Review 2014: Miller’s Ark, Nr Hook

Miller’s Ark

Manor Farm, Blackstocks Lane, Nately Scures, Hook, Hants RG27 9PH

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I’ve been dying to go to Miller’s Ark for ages, but it opens sporadically, so you need to keep an eye on their facebook page to see when they are open. They are essentially a petting farm and I only found out about them via NHM a year ago. They are just outside Basingstoke, on the road to Hook, just past the Hatch.

We had a lovely afternoon when we were there, despite the rain and winter gloom!

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Play

There are LOTS of farm animals to see. Miss NHM was very taken with the chickens and the donkeys but she wasn’t very keen on the sheep who wanted to be fed. 

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We started on the left hand side of the farm, where you can feed the bigger animals, like the sheep and goats.

We then moved around to the shetland ponies and the pygmy goats.

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You can get right in with the animals and up very close to them. Miss NHM was desperate to brush one of the ponies, and was very excited when she was allowed too.

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My absolute favourites were the pigs. They love having their tummy’s rubbed, and the two pigs lying on the floor in the next picture, collapsed there after I’d rubbed their tummies for a bit. They were grunting happily whilst being rubbed (that sounds so wrong! lol) but it was very cute and amusing.

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We also spent a lot of time in the petting section. You can handle rabbits and guinea pigs here and we spent a lot of time holding a lovely ginger guinea pig who purred when he was held (that means he’s happy!).

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We didn’t go on the land train, as we didn’t have enough cash, but I’d like to go on it next time!

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Tips

Take cash! As they are quite small there aren’t any card facilities on site. 

They aren’t open all the time so check the Facebook page for details of when they are open.

Ask for a loyalty card. After five visits, you get the sixth free.

It’s not recommended for Pregnant ladies to visit farms.

Wear welly boots. This is a working farm, so can get very muddy when it’s wet.

Wash your hands after petting and handling any animals.

Food

Most meals are around £4 and were all homemade. Very reasonably priced.

I was gutted that we didn’t have enough cash on us when we were here as I wanted to see what it tasted like. Definitely on my list of things to do next time we visit.

Facilities

The washing facilities were basic, but worked perfectly. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands so much and so often, in a very long time! lol.

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Baby Facilities

We completely forgot to check these out. Opps! Will do so next time we visit and will update this post then. I would imagine they have baby changing facilities as it’s aimed towards younger children.

Parking

Is free. This is a working farm though, so if it’s been raining, the car park can be quite muddy.

Prices

£7 entry free for everyone over 2 years old. Under 2’s are free.

50p per bag of food

£1 each for the land train

Rating 5 out of 5

We had a fabulous couple of hours at Miller’s Ark. The staff are all really lovely, very willing to help and offer updates on the animals. The animals all seemed very happy and it was lovely to visit somewhere that wasn’t too commercial.

It’s also very close to Basingstoke. Just up past the Hatch Pub in Old Basing, which I hadn’t realised!

Really recommended but take cash and wrap up warm and wear wellys!

Santa’s Grotto’s/Father Christmas Visits in North Hampshire 2013

I put out a request on NorthHants Mum in September, asking if anyone has any suggestions for future posts.

Wendy sent me a great message asking me if I could research a decent garden centre for Christmas where the children will find a good Santa.

I’ve also added a few more places where you can meet Father Christmas, that aren’t garden centres.

Please let me know if I’ve missed any!

Hopefully the below helps!

Santa Grotto’s and Father Christmas Visits

Wyevale Garden Centre

Wyevale Garden Centre in Sherfield on Loddon is doing either Breakfast or Tea with Father Christmas. It’s available from 18th November until 24th December. For more details please click HERE.

Conkers Garden Centre

Father Christmas will be with the team at Conkers from Saturday 7th December and every Saturday and Sunday up until 22nd December. For more details please click HERE.

Dobbie’s Garden Centre

Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Shinfield, Reading has a Santa Grotto that is available from the 17th Nov until 24th December. For more details please click HERE.

Henry Street Garden Centre

Henry Street Garden Centre is in Arborfield, on the way to Reading. You can find out more details about visiting Father Christmas at Henry Street HERE.

Miller’s Ark

Santa will be arriving at Miller’s Ark on Saturday 23rd November, Santa is only with us ONE day this year, so do not miss seeing him in his grotto. Click HERE for more details.

Bouncing Tots

Bouncing Tots will be hosting Christmas parties on 20th December. Father Christmas will be in attendance. They are also fundraising for Naomi House on the day, asking parents to bring in unwanted/outgrown toys to donate. For more details please click HERE.

JJ’s

Santa’s Grotto at JJ’s will be open for the whole of December. Click HERE for more details.

The Studio at Dummer

Friday 20th December. Come and visit santa at the studio. You will receive a small gift and will have the opportunity to join in with arts and crafts throughout.

A Movin Monkeez Xmas session will also run from 11:00am – 11:30am so bring your dancing shoes!

A disco will follow and there will be snacks and drinks. Duration is from 10:30am – 12:30pm but you do not have to stay for the duration.

£6 per child which includes a gift, snacks and crafts. Dress to impress 🙂

For more details please click on the facebook page or the website.

Festival Place

Santa and his helpers are back for another magical Christmas at Festival Place!

Bring the kids along to enjoy some festive fun at our enchanting Santa’s grotto. Watch their faces light up as they experience the grotto for the first time, complete with fir trees, train ride and snow!

Your visit will cost £4.50 per child and includes a train ride, a visit to Santa to tell him those Christmas wishes, an early Christmas gift, a letter from Santa and a photo opportunity!

Book your visit online here.

The Vyne

Follow the Baubles and find Father Christmas, stay for Christmas lunch and then make some Christmas Crackers. For more details please click HERE.

Have I missed any?

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2012 Santa’s Grotto’s in North Hampshire, Stocking Filler Ideas & Posting Dates