Last month while we were on holiday at the Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire, we were very kindly given the opportunity to visit an amazing local attraction called Folly Farm Adventure Park And Zoo.
Located in Kilgetty which is a short 9 minute drive away from Bluestone, Folly Farm is a must-see attraction if you’re ever in the area. Whilst its name would suggest it’s simply a “farm”, there are so many things to see and do there and it completely exceeded all of our expectations. It really isn’t just a farm. It’s a farmyard, a zoo, a vintage funfair, a soft play centre and an adventure playground…all rolled into one. It provides the ultimate fun-filled day out that the whole family can enjoy.
One thing that became apparent straight away is that Folly Farm is really geared up towards children, with a particular emphasis on education. It’s a fantastic destination for them to interact with and learn more about animals and their habitats.
The Jolly Barn was located next to the entrance so we started our day there. It is the perfect place to get up close and personal with all of your farmyard favourites, and is home to a variety of animals including sheep, pigs, horses, donkeys, goats, ferrets and more.. It is by far the cleanest farm I have ever been to; the barn floor was absolutely spotless, the pens had fresh bedding and the animals were clearly well looked after and cared for by their handlers.
The barn itself was huge and we loved the layout – there was plenty of open spaces, huge retro signs hanging above the animal pens, brightly coloured coops for the different poultry, a farm-themed play area, plenty of handwashing facilities (vital when you’re handling animals) and even a mini farmhouse complete with mice in the kitchen and rabbits in the garden’s vegetable patch.
Riley’s extremely inquisitive so he thoroughly enjoyed Cwtch Corner where he had the opportunity to get hands-on with furry favourites, milk a life-size plastic cow and view chicks in the incubation exhibit. This area also featured a host of interactive, educational exhibits where he could learn more about farming processes, where food comes from and animal families.
When we’d finished in the barn, we decided to take the underpass (next to the barn owls) to Percy’s Piggery, the land train and rare breed paddocks. It’s over the road from the main bit of the park and is a nice place to go if you need a break from all the excitement of the Jolly Barn, Zoo, fairground and play parks.
We hopped on the land train – which leaves every 20 minutes between 11am and 4pm – and were taken on a journey around the paddocks passing by more amazing animals including llamas, sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, alpaca and deer. At one point there was an opportunity to hop off the land train and check out the nature trail, but the weather was pretty rubbish so we gave this a miss.
When we’d finished on the land train and had a nosey at the piggies in Percy’s Piggery we made our way back to the other side of the park to explore the zoo. The zoo is home to over 90 different species of animal including zebras, lions, giraffes, ostrich, camels, penguins, flamingos, lemurs, meerkats, squirrel monkeys and many more. They are also one of only seven zoos in the UK that cares for the critically endangered Eastern black rhino.
One thing we were particularly impressed with was the enclosures – they were large, well-equipped and maintained and purposely built for each animal. You could tell that a lot of thought had gone into each one and that the residents themselves were happy, healthy and thriving.
Giraffes are one of my favourite animals so we made sure to be down at Giraffe Heights ready for the daily talk at 12.30pm and were delighted to find Pippa there, who is not only their keeper but also someone I went to school with and hadn’t seen for 15 years. It was really lovely having a catch up with her and finding out more about her boys – Taharqa, Rian and Sillan (they’re the giraffes, in case you were wondering!)
We then stopped by the Carousel Woods Burger Bar for lunch which is an indoor burger bar serving beef burgers, chicken burgers, veggie burgers, hotdogs and chips. The food was really yummy and reasonably priced as well. Once the kids were fed they all went off to enjoy the soft play area, while the adults tucked in to some hot beverages.
When they were all played out, we made our way over to Folly Interactive. This is an education-based sensory centre which aims to encourage children to engage with interactive exhibits and enables them to experience slightly more unusual animals such as Royal Python snakes, large birds, tortoises, tropical fish, spiders and reptiles.
It was also home to a special room where the kids took part in a series of fun and educational challenges and became “Folly Interactive Explorers”. They picked up a Folly Interactive Explorer Passport upon entering the room and had to follow the footprints on the floor around the circuit. When they arrived at each challenge they had to answer the questions on the sign and once complete, they could stamp the coloured circles in their passport. During the challenges, they were able to uncover fossils, look at insects/mini beasts through magnifying glasses, match animals to their habitats and more.
It was just as fun for the adults as it was the kids!!!!
Upon leaving Folly Interactive, we stopped by Funfair Food for some doughnuts and candy floss and then entered the fairground. Folly Farm’s Vintage Funfair is home to a huge collection of rides including a carousel, ghost train, dodgems, waltzer, chair-o-planes and so much more. You have to purchase tokens to access the rides but it’s much less than what you’d pay at other funfairs and we all had SO much fun in there.
We had the most amazing time at Folly Farm Adventure Park And Zoo, it’s no wonder they’ve won so many prestigious awards. It is a brilliant place for a family day out and there is so much to see and do for children of all ages. I would 100% recommend visiting if you are ever in the area.