Friday, 24 June 2016

Walnut Tree Farm Park - A Toddler Explores


We have been driving past Walnut Tree Farm Park for years. We often visit a garden centre opposite, Greenmoor nurseries, and never knew it was there! It's on the B4239 close to St Brides Wentlooge, Newport. We decided to go for a quick visit while the weather was being good. I had a look at their website but found it difficult to find the information I wanted; opening times; buggy friendliness; what was there for a toddler. I did see an offer to sign up for their newsletter and get a free bag of animal feed; it seemed like a good deal so I quickly did that and off we went. 

The road we always take, Howse Lane is closing on 4th July until Spring 2018, we think for electrification of the railway line so if you are heading this way make sure to take an alternative route.

Walnut Tree Farm Park - A Toddler Explores

We were surprised on arriving, just after 10am, at the number of cars in the car-park. We were soon to find out that it was a nursery visit and there was a queue of noisy toddlers with their parents waiting to pay. The queue moved very quickly though. Although the website said I could print or show the email on my phone for the free feed I found there was no signal. The man serving confirmed there was no signal but was lovely and found me a voucher for my free feed. The website also allows you to buy your tickets in advance. Make sure you print them off, don't rely on being able to show them on your phone.

Bear wanted to get in with the pigs

He was allowed in with the rabbit

Bear was so gentle, and brave, stroking the rabbit

Next to the reception is a large building which houses lots of animals, two play grounds and a small ride-on track. It was very noisy and full of the excited toddlers so we spent a few moments looking at some baby birds and Guinea pigs in their cages. As we got to the rabbits a member of staff took one out and put it into a large pen for Bear, and any other toddler, to climb in and stroke. 

There are few rules but all are sensible;

  • only feed the animals with the bought feed
  • don't feed the pigs - they bite
  • don't chase or pick up the rabbits
  • wash your hands after feeding

Bear feeding the hungry sheep

Brrm, brrm!

All the animals were very friendly and seemed used to being touched by little ones. The horses were a bit scary as one kept making a very loud noise so we went past them quickly but the sheep were cute and so were the goats.

Everywhere looks well managed and clean. The hand washing facilities are very good except it's air dryers and Bear hates them. The swings and slides were great fun and under cover. I'd hate to be there on a wet, busy day the noise must be deafening!

Top Left to right; Goats, Piglets, Guinea Pigs  Bottom left to right; More piglets, goats and sheep, a reindeer.

We went outside where they have picnic tables, more animals, a slide and a boat. Bear loved the slide. He spent ages on it. Unfortunately in the boat were two very loud boys. They kept shouting "no babies!" and wouldn't let the littler ones in. I persuaded Bear he was a big boy and to go in which he did but there were other children clearly upset. Adult supervision clearly didn't extend to them so we looked at some pigs, always a treat especially when they are sleeping and snoring very loudly!

Outside were ducks..

picnic tables and another slide


Bear sat on the prow of the boat listening to the pigs snore

We walked a little further and there were fields with more animals and another playground. In a field were some very friendly donkeys that came running over to meet Bear. He laughed and ran away, they were much too big for him. Bear was wanting his nap soon so we slowly headed back past a little wooden house that had another slide. Bear loved it.

Bear leading the way to the fields

Donkeys! Yeah!

Uh Oh! I'm off!


A little wooden playhouse with..........


.....and a slide!

A quick drink and a look at the foal before heading home

We had left the buggy in the car as we were not sure how easy it would be to take one but it is really buggy friendly. They also do a tractor ride and pony rides for an additional cost. These do not start until mid day and by then we were heading home. There is a cafe on site which we didn't visit as we were only there a couple of hours.

Just a note for those of you who suffer from allergies. There are many Poplar trees and their fluffy seeds are everywhere. Bear thought they were fun, another visitor thought they were dog hairs (I kid you not, that is what she said to her partner).

It was almost like snow

Did we like it? At £3 each off peak (term time) it was really good value for money. They only take cash so make sure you have enough. We especially loved the rabbit, feeding the sheep and how close all the animals were. Bear loved them too but I think his favourite were the slides. 

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