“ Address: Park Hall / Oswestry / Shropshire SY11 4AS / „
I'm always looking for somewhere different to take my daughter and as she loves animals, farms and zoos are always a safe bet.
Park Hall Countryside Experience is just on the outskirts of Oswestry. It is a 130 acre farm which has restored victorian farm buildings and has a victorian school and museum.
The advantage I find with visiting this farm is that it is well set up as a visitor attraction. Rather than wondering around aimlessly following a map to the attractions (which you can still do if you want to!), the farm has an itinery which you can follow, where the staff are available to show you various animals and/or help with the care of them. An example of their current itinery is below.
11.00am Pony Grooming
11.15am Meet Charm (Heavy Horses)
11.30am Small Animals (Rabbits etc)
11.45am Tractor Ride
12.00pm Lamb Feeding
12.30pm Pig Petting
12.45pm Tractor Ride
1.00pm Hand Milking (once only)
1.15pm Parlour Milking (once only)
1.30pm Meet Charm (Heavy Horses)
2.00pm Tractor Ride
2.00pm Pony Grooming
2.15pm Meet the Small Animals (Rabbits etc.)
2.15pm Tractor Ride
2.30pm Tractor Ride
2.45pm Meet Charm(Heavy horses)
3.00pm Pony Grooming
3.15pm Lamb Feeding
3.30pm Tractor Ride
3.30pm Pig Petting
3.45pm Meet the Small Animals (Rabbits etc.)
I find this incredibly useful as there is something different to do every 15 minutes, and we can go at a certain time depending on what my daughter wants to see. Also, if you miss one of them in the morning, you know there is a chance to see it in the afternoon.
My daughter's particular favourites are the lamb feeding (where every child gets to hold the bottle at least once and stroke the lambs, no matter how busy it is) and Meet the Small Animals, where you get to hold the rabbits.
There is also an inside and outside play area, and the tractor ride also takes you to a woodland play area. Refreshments are available from the farm shop, aswell as a good range of toys and gifts from the gift shop. The gift shop area also sells animal feed and has an area with two playstations/xbox to keep the older children occupied.
There is a motorised vehicle section to teach your children to drive (with road markings and traffic lights) and a small off road course where they can drive landrovers. For children over 6, there are quad bikes to try out, small versions for up to 12 years old and full size for over 12's and adults.
The admission prices up until the end of March are £5.75 for adults and £5.50 for children (2-16), free for under 2's. April sees a slight increase in price up to £6.25 for adults and £5.75 for children, but still remains free for under 2's.
I can happily say that this is one of the best places I have visited which caters for children of all ages. My daughter is only just coming up for 2 years old but even at such a young age, there is plenty for her to get involved in, and she loves the fact that she can get up close to the animals, which she often cannot do at other places she has visited.
The 130 acre farm with its tastefully restored Victorian farm buildings promises hours of farming fun and energetic activities.