Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Bucklebury Farm Review

Bucklebury Farm is located in Reading, Berkshire, and is home to a wide variety of farmyard (and not so farmyard!) animals. I first heard about the farm from a friend with children who said that it was a pretty good day out if the sun is shining and you want something to do for a few hours. We paid £8.95 each to get in (as two adults, we don't have kids) and just as a note, they do accept cards which is rather unexpected considering the drive to the farm is pretty much single-track country lanes and deadly blind corners.


The entrance to the farm is situated in the 'Slides and Shop' barnhouse which is filled with a large jungle-gym and huge slides for kids. I remember calling them 'Death Slides' when I was growing up and I did see a few parents nervously sat at the top with their children. I didn't fancy being one of the thirty thousand screaming children in the jungle-gym so instead we ventured outside to the animals.

The animals were undoubtedly the BEST BIT of the entire day; I met a tiny baby pygmy goat which I named Alan and he immediately bounced over for food and cuddles. Bucklebury have  a good selection of other (less fluffy but equally adorable) animals like pigs, sheep, llamas, chickens, peacocks, Shetland ponies, cows, wild boar, rabbits and guinea pigs. The wild boar are a little frightening because they're the only animal behind an electric fence but once you see them eating stones and messing each other up it does sort of make sense.

There is also a large section of the park which is home to wild deer. The "Deer Safari" is included free in the entrance price of the park. A tractor arrives hourly at the pickup point to collect visitors and then drives around the deer enclosure so that you can see them up front. The deer are accustomed to people and large numbers of them (maybe 30!?) approach you for food etc so it's a really good experience and one that children definitely love.

I think the key advantage of Bucklebury Farm is that you can get up-close with the animals. You can stroke them, feed them and pick some of them up (oh hello tiny baby goat) which I think is something that's hard to find these days because of health and safety nazis. Bucklebury also have numerous 'Sanitisation Stations' around the farm where bottles of hand sanitiser are provided for you to use. I think that there are still a few concerns with farmyard animals and disease around the UK countrysides but Bucklebury ensure that you can keep your hands clean throughout the duration of the visit.

I think Bucklebury Farm is definitely worth a visit. It's good value for money and will definitely keep both children and adults entertained for hours.

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