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Tweddle Children's Animal Farm (County Durham)

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6 Reviews

Address: Fillpoke Lane / Blackhall Colliery / TS27 4BT / England

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    6 Reviews
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      22.09.2011 22:20
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      Will give this another go in the sunshine

      ==Location== Tweddle Farm is situated in the rural Blackhall Colliery, we found the farm easily and passed through a built up area before coming to the beaten track for the farm which at first lead us to believe we were in the wrong place as it did not seem like somewhere you would find a farm. The farm is well sign posted from the A19 which was how we approached the farm although you can approach it from the A1 also. ==Car Park== When we got to the end of the track we found a gravelled area for cars to park, the car park isn't very big so I can only presume it doesn't really get too busy and myself and my husband found it very funny that there was a member of staff stood by the gate pointing the cars to the parking when no direction was necessary and wouldn't be needed even on a busier day. ==Cost & Opening== We visited the farm at the beginning of June taking our daughter for her birthday treat but typically with British weather it was cold. The farm opens at different times depending on the time of year, from November to February the opening times are 10am-4pm 7 days a week and from March to October the opening times are 10am-5pm 7 days a week. The entry costs are pretty reasonable for somewhere you are supposed to spend a whole day, £5.50 for adults and £4.50 for aged 2 to 16 or you can get a season ticket for £22.50 for an adult and £17.50 for a child. A season ticket lasts a year so if you planned on visiting a few times within a year it would be worth looking into personally I think visiting once is enough. You have to go into the shop to pay for your entrance and it would be pretty easy to bypass this and sneak through which I believe is possibly a reason there is a member of staff in the car park to watch where people go. When you pay you are given a map and a ticket for a barrel ride and pedal tractors and of course with all places like this you can buy some food to feed the animals at 50p a bag which doesn't seem too bad but you do only get a small amount. ==Animals== On the farm you can find all the animals you would expect, there are loads of bunny rabbits which my daughter loved and she thought it was really funny when she sat on the wall and dropped some food in for them and ended up with them being covered in the food rather than eating it. There is an area with Rabbits and guinea pigs in an indoor section where they are only surrounded by a small wall so you can put your hand in and stroke them and there is also a pen where there is a member of staff to let children in to sit on a seat and hole a long haired rabbit. Our daughter was really impressed being able to hold a Rabbit as we have a rabbit at home but he is too big and bouncy for her but this one was small and sat quite happily on her knee. There are numerous kinds of birds which I personally found odd on a farm, I had expected chickens but not birds there was aviary of mixed birds, Lovebirds, Parakeets and some others. There was the usual animals such as Donkeys, Horses, Alpacas, Pigs, Goats, Sheep and some smaller animals such as Rats and Mice which as in an adventure playground type enclosure and it was really fun watching them playing and nice to see them having plenty of space. The farm is set out with the main barns and buildings at the top where the car park is and then a stright path leading down to the outdoor play area and birds. There is a cross roads across the main pathway where you find tractors and toilets, the main pathway leads down to a v shape at the bottom. The farm is set out well so that you don't miss anything out but the pathway is gravel and quite dusty. ==Feeding Time== The baby animals obviously need feeding regularly just like any baby and about once a hour you can congregate near the tearooms and take a turn in feeding them. We were in the right place when the lambs needed to be fed and our daughter got to have hold of one of the four bottles first, the lambs were released and literally flung themselves at the bottles. My daughter enjoyed feeding the lambs but I felt we should have been warned just how much power the lambs would throw at the bottles and it was over in seconds it really is amazing how quickly they can finish a bottle and when they had finished they happily walked back to their pen. ==Play areas== There are numerous areas for the children to play, in the same area as the gift shop there is an indoor play area, it has soft mats down on the floor and a raised area for the children to climb up and then a slide to get back down. Within this area there are some soft shapes and then some tables and chairs for you to have picnics at. There is a larger play area near to the petting barn with a go karting ring inside but this wasn't being run on the day we were there, this play area was a bit bigger and also had an eating area within it. Outside there was a more traditional play area with swings and a dinosaur slide, it really was too cold when we were there to be able to play outside so our daughter played in both the indoor areas instead. I found the play areas shabby, they looked like they all needed a good revamp and lick of paint and the bigger indoor play area is set in such a way that if you sit down you can't really see what your child is doing which I didn't like. Here are also rides on the farm, there are the usual character rides like the ones you find outside supermarkets in both the indoor play areas which I think is just a way of getting you to spend more money and there is really no need to have them there. There is a barrel ride which your entry allows children a go on where there is a tractor pulling barrel type carts and the driver takes the children round in a circle a few times, the barrels are fitted with seat belts and the driver was very friendly, our daughter loved this which I think was because the ride went over rough ground so threw her about a little. There were other activities that weren't running the day we went (pretty poor for a weekend in June in my opinion) such as Donkey rides (£1 a go) dig a hole in the sand (£1 a go) and crazy golf (£2 refundable deposit). ==Tea Rooms== We personally didn't buy anything to eat during our visit but we did have a cup of tea and coffee between us (needed it to warm up), I think they were about £1.40 each and the coffee was very bitter so I believe they were using a cheap brand which at this price I don't think is really very fair. ==Toilets== The toilets are in an outdoor building with wooden animal pictures stuck all around to make them see more attractive. The toilets were clean but without much light getting in they were a bit dingy, the baby changing area was also clean and tidy and I felt confident that it was appropriate to change my baby here although they were very cold and I don't remember seeing any form of heating. ==Gift Shop== The gift shop was great, there were lots of items my daughter could pick a she was promised a present from the farm. The shop wasn't full of junk like a lot of places and there were some character toys also, my daughter got a Dora the Explorer brush with her name on it which she has used every day since and it is still on perfect condition. For our youngest daughter I was surprised to find a Russ Elephant (not quite a farm animal) with a booklet around his neck to allow you to name a star and this only cost £6.99. ==My opinions== The whole place seemed cold and unwelcoming even though the staff were friendly, all the indoor areas were cold and there did not appear to be any heating on anywhere. I feel that when you pay to visit somewhere like this you do not expect to sit freezing whilst your child plays. If a place like this offers activities such as Donkey rides I think they should certainly be available on weekends throughout the main season and don't really think they should be able to just decide they won't be running on a particular day just because the farm is quiet as that isn't really fair to the visitors. The whole place seemed to be a bit shabby and seemed like it just needed a total revamp, I would give this farm another go on a warmer day when everything would be running and see if they could change my opinion but this is a pretty average place and we ended up leaving early as even the play area were too cold to keep our baby in.

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        27.06.2011 00:41
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        Farm

        Tweddle animal farm We like to visit animal farms with Little Miss and grandson, as it's a chance for a run around and plenty of fresh air. This one is a bit further afield than we usually travel with the two of them but armed with the Tom Tom we found it easily, and is does have excellent access via the A1 and the A19. The farm has a large car park and visitors are directed by staff to a free parking space. Once parked, we go straight to the shop where we pay forour visit, buy animal food at £1 a bag and get given a sticker each so that we can wander round the farm and have proof that we have paid. The farm is nicely set out with large fields with the larger animals and barns for the smaller animals and young animals who had been abandoned by their mothers and bottle fed. Whilst there were no small petting animals the children especially liked the small house which housed the chicks, and where they could sit on the benches and watch the chicks. All of the walls in the barns and many of the outside of the barns and doors are decorated with murals of jolly characters so there is plenty to look at. There are also plenty of toilets, which are clearly sign posted. This was handy for us because with a small recently toilet trained child, we didn't want to ruin his chances of success. However, on the down side, although they were clean, the baby changing/disabled toilet had no light, which wasn't great. Before we went on our tractor ride, we stopped off at the café which is well stocked and serves meals and snacks at reasonable prices. There is also an outside eating area with plenty of tables for visitors. In actual fact, when we were there, it seemed that most of the visitors were making use of the picnic tables in the park area and having picnics or stopping for a rest and a drink. The park area is large with plenty of apparatus for all ages and includes a large enclosed sand pit area with diggers. For a small extra charge, tractor rides are available, and this is the bit the children seemed to enjoy the most. Visitors sit on benches on the large trailer (we were the only ones in the tractor) and were taken round the farm. The tractor gets to the end of the track turns round and takes us back again, but we do get to see the larger animals in all the fields. We also liked the outdoor go karting track and had a bit of a race round the track several times although the go karts were too big for grandson, but Little Miss enjoyed it. There are plenty of alpacas, goats and llamas waiting to be fed, as well as some quite interesting birds but we did notice that many of the enclosures were empty. It was as though the farm was being expanded and altered and the staff were waiting for more animals. **Opening times...** NOVEMBER - FEBRUARY 7 DAYS A WEEK from 10AM to 4PM MARCH - OCTOBER 7 DAYS A WEEK from 10AM to 5PM **Prices...** Adults - £5.50 Children 2 to 16 - £4.50 Children Under 2 Years - FREE *Contact...** Telephone: 0191 586 3311 Email: denise@tweddlefarm.co.uk Address: Fillpoke Lane Blackhall Colliery TS27 4BT **Verdict...** We had an enjoyable day. The farm is well set out, and the staff are friendly. There is a good park suitable for children of all ages and there is plenty of equipment. The shop has plenty of marketable goods and lots that children will want to buy. All in all we had a good time and although the children didn't notice anything amiss, I did feel there was a distinct lack of animals. We saw no animals in the petting barn, although we did expect some rabbits and guinea pigs to be brought out. The animals in the big fields are friendly and expect to be fed and there are lots of sinks and hand wash dotted round the farm. Also available for free use is the indoor play area although we didn't go inside because the weather outside was so nice. The children enjoyed the static combine harvester and both had a go inside pretending to drive the vehicle. A good day out but not the best on the farm- maybe when all of the enclosures are filled it will feel more like a full day out. Thanks for reading Daniela xx

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          29.10.2010 20:18

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          me and my family all love tweddles farm!!

          i have been to tweddles farm many times, and highly reccomend it for animal lovers of all ages! <3 tweddles farm is amazing,, and is especially beautiful at christmas time. all of the working staff are very friendly, and the animals there are purfect to look at and pet! The animal feed is not pricey as it is only 50p per bag. the food in the cafe is amazing it sends your tastebuds on a whizz and the desserts are gorgeous! There is now a new soft play area with many twists and turns that can boost any childs imagination. The go carts are very exciting when you go under the dark bridge, and you can even race your friends! not only is there a soft play with go carts, there is also a play area outside where is also a swing set and castle climbing frame that adults and children can hang around on! there is also feeding sessions where you can feed all the baby animals, in the feed sector of the farm! you can hold the rabbits and you can also interact with the monkeys. In the reptile encolsures you can hold the spiders and snakes! Out of ten i would rate tweddles farm a ten and i always look forward to my next outing to this spectacular farm! thankyou! x

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          27.04.2010 20:40
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          A lovely day out!

          Tweddle's Animal Farm is a fantastic place for Adults and Children. Not far from Blachall Colliery and Hartlepool the farm is minutes from the sea and Crimdon Dene Holiday Park. AS I am local to the area I found it quite well, however I will add that it is tucked away down a back lane. The directions are clear and it's not overly diffcult to get there. Upon entering the Farm you will see a small gatehouse but normally staff members are there to direct you to the small, but free car park. The car park is directly on the farm and once you have parked you will need to visit the gatehouse room to pay. The prices are quite reasonable at £4.50 per adult, under 2's are free and children 2-16 are priced at £3.50 - I suppose its quite expensive if you add it all up, after all its just a farm! Tweddle farm is open 7 days a week between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm. There is lots of different animals available for children to see - far too many to mention but Tweddle Farm is more than just an Animal Farm it has lots of interactive things for children to do. The Rabbit area has small gates that children can go inside and hold the animals. This section of the farm is supervised. Staff within the Farm all seem to be quite young, I suppose to keep the costs low, I would say the staff are normally aged between 16 and 18. When walking around the Farm you will notice it is quite large, its quite high up and can get windy at times. I think I should mention that elders may find it difficult to walk around as the Farm has uphill stretces. The farm really is fantastic for children, there is a shop, food facilities, play areas, donkey rides, go karting, playground, and muce much more...

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          25.06.2009 08:59
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          Could be better with a little more work

          A couple of weekends ago I went to Tweddle Children's Animal Farm with my husband and daughter. Tweddle had been recommended to us as a fun day out for little ones and it didn't sound too pricey, so as it was nice sunny Saturday, we packed up a picnic and off we went. The farm is near Blackhall Colliery, Hartlepool. I had thought it would be well signposted as we had seen those brown tourist signs for it around, but as we got closer the signs disappeared and we had to do a quick U-turn at one point as we passed the long country road that leads to the entrance, might just have been us though, wouldn't be the first time we'd taken a wrong turning.... Upon pulling into the farm there is car parking space down the right hand side and members of staff will point you in the best direction. It wasn't as busy as I had thought it would be, I can imagine the car park being filled up quite easily. We parked up and had a little while to wait as my daughter had fallen asleep. We listened to the peacocks making that funny noise of theirs, oddly we didn't see any, I think they were in the field behind the car park, but I did find a peacocks feather on the car park floor which now adorns a plant pot in my living room. We went to pay. Under twos go free and I had half expected a comment as my daughter looks older than that, although she is two next month, but the staff member barely looked at us. In fact the place seemed to be staffed by teenagers, I'm not sure I saw any staff members past their early twenties. I haven't noticed an under twos free rule anywhere else, it's usually under threes or else not free. I don't think under three's should have to pay admission fees anywhere. We bought a bag of indeterminate 'animal feed' for 50p, it looked like typical rabbit or hamster type fare to me. First up was the baby barn with pigs, cute ickle baa lambs, goats, chickens and calfs,(calves?). One thing I found unneccessary in here were the incongruous seeming posters of childrens tv characters around the place. I had brought my daughter to see animals and there was quite enough going on without her being distracted by pictures of Upsy Daisy or Fifi and the Flower Tots. Tsk! Coming out of the baby barn to the left are two little otters in a small enclosure. There were signs up saying not to feed them as they were on a special diet, but this didn't stop the child in front of us flinging fistfuls of rabbit food in there. This was when I felt the first stirring of uneasiness about the ethics of these places and wondering about the welfare of the animals. It seemed to be a very small place for two otters to live happily, albeit small otters. Behind these, in a high cage out of close contact, was the Lemur cage. These are stunningly beautiful creatures, I would have liked to have gotten a little bit closer to them, but I'm sure there are probably good reasons why they were placed at a bit of a distance, maybe it was considered too stressful for them, or maybe they bite. To our right were a group of meerkats, lovely to see them, but again, these are not particularly endangered creatures and they were in a small walled area. My conscience was beginning to prickle a bit. I know there are some sound arguments in favour of captive animals, but this didn't feel right to me. Next up was a tiny little Tamarin monkey who kept hiding and again was being flung food that it wasn't supposed to have. Behind this was an eaterie of some sort with a fair few outside tables, but I didn't pay it too much attention as we weren't intending to buy anything there. The website tells me this is the tea room but I couldn't comment any further. We now had the choice of the reptile house to our left, or the rabbit and monkey house in front of us. We chose the reptiles first, after stopping by a large outdoor monkey cage to let my daughter show off her knowledge of colours as she waxed lyrical about their toys. The monkeys in here were doing acrobatics in front us, but my little one seemed more interested in the fact that they had a toy duck. The reptile house was in fact home to a variety of creatures; snakes, various insects, terrapins, lizards, agouti, parrots, budgies and cockatoos, squirrels and rats, to name the ones that have stayed in my memory. My daughter decided that the huge snake in one corner was 'Mammy' to the other smaller varieties, a fact which she then decided to broadcast to everyone in the vicinity. On to the rabbit and monkey house. In here, as you would expect were rabbits and monkeys. I began to suspect that my daughter was perhaps not appreciating the novelty of the experience as I pointed out a beautiful big monkey, (the type escapes me and I can't find it on the website), and she gleefully pointed to a painting of a giraffe on the wall behind it and squealed, "and there's a giraffe!" Here children can go into the rabbit enclosures under staff supervision and get to handle the rabbits. We waited a bit then popped back later but this was too popular so our daughter didn't do it. Go through to the back of this area and you will find the 'Indoor Arena'. Here there is a go-karting track, (with a height restriction of 5' 2"), a big slide, a small coin operated merry-go-round ride and plenty of tables for families to sit around. We ate our sandwiches in here, then proceeded with our explorations. I realise I will sound like a total snob here, but I did think some of the clientele were a touch rough. I will say no more on the matter though. This area is available for birthday parties. The rest of the animals were in outside enclosures, we passed raccoons, guinea pigs, more monkeys. On to the toilets which were in passable condition. There's a dilapidated looking old train carriage just past here which you can board and/or use for a private party. It seemed a bit neglected, the out of date pricing leaflet in the window didn't help. There is an outside childrens play area at the junction between most of the indoor or small enclosure animals and the animals in the fields. We had to pass this to go and see the llamas, deer and others and it was where we intended to finish the afternoon. Once my daughter had seen it however, she wanted to play, and we visited the rest of the livestock under frequent instruction to "finish up the animals now." There were a lot of signs around warning that all animals can bite. My husband gave the llamas hipswerve as he said he had seen too many episodes of 'You've Been Framed' where people were spat at by them, but I made friends with a very cute woolly headed creature who adored me, until I ran out of food of course. Along here were lots of deer, alpacas, rhea (big birds), ostriches, emus, pigs, donkeys camels, sheep, some water buffalo off in the distance, wallabies and owls. I may have missed some out. Most of these animals were free to roam in quite large fields which also had shelters in. I really liked the camels. They were off in the distance at first but came over to us for a good look at one point. They seem very disdainful and somehow regal animals, yes I am being anthropomorphic, if that's the right way to use the word, but that's what people do. My daughter was quite taken with the donkeys along here, they were very sweet. There is a children's ride in one of the fields; they get pulled along behind a tractor in little 'tractor barrels'. There are also short pony rides available - going around in a circle in one of the fields. I didn't really like the way the owls were kept. They had big cages with a tiny box high up in the corner to roost in. One housed two snowy owls and there was a barn owl in one and a brown owl in another. I don't really like to see caged birds, no matter how well kept, but if they are rare and it is hoped that they will breed then I suppose that is one reason for it. After looking at this lot we went at last to the play and picnic area. I wasn't too impressed; there were no baby swings only swings for older children which was a disappointment for my little one. There was a wigwam which my daughter liked to run in and out of, but the floor was gravelly and of course she fell over and grazed her hands. There were a few toddler toys in the sand pit, which was quite big but really needed more sand in it, the plastic bottom was showing through in parts. A few of the benches were broken. I wandered away, over to what was called the gift and pet shop. I don't think they've started stocking any pets yet, at least that area was empty on my visit. The shop itself was in semi darkness which made it seem a bit grotty. There was nothing special in here, just lots of cheap widely available goods. I went back past the little snack van and bought two teas. At first I thought, 'great 80p for a mug of tea', but that was before I had to spit out a horrible mouthful of something - probably limescale from the kettle. So, not a bargain then. Thus ended our day at Tweddle. Sadly a few animals have been stolen from Tweddle Farm recently, a couple of parrots and two Goeldi (marmoset type) monkeys, I hope they don't come to any harm. Overall our time at Tweddle was enjoyable enough, although I am not sure I would return. I would prefer somewhere that was better maintained and where I was a hundred per cent happy with the conditions the animals were kept in. On the plus side it's not too expensive and it will keep your children entertained for a few hours, although not for a full day, but in my opinion it's not really somewhere worth making a long journey for. Prices and Opening Times: (from the website www.tweddle-farm.co.uk) Adults £4.50 Children (2 to 16) £3.50 Family Ticket (2 + 2) £14.00 Family Season Ticket (2 + 2) £70.00 Senior Citizens £3.75 Children Under 2 Years Free March - October November - February 7 days a week: 10am - 5pm 7 days a week: 10am - 4pm

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            07.04.2009 15:23
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            You could get around it in a couple of hours, could not spend a full day here

            Tweddle Farm is situated in Blackhall Colliery which in between Hartlepoll and Peterlee. It is open 7 days a week between March and October, 10am-5pm and 7 days between November and February, 10am-4pm. Ticket prices are: Adults-£4.50 Children (2-6 years)- £3.50 Family (2 adults and 2 children) - £14 Children under 2 go free. The farm is not the largest in the area but it is cheap and if you live locally it is a good day out and easy to get to. There are a wide varity of animals to see and a rabbit barn where you can pet the animals. Indoor area is available and there is also a tea room and gift shop. Over the year there are various different events such as: Santa's grotto, Halloween parties, Easter Events, Teddy Bears picnic and they also cater for birthday parties. I would recommend going for a day out here, however, I would not advise you travelled far to it as it could be disappointing and there are better farms in County Durham

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        • Product Details

          Spend an afternoon at the farm and let your kids have fun with the animals.