“ Tilburstow Hill Road, Godstone, Surrey RH9 8LX. / Tel: 01883 742546 / Fax 01883 740380 / Set in 40 acres of farmland, Godstone Farm is an interactive farm for children and adults. Open February to October, November to January weekends & Christmas „
Godstone Farm was an extremely popular attraction in my area, until the well publicised, but often overly dramatised outbreak of E-Coli where twelve children were unfortunately taken ill.
That happened at the end of the summer, and understandably the farm closed to comply with investigations, which are ongoing.
However the farm has now re-opened and I've frequented it on a few occasions since.
First things first, this is still a brilliant attraction for the whole family. There are rabbits, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigs, sheep and goats to see. The animals are slowly being re-introduced, so hopefully there will soon be even more here. There are always signs and posters up to educate small children along the way, making it a more interactive experience.
As well as the animals, theres a fantastic play barn, which is essentially a large indoor soft play area, with the usual climbing frames, slides and ride on toys, plus good baby changing facilities.
If you are lucky enough to get a rare sunny day, theres an expansive outdoor play area where little ones can tire themselves out in the sandpit, or on the swings and climbing frames amongst other things.
The play area is large and is accompanied by a picnic area so parents can relax, but still keep an eye on their little treasures.
At the moment the farm is still in the recovery stages and they are being meticulous about health and safety, not that they weren't always.
The farm used to allow children to handle a lot of the animals but at the moment there's no touching, which is fair enough. This is enforced by fencing etc, but there are viewing areas and the animals can be clearly seen.
I don't blame anyone for the E-Coli outbreak. Unfortunately there's always a risk associated with close animal contact, and the farm always provided excellent hand washing facilities. However they cannot enforce their use, and its down to the parents to ensure their children sanitise their hands.
When I first visited the farm after the outbreak, it was a very sad place. There were no animals and the staff were very downbeat about the whole situation. They put great time and attention into rearing the animals and are passionate about their work, and it must be devastating when it all comes apart at the seams.
But on a positive note, this great attraction is now picking up again, the visitors are returning and hopefully the arrival of new animals in the spring will cement its well deserved title as one of the best family friendly attractions in the South East of England.
Theres so much going on here. In addition to the things I've mentioned, there's also a tea shop selling fresh cakes, sandwiches and snacks, as well as a kiosk in the play barn and picnic area. Tractor rides are also available. If you have kids its very easy to spend a day here.
Costs are as follows;
Child - two and over £5.80
Child - one year £1.50
Before having my daughter I was surprised to see the child costs being more than the adult ones, but now I have her, I see that this includes the soft play area.
Theres plentiful parking and a gift shop, and Godstone Farm is located in Surrey, just off junction 6 on the M25.
This is really a great resource, and I believe its important for children to learn about, and be in contact with animals. I hope this farm goes from strength to strength and returns to its former popularity very soon.
Today I had one of the best days this summer holidays... and I didn't need to remorgage!
I went to Godstone farm in Surrey, Just off of J6 on the M25 (it is very clearly signposted when you leave the motorway).
Parking is free and plentiful and the entry fee is VERY reasonable: adults £3.50, Children £5.80, under 1s £1.50. (passes and group discounts also available as well as kids party options).
The opening hours are 10-6, we were there from start to finish and only just fit it all in, so do make a day of it!
When you enter the farm you are in a HUGE playground, it really is massive and its full of fabulous equipment; climbing wall, zip wire, hammock swings, a water sledge ride, swings and slides in abundance, sit on bouncy things, climbing frames, a maze... everything you could want and more!
If this wasn't enough, in the same area there are 2 giant sandpits full of buckets and spades, diggers and other appropriate toys.
All of this is amongst large open spaces of greenery, enabling children to run and have fun and freedom.
There are lots of seating areas and picnic tables in this area, making it the ideal spot for picnic lunches. If picnics are not your thing then the lovely little tea room has a great selection of hot and cold meals, sandwiches and snacks on offer. Children's meals were generally £3 and adults £4.
There are a couple of other cafes in the farm, so you definitely wont go hungry or thirsty!
I did see lots of parents struggling with their buggies- quite often with no kids in them! So if your little ones can walk, leave the buggy behind- there is so much for them to do they really wont want to go in it anyway. If they do end up needed it, you are allowed out to your car as long as you let the door staff know.
There are lots of sections of animals, a handling area where we could hold rabbits and chicks! (very cute!) an indoor pen area where you could get in with the sheep! open spaces where ponies, goats, llamas, cows were grazing, ponds, stables, hutches of rabbits where you could also go in and stroke, organic pigs running free and a honey pot bee area.... the list goes on and on! Hopefully I have got across how 'hands on' this farm is!
If you are already thinking this sounds impressive, well its not over yet!
The indoor soft play area is really big and has lots of slides, tunnels, and obstacles and a separate area for toddlers. There is no extra cost to use this facility although in busy periods time limits apply. In this area there is a small cafe and loads of tables so you can build your energy back up for more farm fun!
There is another slightly smaller wooden play area, again with slides etc and wooden tractors .
The facilities available are outstanding! we went on a nature trail (free), made some springy animals in the craft area (free) and a tractor ride (90p per person).There was also a marsh walk on offer (free).
The shop was also impressive with lots of pocket money toys on sale, many £3 or less and some as little as 20p.
The whole farm was well staffed in recognisable t-shirts and those who I came in contact with were friendly and knowledgeable.
There were ample toilets and lots of hand washing areas, all very clean.
It really is a great day out for kids of all ages. In our group there was a 3, 5 and 10 year old and they all had a super time... and so did the grown ups!
I was impressed by the fact that a child's ticket cost more than that of the parents..which is usally the reverse in most such places..as if the parents even use any of the kiddy stuff..
While talking about the entrance fee, these were something like
Child 1 year £1.50
Child over 2-16 years £5.80
Adult 16+ £3.50
There are some group discounts available too. I think one needs to pre-book barns and rooms for a party or gathering before hand to avoid reaching there and finding them all booked.
At the ticket booth they give you a map of the area and the directions on-site are large and child-friendly. Usually you don't have to queue for more than a few minutes to get your ticket .Its open all year around and mostly from 10am-6pm in the summers.
Bags of animal food are 50 p each and sold at the lovely farm shop selling reasonably priced gift items, mostly farm-oriented.
Several cafes within the area..but most people tend to bring picnics as we did , but its nice to know all the same that you can buy cold and hot drinks and food too on site. There are loads of benches and tables spread all over the place both under shades of trees , under gazeboes , in barns and on grassy patches under the sun too.
Included in the huge farm were several area of farm animals, horses, Shetland ponies, birds, mice, ferrets, llamas., we missed seeing the cows , by the looks of the empty shed it did appear that there once were some cows and they might bring some in again. There are loads of hand washing/disinfecting area , all placed at the level of children.
My daughter was quite taken in by the very young hatchlings which were being nurtured in a large incubator room. There was this little down covered duckling that was pacing around as if it was on an army patrol.
Scattered over the place are several toilet areas that have baby changing facilities and wheelchair facilities.
There were some places were kids could enter into an enclosure with rabbits or lambs and play with/feed them, so they actually get a chance to interact with these animals without being told off. There was also a lady who would place a week old chick into a child's hand and let them feel the animal. My little one absolutely loved this.
The area also has kids toboganning, two huge enclosed sand play areas with free toys like tractors, wheel barrows, spades, shovels , diggers and the likes . Several outdoor play areas with all sorts of climbing frames and slides etc. and 4-5 soft play area.. this really keeps children of all ages occupied for ages at a stretch.
There are special barns that can be reserved for picnics and parties too and have lovely names like donkey barn, rabbit barn and so forth.
The place has hiking trails, mazes, ride-on areas(age restrictions apply) and even a paid tractor-ride.
The area is well maintained and there are loads of staff going around who are friendly and polite and take time to chat up with little ones and make them special.
The one thing I noticed about this place is that like most farms it is located in a somewhat remote area, accessible only if you have a car , the train stop is quite far away (around 3-3.5 miles) and the bus-services are not that adequate.
All I could say is we had such a lovely day and at such a reasonable price too. Though I wouldn't recommend going on a rainy day, but if you have a good pair of wellies and a raincoat why not muck in the mud with the pigs ?
PS: I have used bits of this reveiw in another reveiw on helphound under the same username. Thanks for reading and voting.
Godstone farm is a great place for a day out with the family, but....... don't make the mistake of thinking that it's easily accessible by public transport! The nearest train station is Caterham which is nearly three miles away and the local buses to Godstone are few and far between. If you're unlucky you may have to wait 90 minutes. No joke when you have children with you!!!
Godstone is so refreshing to visit when you're used to farm parks where you're bossed around, told not to touch anything, and generally nannied. Godstone is much more relaxed, and the children can do what they really want to do, which is touch things, get dirty, and run around without getting under people's feet. The children *adore* going in the rabbit and guinea pig pens to give the animals a cuddle, and stroking the larger animals through fences. Lots of handwashing facilities too.
The outdoor play areas are brilliant, with lots of variety - eg old tractors alongside new adventure play equipment. I have never seen such a huge play area. Natural slopes and hedges encourage hiding and running round games, too.
Prices have risen quite a lot in the last couple of years - in 2006 it is £5.80 per child - one free adult per child.
Take wellies if you're going in spring/winter and there has been rain recently - you can avoid the mud, but it's easier if you don't have to.
The play barn is huge and great, but with such a brilliant outdoor area, it seems a shame to use it unless it is absolutely pouring down.
Why? Because Godstone Farm should be kept a secret and that way you lot can go to Thorpe Park, Chessington and Legoland queing for hours for rides that take 3 minutes! Situated between the M25 and the A22, suprisingly just outside Godstone village in Surrey. First the most amazing thing about this place is the price, children are £3.95 but with each child an adult gets in free! So the average family can get in for less than the price of an adult ticket to Legoland! Huge parking area - must be for at least 500 cars. So what is it then ? Cows, sheep, lambs, rabbits? Yes but I'm saving the best bit for last.... Once in we usually head for the the sandpit area near the cafe, past the under 3's ride on toys and some noisy pigs, and the sheep dog assault course, and to the left of the rabbits, tortoises and guinea pigs (come back to all that later) quite well hidden actually. But I'm not talking a little sandpit here, it's about the size of two large rooms,filled with buckets, spades, ride on diggers, climbing frames, a picnic area and a wooden forte for the under 8's to put under siege. Now we have been known to spend the best part of three hours in this bit as the children are very content to chill out here,and armed with our cool boxes lunch usually starts here, but eventually they remember the 'other thing'...(keep reading). So round the farm we go, stroke the horses, climb in with the rabbits, pretend to milk a cow, make funny noises at the turkeys. There is a large hands on area supervised for stroking and holding the baby animals, and at every possible location are handwashing facilities, they really are intense on the hygiene aspect. A huge play barn/ballpit area at a cost of £1 is also available - we've mamnaged to avoid it so far but should the weather turn then I'm sure we would make use! Several barns have ride on toys and the children love a quick pitstop in these too. All sounds
gentle and tame then? Well here we go, up the hill in an ever expanding area is the place to be! A wooden adventure play area, adourned with tyres, sandpits, mazes, obstacle courses, slides, castles, football pitches, water mat slides, more castles, under 3 areas, toilets refreshments, picnic areas it's big, busy but it's worth the entrance fee alone! My advice here is to make sure your children have a brightly coloured t-shirt on, pitch yourself so they know exactly were you are and let them go! They love it, and so do we. We have spent hours here the freedom and entertainment value is superb. I'd recommend for children aged 1 - 12. There is quick and easy access to the car park for when you *have* to go home. So this summer, if you must, only if you really have to, you might find something better to do, yes go to Thorpe Park and queue up ther for Loggers Leap instead, much more fun much less stressful than chilling out in a big fiels while your kids have fun...yes forget you ever read this...