“ Thornhaugh, Peterborough, PE8 6HJ. Tel: 01780 782 254 „
I visited Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre this weekend with hubby and our 3 year old as Mr Romantic thought that this was the prefect Valentines treat for me. I was surprised at his choice too but it made for the perfect day, despite the damp and cold weather.
**Where is it**
Sacrewell Farm & Country Centre is situated off the A47 Peterborough to Leicester road, where the A47 crosses the A1 at Wansford. It is well signposted on each road and really easy to find.
**The history of Sacrewell**
In 1086 the Doomsday shows that there were 3 Watermills in this area, the mill at Sacrewell was probably one of them. In 1750, the main buildings were constructed. 1917 brought about new ownership. William Scott Abbott became the farmer at Sacrewell Farm. He managed the farm until his death in 1959. William and his wife Mary were keen to keep the farm going so that others could benefit form it and decided to make it a charitable tust. In January 1964 The William Scott Abbott Trust was formed, which aimed to advance all forms of agricultural practices on the working Farm and to provide educational facilities for the general public.
That was a long time ago and I am pleased to say that the trust and the farm are still thriving today.
Sacrewell is a working farm where you will find all of the regular farm animals - sheep, pigs, cattle, ponies and goats - they are all here. During school holidays etc they have pony grooming and meet the animal sessions. Even if you are going at another time you still have the opportunity to feed and stroke the animals. Animal feed is available from the shop for 50p for a large tub if you want to have a go. I also visited in the summer when there was sheep racing going on! Yep thats right they were racing sheep!! You 'bet' on your winner and cheered them along. If you backed the winning sheep they gave you a free ice cream in the shop. It was tremendous fun and my daughter loved cheering on 'Starlight'.
As well as the usual farm animals there are guinea pigs and rabbits as well as hens, ducks and a couple of peacocks.
Once you have fed, stroked and cooed over the animals I find the kids love a good run about. There is a lovely childrens play area, swings, slides and climbing frames are made from timber rather than plastic and metal type things. Right next to here is a childrens mini maze - send them in and wait for them to come out! It's made from low hedges so they should be relatively easy to find should you lose your child in there!
Opposite this maze there is a much larger one made from straw bales. Fun for half an hour or so although not when in the middle and your daughter announces she needs the loo!
There is a working watermill on the farm, a real fascinating timepiece. There is loads of information in here on how it works and there are bits of memorabilia scattered about that would have really been used there. You can look right through the mill, climbing the several flights of rickety wooden stairs - they are very steep so watch young children on them and watch your head as ceilings and beams are low in places. Don't worry if you have young children though as the story of the little red hen is told on little plaques around the mill explaining how it would have been used to grind the wheat etc. My daughter found this fun as she could follow the arrows to complete the well known story and see how it really worked. The old bakery and mill house join on here giving you a little glimpse of life back in the old days!
The tractor and trailer rides run from outside the mill. There is a small charge for this - it was £1 in the summer and 50p for the winter. It takes you round the whole farm and is very bumpy! A word of warning - don't sit near the front if its muddy and you have your sunday best on as it splashed into the trailer. We didn't mind though as I love to add to the washing mountain..... The winter ride is much shorter hence it's cheaper and the ride in the summer takes you round to the Riverford area where they run their organic box scheme from. You can see all of the fresh veggies growing and the purple cabbages looked stunning! Everything grown here is completely organic.
Once you have finished your ride you might like to pop in the shire horse centre and meet a few of the horses. They have 10 shires at Sacrewell - which my daughter found a bit daunting as they are huge! She was fine though once she found out there was one called Lottie (as it shares her name!) In the centre there are loads of Shire Horse rosettes that they have won and lots about hte history of working horses.
There are also a couple of walks that you can go on if you like walking - It has rained both times that we have visited so we haven't managed them yet but I'm sure we will return soon as it's only 30 minutes away from home. Fingers crossed for better weather!
**What if it's raining**
Fear not! There is an undercover activity barn. There are various things to do in here, ride on tractors, colouring, a play house, soft play/climbing frame and bouncy castle. There were also art activities going on when we visited such as making badges and magnets - there was an extra charge for this although I'm not sure how much.
The Stables restaurant offers a lovely looking menu! We have not eaten here as we have taken a picnic both times but we did sit down and have a well deserved and warm cuppa. Food on the menu was the usual fare -sandwiches, baked potatos, bangers and mash and even a sunday roast. I thought the food was reasonably priced for this type of attraction although £5.50 for a baked potato always gets on my nerves as I could buy pounds and pounds of them for that (personal gripe here!). I did salivate over a couple's sandwiches on a nearby table though as they looked particularly lovely!
There is also a picnic area if like us you have taken your own food but it is outdoor.
**Mum... I need a wee...**
Thre are toilets at each end of the farm park. We visited both as you do with a 3 year old and they were nice and clean and had loo roll - it really annoys me when they have run out and its not replaced!
**Three little ducks gift shop**
The gift shop carries a variety of gifts and souveniers to remember your day. There is quite a large selection of pocket money toys around £1-£2 which is always handy. There is also the usual cuddly toys and giftwares as well as a good selection of locally produced meats and chutneys etc as well as more well known brands of jigsaws and games and sweets.
Sacrewell is open from 9.30 -5pm daily and costs £6.50 for adults, £5.50 OAP's, £4.85 kids, and £19.95 for a family ticket (up to 4 people as long as one is a child)
An excellent and fun day out for all the family. Not only did we have fun, it was educational and there was lots to see and do. Great value too. The whole place is clean and well maintained. There are recycling bins dotted around to dispose of your rubbish. I would say that the area would be suitable for buggies/wheelchairs etc as the main areas are pathed and there are no really steep hills. I can honestly say that the 3 of us had a great time and will definately be visiting again.
Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre is situated off the A47 Peterborough to Leicester road, at the A1 Wansford crossover. It is well signposted, just follow the brown tourist signs!
Were lucky that we live just a short drive from here and have had many a daytrip with the little ones.
Sacrewell Farm is a 550 acre commercial organic farm with farm animals,play areas, cafe and shops.
Apparently the farm has been there since roman occupation but has been known as Sacrewell Farm since 1917 when it was taken over by William Scott Abbott. When he died in 1959, his wife Mary, settled the entire property as the William Scott Abbott Trust, in memory of her husband and all the work they had undertaken together.
River Nene Organic Vegetables carries out all the main farming work on contract. The nephew of William Scott Abbott still lives in the farmhouse behind the Farm Centre.
The main crops grown on the farm are apples, pears plums, leeks, swede, cabbage, sprouts, squashes and pumpkins, chard, lettuce, some soft fruit and onions.
It was in 1982 that Sacrewell Farm & Country Centre first opened to the public and has been entertaining families ever since.
My daughter loves to come here as we are able to feed and stroke the animals. THere are sheep, goats, horses, pigs, hens, rabbits, cows, guinea pigs, ducks and donkeys.
You are offered the opportunity to buy the various feeds for them as you enter the farm.
Make sure to pick up a leaflet too at the desk as it will tell you at what times during the day they will hold animal and pet demonstrations.
THese could vary from stroking the rabbits to brushing a Shire horse!
Sacrewell opened its own National Shire Horse centre in 2007 and there are 10 Shires based at the Farm where visitors are able to see the day to day activities carried out by this breed.
Opposite the Shire Horse centre you will find the wonderful working timepiece that is Sacrewell Water Mill which dates from about the middle of the 18th century. The water to drive the mill is provided by a stream flowing through the farm. You are able to climb 4 flights of rickety stairs to the top of the mill and there are 'discussion cards' at various points explaining how the mill works.
When the children begin to flail I find that bribery in the form of the outdoor activity playground usually works! Here you will find swings, slides, climbing frames, sand pit and a play house all made of timber from around the farm. THere is also a maze to loose the children in if youre lucky!
If the weather isnt in your favour there is also an indoor play barn. This houses around 25 ride on tractors, a playhouse, a huge connect four game, colouring and an all important tea machine.
THere are various picnic areas around the farm, but if youre like me and not really at one with nature then the restaurant serve anything from snacks, cakes, ice creams to hot meals between 10am and 4pm. There is seating both indoors and outdoors at the restaurant.
To leave the farm you must pass the 'little ducks' farm and gift shop whre you can purchase a souvenir, toy or even local produce. I must admit that I find the shop a little pricey and tend to steer the children towards the 'pocket money' section and convince them that a pencil with 'sacrewell farm' on is a great idea!
We dont usually plan our visits to Sacrewell. I guess thats a perk of having it on your doorstep! We tend to visit during lambing season when the children are allowed to bottle feed the lambs, at eastertime for the egg hunt and for their christmas activities all of which are usually advertised in our local rag but im sure the details could also be found online.
A day here will set you back £6.50 per adult, £5.50 per OAP, £4.85 per child or £19.95 for a family of four which must include at least one child.
Parking is free, as is entry if you only want to visit the restaurant or shop.
THe animal feed is 50p a pot and there are special bins around the farm for these once they are empty as they are re-filled. THe demonstrations and play areas are all included in the price but there is an optional tractor ride for £1 per person. All in all if you take a flask and a sandwich its a relatively cheap day out for all.
If you visit in term time you may find that you share your visit with school trippers and at the weekends youll see birthday parties gong on in the barn ... its all in a days work down at Sacrewell Farm.
If you want to visit for the day or stay on our charming campsite, we can guarantee that youll find plenty of things to keep your family entertained. Feed the animals, hop on the tractor, race around our kart track or learn about olden day farming practices. At Sacrewell we have it all.