break up a long journey, but instead found that the farm gave more entertainment than I had anticipated. The animals to be found there are all kept in good conditions, and are clearly happy and healthy, despite being subjected, at times, by a little too much love from the visiting children. They may be fed and fondled, both of which make them even happier, and yet the farm is more than just a cuddly pet's corner. Here is a real opportunity for town children to sample a slice of the countryside, and indeed, even those brought up in the countryside will find that they will learn a little about all of the usual farm animals, including cows, chicken, sheep, goats and pigs; as well as less domestic animals that man has tamed for pleasure rather than profit. As farming methods change, and the threat of foot and mouth is never far away, it is easy to see that the old-fashioned farms that Britain once had will disappear. Then, perhaps, we we all have to bring our children to a farm such as this to see many of the animals that village children once took for granted. There is certainly no doubt that Christmas Tree Farm, and the all the other farms that keep traditional farming methods and breeds alive will play an increasingly important part in Britain's heritage as time passes.
I've been here twice recently and it really is great for a half day out. Its cheap too - about £2 for an adult and less for children. Buckets of animal feed are either £1 or 50p. Everyone will enjoy a trip to Christmas Tree Farm. Children will enjoy the close contact with the many farm animals as they are able to feed and stroke them (this includes stroking chickens which are happy to be carried around by the children!). All the animals go mad for the animal feed provided, even the cows ! The animals are kept in natural conditions, having large areas to roam about in and they do seem to get a bit mixed up as the day progresses, so much so that eventually you'll find several escapee goats / chickens etc wandering freely about the place. The goats especially are very amusing. There are cows, a bull, sheep, goats, chickens, geese, ponies, mules, donkeys, pigs, ducks, rabbits, guinnea pigs, chinchillas, chipmunks, ferrets, rhias, parrots, pheasant, sometimes kittens and much more ! There's also a garden centre and the obligatory tea room. You could combine it with a visit to Downe House (home of Charles Darwin, English Heritage, need to book in advance) which is just down the road to make a full day out if you wanted. Downe is near Orpington, Kent, on the south east corner bit of London, right by the M25.
Access to the Countryside. A lot of people believe that we should have the freedom to access all the countryside. Myself I disagree with this. As a lot of ramblers tend to leave the farmer's gates open on his fields, instead of walking around the edge of the field they just trample straight through the middle of his field. The problems with this are that live stock wonder from field to field and crops being damaged. I do realise though that we do need some access. But the main problem is where there is access via public footpaths not everybody uses them. So if everybody used the footpaths it should keep everybody happy. Shouldn’t it?