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Hoo let the Sheep out?
Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom (Shropshire)
Member Name: azana
Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom (Shropshire)
Date: 14/08/09, updated on 14/08/09 (94 review reads)
Advantages: good value attraction
Disadvantages: felt sorry for some of the animals
When "our" sheep, number 5, romped home at the Sheep Race, we left proudly clutching a winner's rossette- we had staked a whole pound on said sheep- and it was the perfect end to a rather animal-filled day at Hoo Farm.
It is fair to say that I have visited rather a lot of children's farms since having kids - it is generally a good bet for a day out, though I probably have seen one bored pig too many in my time. I hadn't been to Hoo Farm before but spent a lovely day there recently, mid School holidays, and found it to be one of the better ones in terms of value and enjoyment that I have been to.
Hoo Farm is situated near Telford, directions can be found on the website at www.hoofarm.com, it is fairly near to Legomery and is signposted with a brown sign of the A442, though not well signposted as it turned out; we did get a little lost as it was further down a lane of the main road than we thought possible with no more reassuring signs, so if you are not local and have a satnav I would take one on your visit. The farm is not really accessible by any other means of transport than by car, but on arrival parking was not a problem even on a busy day. The farm opens at 10 and closes at 6 at peak times.
The farm is spread out over quite a large site, and there is a lot to see. I would think that it is called "Animal Kingdom" as there are a few less run-of-the-mill animals like Ostriches and Parrots along with the normal farm fare. There were a few fish and reptiles in what looked like domestic tanks in all honesty, but the farm animals were well cared for and seemed to have spacious pens. I felt a bit sorry for the rabbits in the "Bunny Beauty Parlour" who seemed to be let out of quite small cages only to get groomed by rather over-enthusiastic children with a whole 2 brushes between them. There are other more positive opportunities to get hands on with the animals, with lambs to be bottle fed and deer and the like to be fed with food that can be purchased at the farm.
For your own feeding needs there were plenty of picnic areas, there was also a cafe which seemed to have a range of food, though we only tried the icecream, which was on the pricey side.
Other opportunities to spend your money included 2 shops, one of which had a very good range of pocket money toys, and there was also a bouncy castle, at 50p for ten minutes on the day we visited. Pony rides were extra too, but there were other hands on events like the egg experience, which we weren't able to do as time didn't allow, that were free. My children really enjoyed the pedal around ride ons in a barn. There were also 3 large trampolines, a play area and also little cars and the like to sit in on the way round and some "interesting" gnomes and animals of the ceramic kind dotted around the enchanted wood walk. Of course the main attraction is the animals.
In the main we really enjoyed our visit, at £6.50 for adults and £6.25 for concessions and children (free return visit voucher for children with entry) it is, in my opinion, one of the better value farm parks I have been to. Some of the playground areas did look a little tired though, hence me giving the farm 4 stars, and I would have liked to see some of the smaller animals like hamsters and rats in nicer conditions.
The children really enjoyed the day and there was plenty to occupy under tens - I would think less for slightly older children. If you are going to visit I would suggest packing a picnic and arriving early in the day as it did get quite busy in the mid afternoon.
Overall Hoo Farm is a good place to visit with children, and I would visit again.
Summary: not a bad place to go
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