Last week the family and I were lucky enough to get the opportunity to return to one of favourite UK destinations, Stratford-Upon-Avon where we once again stayed with the YHA in one of their pods. Having been before we knew the area and what to expect but also wanted to explore somewhere new, so when we got the opportunity to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly Farm we thought it sounded like a lovely family attraction.
Now anyone that knows me knows that I am pretty scared of all things that fly, to the point where I cried when I walked through the bat house at Chester Zoo and have never been back in since. So I was a little apprehensive about our trip but I knew the boys, especially the animal mad tiddler, would love it and did explain to the kids beforehand that I might bail mid way round and leave them to enjoy it with their dad. However I managed to explore the whole butterfly farm and left feeling pretty proud of myself.
So, is Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly farm worth a visit?
In short, yes if you like butterflies, flowers or creepy crawlies, or are taking children that do. This might sound obvious but there isn’t anything else to do there it really is what it says it is, a butterfly farm so if that’s your thing then definitely go.
We found that it was reasonably priced costing £22.50 for a family of four, however it isn’t that big and you will prob find that an hour to 2 hours is more than enough to see everything so don’t plan it as a whole days activity but instead if visiting the area plan it in with a walk round Stratford or a trip down to the River Avon, both in walking distance from the Butterfly Farm.
What to expect
Firstly, regardless of the weather outside make sure you are wearing cool clothes as it is very warm inside. There are lots of different types of butterflies and a few small birds free flying around the farm and they do get close, in some cases they will even land on you so you need to be prepared for this. They are very beautiful and teamed with the gorgeous and colourful flowers and relaxing waterfalls, bridges and figures it makes for a photographers dream.
If you love every day to be a school day or are a bit of a self confessed geek like myself then you will be pleased to know there are lots of information stands dotted around the farm for you to read and learn as you go.
As well as the butterflies and birds we were surprised to find there were also two iguanas just pottering about. At first when I read the sign for this I thought it was a joke, spotted one and still thought it was a joke as it was so still I assumed it was a statue, until it literally rolled its eyes at me and gave me quite a shock and the boys quite a giggle. Had I known this before it would have only given me something else to worry about when in reality they are probably as anti social as you can get, sitting high up on a bridge watching the world go by without any intention of getting any closer to you so do not let this put you off, in fact it was quite magnificent to see them be free and to have so much space to roam around in compared to the much smaller tanks we often see them in at the zoo.
A top tip I would give you is when you get to the beautiful waterfall and stop to admire the carp swimming under the bridge and take a photo or two like everybody else, make sure you go back onto the path and follow it behind the waterfall as this leads to a creepy crawly enclosure which we very nearly missed.
In here you will find many a creepy crawly from spiders to snakes and all sorts of things that my boys found fascinating and if I’m honest I was pretty impressed myself. Not with the spiders (eeeek) but with the free roaming ants walking across ropes suspended above our heads carrying bits of greenery from one tank to another. Obviously me being me I was a little worried some might fall and I would literally end up with ants in my pants but being able to watch them “working” in tandem with each other was very impressive and not like anything I had seen before.
Overall we had a wonderful visit and although this ticked the boxes for almost all of my anxieties I still enjoyed it which is saying something and is high praise indeed. If you are in the area I would recommend a visit but I would also advise you to check the times of the talks before hand and aim to arrive half an hour before hand so that you can have a look round and then watch a talk as well.
(We were gifted a family ticket in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own.)