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The new Old MacDonald
Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre (Buckfastleigh)
Member Name: nazc1
Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre (Buckfastleigh)
Advantages: A full day of hands on activity
Disadvantages: Bit pricey for a big family
Recently on holiday with some friends they suggested that we go to Pennywell for the day and I'm so glad they did, I thought it was an amazing place!
Where is it?
Pennywell Farm Activity Centre is situated just minutes off the A38 by Buckfastleigh in South Devon making it very accessible from popular holiday destinations. It is clearly signposted via the brown tourism signs and is just 12 miles from Torbay, 20 miles from Plymouth and Exeter and the like so not to far to enjoy a day out.
When is it open?
It is open 7 days a week from 13th February to 31st October between 10am-5pm and you can easily spend a full day there so allow the time!
How much is it?
A days admission price for adults is £10.50, for a child (3-16years) is £8.50 and under 3's are free.
Season tickets are available both singularly (adults and children) or you can buy a family one but as we live 200 miles away I didn't really pay much attention to the price of these.
You can buy tickets at the farm or you can book online.
The Pennywell experience:
We arrived just turned 10am and brought our tickets hassle free.
There is a massive car park and even when we left and it was busy there were still a few places available in the overflow carpark.
On buying the tickets my daughter (who is 3 ½) was asked her name and given a name badge and we were given a map of the farm and a sheet with the days activities on.
Animal food was available to buy at 50p per pot which I thought was very reasonable so we got two!
When you are given your badge on entry you are also given some tickets for some of the rides. There are the railway and tractor rides, the red rocket ride for 4+ children and the longest gravity go-cart ride for those aged 8+
At Pennywell there is a different activity every half hour and you are told via a loudspeaker what is coming up and where it will be held.
Most of the activities are hosted by the same person which is lovely because the children get used to them and develop confidence. Our guide was an exchange student from Denmark and she was very friendly and good at getting the children involved - this was helped by them having their name badges on as she addressed them personally which I thought was a lovely touch.
Some of the activites we (or should I say my daugher!) took part in were:
* Egg collecting (we then threw the eggs to the pigs)
* Bottle feeding the lambs
* Milking goats
* Holding 2 week old miniature pigs
* Falconry display
There were many more that I cant comment on because we didn't do them all but the activities were very well organised and everybody who wanted to be had chance to be involved.
If you preferred to just look around by yourself there was still plenty to see and do.
As you first enter there are some pens with the famous miniature pigs in aswell as rabbits and guinea pigs and you are able to pick them up as you please and give them a cuddle. There are barns with sheep and goats in who you can feed and pens with ducks, sheep, rabbits, pigs, goats and you can actually go in them and stroke the animals. Aswell there are shire horses, cows, ferrets, miniature ponies and the list goes on!
There are plenty of places available to wash and gel your hands and there are signs up all over the place reminding you to do this. Also the guide reminded us after the activity which I thought was very responsible.
If this wasn't enough there are plenty of other play activites that kids love and they are included in the price! There are bouncy castles, trampolines, a thunder slide, a farmyard play area and more!
There are a couple of rides that are at extra cost but these are reasonably priced at £1 per go.
There is also a pond where you can go pond dipping, a willow maze and watchtower with fantastic views across the countryside. Absolutely something for everyone.
The usual eating places are available serving sandwiches, hot meals and snacks. I cant comment on the price as we took a picnic but the food looked very appealing! There are plenty of places available to sit if you take your own food.
A gift shop with the usual knick knacks is located via the exit but we guided my daughter through very quickly so I cant give you much information on it!
I cannot recommend this place highly enough!
We had a brilliant day, arriving at 10am and not leaving until about 4pm. We could have stayed longer had e not to travel back!
The farm itself was very well organised and you really were helped to gain the most from your day with the activities etc. We had 2 coach loads of school children arrive and were a little apprehensive it would make our visit difficult but they had their own guides and were kept separate from the activities scheduled for the public which was fantastic!
You are encouraged to be hands on and to be able to stroke and hold some of the animals is lovely and makes for great photo opportunities!
As if the farm wasn't enough you could spend all day there with the play areas and trampolines etc and the fact they're included in the price I think is a big bonus. I cant really comment on the rides included with the ticket as my daughter wasn't old enough to go on them but the children I did see looked like they were having a fabulous time!
I think my point is proved when I say there were 6 in our party, only 1 child but we all had a fantastic day!
Pennywell Farm and Wildlife Centre
Summary: A must if you're in the area
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