Last week we visited family in South Devon and spent time exploring the local area with a ride on a steam train, walks on the beach and drives through the most picturesque parts of the country. Whilst there we were lucky enough to invited over to Pennywell Farm for the day which is only a 30 minute car journey from Paignton where we were staying, so of course we agreed.
Being lovers of outdoor fun, welly walks, and the tiddlers deep rooted obsession with animals of all shapes and sizes, a day at a farm is probably up there as one of our favourite types of days out and having visited a few different farms over the years and seeing how completely different they can be we weren’t to sure what to expect from Pennywell Farm.
What I can tell you though is that it by far exceeded our expectations.
From the minute we arrived we were greeted by staff outside the entrance and although they talked to us grown ups first they made the biggest effort to talk to all the children too, giving them all name badges to wear. At first I thought this was a bit odd but this turned out to be one of the best things and I think so many other attractions should employ this method. Basically every time we were near a staff member, whether on a ride or feeding an animal, the staff member spoke to the kids individually by name making it such a personal experience but also making it so the kids interacted without seeming shy as it was as if they already knew them, making such a difference to our day.
As well as giving the children name stickers on entry you are also given other bits of information and shown a notice board of events which literally has something new happening every 30 minutes, from lamb feeding to pony grooming as well as pig racing and magic shows. There is something for everyone and you can most definitely stay the full day without getting bored.
As well as the scheduled activities, which are enough to keep you busy all day on their own, there are also numerous other activities that are going on continuously throughout the day that you can go back and forth to as much as you want including; parks, trampolines, a maze, inflatable slides and 4 different rides.
I can not stress enough just what amazing value for money Pennywell farm is.
We had a jam packed day at Pennywell Farm and there was so much we loved but our top five things were
1. The piggy cuddles
There is a room filled with tiny little piglets that you can sit and cuddle for as long as you want. They are wrapped in little blankets and placed in your arms like newborns where they snuggle in and sleep, or at least ours did, there were a few that were seen wriggling and squealing like pigs but ours were pure perfection and none of us, especially the tiddler, wanted to hand them back at all. So much so we did think we might need to strip search the little guy on the way out to make sure he hadn’t smuggled one up his jumper!
2. The pig racing
I can honestly say we have never seen anything like this before. It was unique and hilarious watching the miniature pigs race round the track jumping over wellies and through hoops. This is only on once a day at 2:30 (always check the times) and I would recommend that you try and fit it in.
3. Assault course
My eldest loved the assault course park area which is aimed at those that are a little too old for the park. He loved trying to see if he could complete it quicker each time and he loved using the rope climber at the end. The addition of the assault course really helps to make this a day out for the whole family as it gives the older children something to do when the younger ones are on the nearby train ride or playing on the other park.
4. The tractor ride
One of the 4 free rides included in your ticket price is a tractor ride. This was great fun and educational as once the tractor driver drives you down to the bottom of a field he uses lots of farm yard structures and models to interact with the children about life on the farm and what roles the various animals have before driving you back up to the top of the field again. The tractor rides were really popular and we probably queued up for about half an hour for this and I can imagine it’s even busier in summer so my advice would be to head there first if you can whilst everyone else is still working out what they want to do.
5. Feeding the baby lambs
One of the first things we did was feed the baby lambs their bottles of milk, this is on twice a day so again check the times so you don’t miss out. The bottle feeding was a lovely experience for the children but be warned it gets very busy very quickly, although I found that the families were all very good at encouraging their children to share with other children once they had had a go which was nice.
Top tips for making the most out of your day at Pennywell Farm
- Arrive early and spend the whole day there
- If you live local, or holiday in the area regularly, then look at getting the annual pass as it is excellent value for money
- Take a picnic, there are plenty of places to enjoy it both outside and under cover. You can buy food and hot drink there but picnics are welcome.
- Wrap up warm and wear wellies as it is mainly out doors and a working farm
- If you can then buy some animal feed from the entrance, it’s only £1 a bag but we all loved feeding the goats and reindeer and thought £1 was great value for money.
- Take hand sanitizer, there are lots of hand wash facilities which is great but they do get busy and getting your child to stop and wash can be tricky so hand gel is good to have on you too.
Overall Pennywell Farm was my favourite family day out from our holiday, it was the best value for money, was jam packed full of things to do, was inclusive for the whole family and we had 4 generations with us and I would most definitely book to go back again and would without a doubt recommend this to anyone visiting the area.
If you are staying in the area then be sure to check out our list of recommendations for things to do near Paignton.