Thank you very much to today’s “NHM Secret Reviewer” who has done a great job below!
Review: Bucklebury Farm Park
Review of Bucklebury Farm Park, Bucklebury, Reading, RG7 6RR
Bucklebury Farm Park is a lovely farm and play park in the village of Bucklebury.
It has a Deer Park, Farm Animals, Indoor Play, Pedal Go Kart track, Tractor rides, Woody’s Cafe & Tea Room, Outdoor refreshments, Adventure Playground, The Wild Walk, Be A Farmer Club, Den Building.
There is a lovely wood chipped outdoor children’s play area at the bottom of the main field. It has a large wooden fort, lots of wooden structures such as a fire engine & train for children to climb & play in, some old tractors plus the usual swings etc. There is also a smaller play area for younger babies & toddlers.
In the main field there is a zip wire suitable for older children, some wooden agility structures and a playhouse. There is a large bouncing pillow (although it wasn’t open when we went) along with a go kart track & a trike track.
The Go Karts are only really suitable for older children (& adults) unless you prop your child in front of you & have a go.
The trike track is good fun for younger children and my 4 year old was very happy pedalling his younger sister (2.5yrs old) around on the back of the trike.
Just inside the main entrance there is a large indoor play area with wavy slides & drop slides. When the rain came our little ones had great fun for a further hour or so, going up & down the slides repeatedly. The wave slides had woven mats that you had to sit on to go down the slide which they both loved.
Our eldest did have a look at the drop slide but decided not to go down when he got to the top…personally I don’t blame him as I wouldn’t go down it myself even now (yes I am a big scaredy cat) however there were other children of a similar age who did (& some parents too!).
There is also a double decker bus in the main field which is kitted out as a soft play area. Again my little ones both loved this and were the perfect age for it.
Every time we went to another part of the park they kept asking to go back on the bus and would run to it whenever we went past. I can imagine it gets very busy but there weren’t many people in the park the day we went as the weather had been particularly bad.
There is a small animal petting area called Bob’s Barn which holds animal petting sessions at various times throughout the day (you can find out when these are on the board in reception). The children got to hold Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, a Chicken & a Tortoise. The staff were very friendly and helpful with young children and they really enjoyed holding the Guinea Pigs.
The tractor ride was really enjoyable and lasted about half an hour. You got onto the tractor trailer just past the adventure playground and were then taken on a trip up and around the Deer Park stopping midway to feed the Deer. The driver was very knowledgeable about the different types of deer and came round everyone to see if they had any questions. Each side of the tractor was given a large bucket of food to feed to the Deer which both my little ones loved doing. Best of all the tractor ride is included in your admission price!
There is a nature trail and the Wild Walk both of which take you through wooded areas with the chance of seeing Deer. The Wild Walk has a picnic area and a tower you can climb that looks onto the Deer park. We didn’t do these walks as our children were worn out from running around the play area and walking around the park and we hadn’t taken the pushchair in for our youngest so she’d already walked quite a long way over the course of the day.
Woody’s Café & Tea rooms is open 8.30am -5pm. We didn’t visit the café as we were at a party so had food & drinks provided but I poked my head in and the café looked lovely & charming.
I have heard from many people that the food is exceptionally good and that they make the trip to the café even when not visiting the park (it is open to both visitors & non-visitors). All the food is homemade and freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients.
There is also the Little Green Food Wagon just outside the indoor play area which sold snacks such as bacon rolls at reasonable prices.
Of course the cheapest option is to take your own picnic and there was an abundance of outside space to enjoy a picnic if the weather is kind. There were also plenty of picnic tables around the park. There is a sheltered picnic area which can be used if it hasn’t been booked for a party. Filled children’s lunchboxes are available from the kiosk for £4.50 and you can also book a hamper in advance.
Toilets & Baby Changing Facilities
The toilet building is rustic but clean & adequate. I didn’t see any separate baby changing facilities however there was a large worktop surface in the ladies perfect for changing babies, just make sure you have your own changing mat with you. I didn’t spot the disabled toilet so unsure if these had proper baby changing facilities in.
Opening hours, Prices & Parking
The farm park and Woody’s Cafe are open daily for the 2015 season from Sunday 1st February until Wednesday 23rd December…Opening hours from early spring to late autumn are 9.30am until 6:00pm (last admission 5:00pm) and during November and December (until 23rd) between 9.30am-5pm.
Woody’s Cafe is open daily from 1st February to 23rd December from 8.30am-5pm (last orders 4.30pm).
Admission is pretty expensive in my opinion, as seems to be the case for all of these kind of attractions, however if you are going as a family of four then the family ticket is more reasonable.
Admission for 2015:
· Adults – £9.45
· Children & Seniors – £8.45
· Children under 2 years – FREE
· Family Tickets (2 Adults and 2 Children) – £32.50
· Disabled – £7
· Carer accompanying disabled visitor – £7
There is plenty of free parking onsite.
This is a really lovely place to visit for a day out. There were plenty of activities to keep our little ones entertained despite the weather not being the best & we would definitely visit again.
4.5 out of 5 – Only due to the price & the fact I felt it could do with some additional toilet facilities.
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