The other week we took our boys ages 3 and only 5 months to Cannon Hall Farm and I thought I would share my experience with you all!
This September our eldest will be starting nursery and I am making a concerted effort to expose him to as many experiences as possible before we become that family who can only do things in the half term holidays. Although we have all gone to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park that host a huge range of animals I have never taken Nate to a working farm before and he was really looking forward to it, especially the tractors – typical boy!
We went on a Thursday during term time and had a great day out, Cannon Hall is about fifty minutes away from where we live which was perfect for little children who can easily become bored in the car.
As we got nearer to the farm itself I was pleased to find that it was clearly signposted which is great when you are visiting somewhere new, the car park itself also was laid out well and had lots of space – brilliant for if you chose to visit during school holidays.
On arrival you can visit The White Bull one of the restaurants onsite and the Farm Shop without going into the farm itself. I thought this was a good idea should you live more locally that you don’t have to go through the whole farm if you just wanted to shop or eat, The White Bull had an incredible menu (more of that later) and I would love to have Breakfast there on day.
I thought the entry prices were very reasonable, at the time of our visit the tickets were half price but I would not hesitate to pay the full price again for what the farm has to offer. I was very impressed that the feed was only 50p, lets face the whole point of visiting a farm is for your children to join in and this is an area that could be heavily marked up! I was pleased to find there was plenty in a bag and you can get around the farm with just 1, there are machines to purchase more if you get a bit excited along the way.
With our youngest asleep we headed off in search of feeding some animals, there are some hills but nothing too strenuous when pushing the pram at all.
The first barn we got to, had rabbits which Nate loved looking at and there are various hand washing facilities along the way with great instructions for kids.
We then moved onto the rare breed barns, all of these barns you are elevated looking down on the animals via a walk way, this is such a neat idea, little kids are able to look and see what is going off and I can imagine the animals appreciate not having an over excited toddler in their face too.
For the feed you simply pour it down the shoots into troughs for the animals to come up and feed from – don’t you just love the photo!
It was about the third barn in when our youngest decided to wake up, and needed to be fed himself! I mention this because as a parent to little kids sometime you need to quickly remove yourself from an area whether that be for a feed, toilets or even a tantrum break! It was very easy to get out of a barn and walk alongside them to return later.
We went to the Hungry Llama a restaurant which has a huge indoor play area. You have to park your pushchair across from the restaurant itself – which if it was the school holidays I would choose to perhaps add something to the pram, like a tag to make it easier to locate.
You can tell that Cannon Hall has thought long and hard about the visitor experience because I was able to feed my youngest as my eldest had a great time running about in the play area, often I feel the mother guilt of spoiling my eldest fun to deal with the youngest or vice versa but the indoor play area only enhanced Nate’s trip.
There was some great sensory items in the play area too for Judah once he had finished feeding and I got to sneak in a cup of tea, so it all worked out.
After about half an hour or so we went off to complete our trip around the barns, with a toddler around the barns I think it would take about an hour, when we went back to the start a second there was a staff member at the barn with the rabbits, so Nate had an opportunity to pet them as well as have a chat.
There were so many animals to spot, I am sure if you follow me on Instagram you saw my stories where Nate was talking about the piglets who were only 3 days old at the time, as well as sheep, cows, llamas, horses, donkeys and goats.
We then headed to The White Bull for lunch, we had to exit the farm portion but with stickers they give you on arrival it is easy to hop in and out of this section.
The White Bull has a great atmosphere and delicious food! We were really impressed with what they had to offer, from tea, cakes, sandwiches, to full dinner menu there was plenty to choose from. I selected a Jacket Potato with side salad, Luke had a Club hot ciabatta with chips and side salad, and Nathanael had Chicken Nuggets (homemade) with chips and peas. You order from counter to collect your drinks and they quickly brought out our food.
The customer service was fantastic, watching the staff even as they collected dishes, and tidy up they were friendly, joining in conversation with customers and couldn’t do enough for you. I really value when people include my son and will try to figure out his little chats and it is these small touches that I am sure gain them repeat custom.
To note there was plenty to chose on the menu should you have any food allergies or dietary concerns, since my sister was diagnosed with coeliac disease a few years ago I often will glance at the menu to see what options are available.
We had a great day out and I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Cannon Hall Farm especially with young children, the whole farm is set up for the visitor in mind, there is lots to see and do even on a dreary March day. We would love to return in the Summer months for Nate to have a go on the tractor rides, we have also spotted the food festival they host in August and that looks a great family day out too!