*This is a review post for Hesketh Farm Park, we received our entrance tickets in exchange for this post but as always, this is our honest and fair review.
Hesketh Farm Park is set just outside the beautiful village of Bolton Abbey, boasting stunning views and in our opinion, a great family farm experience! It’s about 20 miles from Harrogate (on the way to Skipton) and takes us around 30 minutes to drive there. Come rain or shine (both of which we experienced today) Hesketh Farm has something to keep the whole family entertained.
We haven’t had a family trip to Hesketh Farm Park for ages so we were very excited to see the new additions which we have heard so much about. We arrived bang on 10 am as the farm sprang into life. With plenty of parking available we ditched the car and headed in. There was plenty of staff on hand to greet us and we were given a timetable of the live events running; there was a lot on offer!
Our first stop was the guinea pigs. I can honestly say I’ve never been a huge fan of small furry creatures but getting up close & personal with these little cuties have certainly changed that!* The Mini-Mumblers loved holding and brushing them and members of staff were on hand to answer ALL their burning questions.
*Please don’t tell the kids I said that – they are already begging for one!
Next, we couldn’t help but be drawn to the worlds loudest lambs! With only minutes until the Lamb Feeding Session, they were impatient, as were the kids, who couldn’t wait to try their hand at bottle feeding! The park assistants arrived with buckets full of bottles and were very clear on the correct technique to use to ensure the lambs didn’t get poorly tummies from too much air in their bottles and why it was very important to wash our hands after we touched the animals. There are hand washing stations in each area of the farm. Each child who was waiting (and today there were loads) got to have a turn at feeding the lambs.
Hesketh also had calf feeding, Egg collecting & donkey feeding or pony brushing sessions running during our visit.
The Mini-Mumblers really enjoyed learning about the different stages of the newborn chicks, from just hatched to 4 weeks old, we loved happening upon the giant tortoise as he wandered around the farm, and my highlight of the day was being lucky enough to get to stroke a brand new piglet. We then brushed a gigantic pig and fed another with a motorised tractor!
We headed down to the indoor play & cafe areas, the Mini-Mumblers explored the straw maze, played in the indoor sandpit and on the tractor slide while I ordered a cuppa and a cake from the cafe. I can highly recommend the caramel slice! The cafe also offers sandwiches and kids lunch boxes at a reasonable price plus there is ample space both indoors and out to bring your own picnic. After we had refuelled the kids raced on the indoor tractors circuit and then on the outdoor go-karts.
We timed it well and the rain had stopped so we made the most of it and explored outside. The new outdoor sandpit was a big hit! They built sand castles, used the diggers to dig craters and got completely covered in sand. What kid is not as happy as Larry when digging in the sand?
We spent an age climbing the full-size tractors, seeing the horses and the chickens and had another race on the go-karts – it has to be the best of three, doesn’t it? Then it was onto the park. Just as we had enjoyed our first slide the tractor ride opened so, of course, we raced over. This was the highlight of the day for my son! Farmer Chris on the tractor, pulled the trailer around the farm fields, stopping to answer questions and looking at all the animals out to pasture… I now know the difference between a meadow and a pasture – do you? The route is the bumpiest track it could possibly be, hence the kid’s HUGE enjoyment. Mums I’d recommend a sports bra! 😉
The tractor ride lasted approximately 15 – 20 minutes and costs an additional £1.50 per person.
Back at the park, the kids played while we enjoyed the last remaining rays of sunshine. The weather soon changed and the coats were zipped up before we could see the rain rolling in from Skipton. We headed home, kids happy and chatting about the fun they had before falling asleep halfway home.
Harrogate Mumbler highly recommends Hesketh Farm Park. We’ve visited dozen of times over the years and we always have a great time. We’ve also hosted our daughters birthday here for 2 years in a row (her 3rd & 4th birthdays) as the parties were both brilliant fun & great value.
You can find Hesketh Farm just outside the village of Bolton Abbey.If you’re using a sat nav, use the postcode BD23 6HA to find them!