Yesterday marked 8 days of Frankie recovering at home so I decided to get us out for the day and visit the Rare Breeds Centre at Hadleigh Farm after hearing good things from friends that have visited.
It was easy to find, it’s situated in the grounds next to Hadleigh Castle and is run by The Salvation Army. You have to pay for parking which starts at £1 an hour and £5 for a full day (which if you pay you get £3 off of the farm ticket upon admission), the money goes towards funding the centre and farm. We paid for 2 hours parking and walked up to the farm, Frankie & his friend Poppy were both free as they’re under 3 years and we paid £5 each adults entry and bags of feed were 40p each of 3 for £1. Hadleigh Farm – Admission
There was a volunteer in the reception area making hedgehog pictures out of cardboard and paints too for the children and a wide variety of gifts including farm masks, tractors and animals which although upon exit I swiftly moved Frankie through without purchasing, were priced reasonably for a farm!
Within the farm there are goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, sheep, geese, turkeys and more. The staff members were absolutely fantastic dotted around, they allowed the kids to stroke the rabbits and chickens and sat and interacted with them even though they were cleaning out/feeding the animals.
We loved the rabbit walkthrough, they run around and you can sit on the two benches and watch them hopping. There is also an alpaca coop at the top of the hill and a bug hotel next to it. Hadleigh Farm – Meet the Animals There is also a donkey and a pony but we had to ask where they were as they weren’t signposted that well and unfortunately they weren’t visible to the path walk.
You can see that the animals are all well looked after, yesterday they had Ford there on a volunteer day who were assisting fixing fence posts and cleaning out the coops. There is also a rabbit/guinea barn and cows graze in the surrounding fields.
At the top of the hill the willow maze is a nice addition to the grounds, we let the kids run loose and they (we) got a bit lost running around but it was good fun and they thought it was hilarious too. There is a noisy sheep that baa’s on the outskirts and we fed it through the willows.
There is an enclosed park area with a slide, castle turrets and a sandpit with a picnic area with benches next to it and a play tractor area which as you can see the kids loved pushing each other around on & us Mummies got a chance to sit in the sun and talk while they were distracted! Hadleigh Farm – Map
Not situated in the farm, but at the front of the car park there are tea rooms that offer Afternoon Tea, paninis, lunch menu and they also sell local produce fruit and veg. We paid £6.00 for x2 oasis drinks and x2 ice creams for the kids but didn’t have lunch although the cakes looked good! There is also an activity corner with board games, colouring and books in the tea rooms. Hadleigh Farm – Tea Rooms
We had a lovely few hours exploring the farm, although I don’t think you could spend the entire day there unless you were going to take advantage and walk the surrounding areas, the Castle, grazing fields and fishing lakes etc. Hadleigh Farm – Walks
The Rare Breeds Centre, Hadleigh Farm is a lovely place to go and spend a few hours with the children that doesn’t cost and arm and leg to get into and it is situated in a great location in Essex.
We will definently be back!
If you are planning on going, check out the wish list of gifts the Rare Breeds Centre would be grateful to recieve in order to keep up the good work! Hadleigh Farm – Wish List
Castle Lane, Hadleigh, Essex, SS7 2AP