“ Address: Arkholme / Lancashire / LA6 1AR / England „
I recently visited Docker Park Farm while on holiday with my niece and nephew, aged 2 and 3. Docker Park Farm was a great day out for children of this age with plenty for them to see and do, I would definitely recommend it to anybody holidaying with young children in the south lakes/north Lancs area.
Docker Park Farm has recently changed hands and the new owners are clearly working really hard to create and run the place to an excellent standard. The animals are all well cared for, have plenty of room and are in beautiful condition. The play areas are clean and safe, with a variety of activities for children of different ages, and the young staff are really friendly and enthusiastic about the animals. The whole place has a really nice welcoming and peaceful feel to it.
A lot of the space is naturally dedicated to the farm animals. There are goats, donkeys, alpacas, sheep, cows, pigs, geese and chickens. All looking healthy and happy and all very good natured, trotting over to be fed and calmly letting the children stroke them. The donkeys were giving occasional rides to younger children, but when they weren't they had a huge paddock. There are several barns with smaller animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas and the staff run a 'petting' session every couple of hours where children can meet the small animals up close, my nephew particularly loved having a cute and very tame and placed rabbit sat on his lap.
This farm has an attraction most don't, a collection of owls and parrots housed in spacious aviaries. There are also several terrapins and a bearded dragon housed in the reception/shop bit of the park. The staff are genuinely enthusiastic about the animals and are happy to tell you all about them and to let children say hello.
As well as the animals, there are several play areas. There's an outdoor 'adventure playground' area with a climbing wall, some wooden frames, and a couple of tyre swings. It seemed new and safe and was popular with slightly older children. There's a covered soft play area and bouncy castle in an old barn, and another covered area filled with a great variety of toddler toys, enough to keep them entertained for hours. These indoor areas were popular when it briefly rained during out visit. Its always good to have an area where you can shelter for a bit and there's still something to do! The final play area is a 'track' for ride on toys such as tractors, mini go karts and so on, a lot of boys seemed to gravitate to this, and it was definitely popular!
Docker Park Farm also has a cafe, we didn't eat there but did have a lovely fresh coffee, and it looked roomy and comfortable. There are a few picnic benches for people who've brought their own food, and a room fitted out for children's parties. There's a little souvenir shop in the reception area, but its only for tokens and small toys really, not a huge selection.
The only criticism I can think of is that there isn't a great deal of parking available, and the farm is on a country road with limited options if the car park is full. A few cars can fit on the grass verges near the entrance, but I can imagine that on a very busy hot summer day you could find yourself unable to park and having to turn away if you didn't get there early enough, which would be a real shame.
A small working livestock farm with all the usual farmyard friends to visit and feed.