Who doesn’t love a day out to see the animals? Wherever we go – even before we had E – we’d always go to the local animal attraction and this holiday wasn’t any different.
We knew about Folly Farm prior to our holiday because E’s cousins, a few years older in age and who live in Wales, always choose it as the destination for their special birthday day out. It’s always been a bit too far for us to attend in just a day, so we made sure it was on the list of places to visit whilst we were staying in the area.
Folly Farm is situated in Begelly, in Pembrokeshire and is approx. 11 miles from Haverfordwest. It’s only a relatively small zoo (we live near Chester Zoo, so there’s no comparison) but actually for the size there is loads to see and do.
It was perfect for E – sometimes I find Chester Zoo can be a bit overwhelming for really small children with so much to take in, but this felt just right.
When we first went in we went to the farmyard area and petting area – this was definitely our favourite bit. There were a variety of farm animals (including miniature horses which are my favourite), as well as smaller domestic animals such as rabbits and ferrets.
Throughout the day there were demonstrations from the staff where kids (and big kids) were allowed to hold or feed the animals. We got there just in time for the rabbit demo so we took E for her first experience of the furry little creatures. She wasn’t overly impressed but I was excited!
Outside there are some impressive animals – I wasn’t expecting to see penguins, giraffe or lions in the zoo but the enclosures are pretty expansive and it’s really good to see the zoo doing their part in the conservation of endangered species. It wasn’t a very crowded day so it felt like there was a lot of space in the zoo so it was really enjoyable to walk round and spend time learning about the different species – again, there are lots of keeper talks and demos throughout the day making it a really interactive experience for the little ones.
If your kids have had enough of the animals (I really hope E learns to love them as much as we do) there are lots of other activities on-site to keep them occupied – pretty useful if it starts raining as well as some of them are indoors. There’s a large indoor adventure playground which looked pretty cool – the cost of this is included in the main ticket price I think. There’s also a go-karting track and mini-diggers which there is an extra charge for. There are also little tiny diggers for babies and toddlers which are free and E absolutely loved!
The main attraction at Folly Farm – aside from the animals of course – is the Vintage Funfair. It’s the sort of place that if you were there alone at night, it’d be the creepiest place in the world – however in the day, it’s vibrant, noisy and just a little bit crazy – but I’m sure the kids love it!
When we first went in, it was a little bit TOO much with all the various ride noises all going off at the same time, but once you got used to it, it was pretty cool. I love retro fair rides like the dodgems and the carousel with the galloping horses. I don’t have much of a head for heights, but of you do there’s even a vintage ferris wheel outside to give you a birds eye view of the park.
E was a little bit too young to go on anything this time but I definitely want to take her back when she’s a little older. It’s the sort of funfair I grew up with as a child and I’d love for her to experience the same thing. I know we live in a hi-tech world these days, but the simplicity of these rides are just wonderful.
Last but not least, we managed to grab a ride on the land train before we went home. We only just discovered it on the way back to the car, and I’m so glad we did. Again, its another activity that’s included in your ticket price – and basically its just a few trailers pulled along by a huge tractor, taking you around the farm area of the park. E thought this was fantastic and was waving at all the animals as we went past – it was the best thing ever to see her face, although I actually think she was more excited over the tractor than any of the pigs or sheep that we saw. She’s definitely a petrolhead like her daddy!
All in all, I’d totally recommend a day out to Folly Farm – we were there for a good few hours, but if E was a little bit older I think we’d have been there all day. We had lovely weather so were able to appreciate every little bit of the zoo outside, but there’s definitely enough to keep everyone occupied indoors in case the heavens open.
Ticket prices are pretty reasonable considering all the activities that are included – we actually used our Tesco Clubcard vouchers to get money off entrance so to us it was even more of a bargain!