On Saturday my darling boy decided to wake me at 6am for a ‘SNIGGGGGGG’ (translation – cuddle) so I decided, despite being the six weeks school holidays and generally trying to avoid anywhere overcrowded and full of school children & inflated prices, to take us out for the day somewhere!
Ashlyns Farm Park & Softplay has been on my ‘to go’ list for a long time, I used to pass it when I worked rurally in Ongar & Kelvedon on visits and a lot of Mums have also recommended it on my Facebook page thetwentyishmum- Facebook so we decided to have an early Costa breakfast & hit the farm early doors with my friend and her little boy.
It took us around 45 minutes from Wickford to get there. We paid £15 for two adults & two children & to Frankie’s delight there was a ‘Splashpad’ open too which we paid £3 extra per child to get into. The man behind the till explained that there were half hour slots as they’d had ridiculous numbers due to the hot weather but if there wasn’t queues when it was our time up then we could rotate in and out as we pleased so the extra was well worth it. Bags of feed are 50p for the animals.
Being the unprepared Mum that I am, I forgot the bag with Frankie’s swimming bits so after much persuasion that he couldn’t go in naked we settled for a paid of spare shorts. He had so much fun running in and out of the water, even if it was a little chilly! The area was tidy & there were sun loungers too for parents to relax on!
Ashlyns has parks dotted around the farm with a ‘ship and nautical’ theme, we took full advantage of climbing the walls, ‘steering the ships’, going down the slides and hiding pirate treasure’ in all three parks we managed to go into. They were all clean, I didn’t see any litter in sight & the parks have plenty for them to do.
We didn’t manage to take full advantage of the farm park walk as both boys still had the softplay ingrained in their minds from entering Ashlyns, but we did manage to see some of the animals. We were told we could feed any of the animals except from the giant tortoises, we saw the bunnies, guinea pigs, pigs, goats, chickens & ducks. Frankie loved going into the stable building and seeing the lemurs, snakes and the little dragon who kept poking his head up to Frankie! Ashlyns – Farm Trail
After two hours exploring the splashpad, parks and farm we headed indoors for some lunch and let the boys run wild in the softplay which is clean & well kept. There were two parties going on whilst we were in there but it wasn’t overun and we managed to get a table right next to the softplay frame.
We couldn’t shift the boys to the farm shop restaurant so we decided to eat in the softplay and ordered x2 paninis, x2 packs of crisps, x2 kids drinks, x2 chocolate bars, x2 cookies all for £13 which I thought was a brilliant price. You don’t have to pay extra for toppings in the panini’s either you can choose as many or little as you want, we had tuna, red onion, lettuce and cheese & it was plentiful and really tasty.
Once finished we took the boys into the shop and let them choose a tractor each which was £5 (they never obviously need another toy but you can’t leave without buying something!) I do love a farm shop, there was local produce, fruit and veg & meats. The restaurant menu at Ashlyns within the Farm Shop looks lovely & I will definently be going again to try the king prawn and crayfish linguine next time!
Walking to the car I noticed there is also a beauty salon next to the Farm Park who offer a NANNYING SERVICE £6 for 30 minutes in the softplay and park, how amazing is that!? Maybe I’ll get my brows done too next time! Ashlyns Beauty & Aesthetics – Website
Lovely little find in rural Essex for a Mum that HATES mainstream busy farms (also try visiting White Elm Petting Farm – Bicknacre), it is clean & well kept and we can’t wait to come back to play again soon! x
*afterthought* tying in our next visit with North Weald Market*
Ashlyns Farm Shop, Epping Road, North Weald, Epping, CM16 6RZ