This week, we have been staying at Bluestone Wales, which is such a beautiful part of the UK. Wales is incredibly lush and green, with breathtaking landscapes. We just don’t have cliffs and mountains in Worthing, and our beaches are certainly not pristine and sandy! It has been a real treat of a week. Without question, one of our absolutely highlights was our visit to Folly Farm, just a few minutes up the road.
Seeing that it had been voted Wales’ Best Day Out 2015 raised our expectations, yet still they were exceeded. Folly Farm is like several days out in one. There is the farm, the zoo, the vintage funfair, the impressive play parks, and the go karts. We stayed all day and didn’t even see it all. We started at one of the farm’s many play parks. All were huge and provided challenging and stimulating equipment. It was lovely to see a place that understands the connection between a child’s imagination and their physical need to play and move.
Next up, we headed for the Jolly Barn and Farm; a large barn filled with little animals, somewhere to play, and endless opportunities for interactivity, which is something we all enjoy on a day out. At regular intervals, there are opportunities to handle and feed the animals in the barn. We arrived just in time to have a go at milking a goat.
The lady who showed us what to do was very patient and made the milking look very easy! Miss J was not keen on this activity but has remembered how it is done. We vowed to return to the barn for more activities later in the day before popping over to the vintage funfair – probably my favourite part of the day. I am a little bit of a geek when it comes to social history and this gem of a place was just brilliant. Being undercover means that you can visit in all weathers, and also helps to protect the rides. They all run super smoothly; one we went on was from 1937 and ran without a hitch. It was amazing to be seeing rides from my grandad’s childhood; I could imagine him as a boy enjoying the same rides that were making my own little boy (and girl!) smile. It does cost extra to go on the rides, but the charges are minimal. Most rides cost 1 token per person, and tokens are 50p each. I don’t think we spent more than £10 in total.
We also visited the huge indoor play area that was situated under the same roof as the funfair.
Again, we promised to be back later on; we had to leave in a hurry so as not to miss the lion talk at the zoo! The boy loves lions and was in his element at this stage. He took in all the knowledge and pressed his face up to the glass viewing screen so as to see the “Daddy lion” more clearly. And what an impressive Daddy lion he is!
From here, we went round to see the penguins, which we all love. Having been saddened to see the state of those in the London SeaLife Centre, it was lovely to see them enjoying their outdoor space. I think we all love penguins so were happy to stay and watch for a bit. We just missed the talk but the member of staff in charge came over to the children before she left to check if they had any questions, which I thought was a nice touch.
Another play park followed, this time with a nautical theme. The pirate ship was my favourite here; I’ve already told James I’d like one in the garden when we win the lottery!
We had a spin on the big wheel after this, which was also an extra cost, but worth it for the view. Then the children had a go at driving real diggers! Possibly their favourite part of our holiday…
As soon as they had finished, they ran over to the construction site-themed sand pit to get in some more practise:
Lastly, we had a ride on the go karts. I’m not a driver, so this was a thrill for me, and the children loved being our passengers. This cost just £2 per kart and we must have driven almost ten laps.
We had so much left to see, but Folly Farm was about to close so we reluctantly left. As we walked back to the car, and indeed several times since, Miss J told us that her plan is to grow up and move to Wales so she can come to Folly Farm every day! I think that is the highest praise of all…
We received complimentary entry for the purposes of this review.
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