Are you wanting a fun packed family day out? There is no better than Bocketts Farm in Fetcham, just South of Leatherrhead. This is a family run working farm, set in the beautiful Surrey countryside.
You might wonder how I am qualified to give an honest opinion, when I have no young children of my own, but for the past ten plus years I have taken forty five Reception children to Bocketts Farm.
Each time we go we say it is one of the best trips ever, so it is no surprise that it has been awarded a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence in 2017.
Over the years of visiting the farm I have seen many changes and improvements. From upgrading and increasing the toilet and hand washing facilities to providing more ‘all year round weather’ opportunities, they are constantly finding ways to enhance the whole farm experience.
The farm is open seven days a week from 10am until 5.30pm, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
There is ample parking for coaches and cars at the farm. School parties are always met by members of staff who will lead and escort all the children to the group meeting place. These are always undercover, so great in all weather conditions and children can leave lunches and belongings they don’t want to carry around.
This is one aspect that has been improved over the years. On an early visit we had squirrels eat a child’s lunch, but the farm now provide purposebuilt barns for group party bookings to eat in and they always Include storage boxes to shut edibles away!
On first arriving at the farm we always get a safety talk and a time plan of the days activities. Most of the staff are very friendly ‘young’ people, who are well trained, have a good knowledge of what they want the children to learn and are usually excellent.
One of the children’s favourite activities is the tractor ride which is included in a group booking price, but is an extra £1..50 for those families purchasing a day ticket.
The children love sitting in the trailer, holding tight to the side, as the tractor bumps its way up the hill, past all the animal fields, through Scarecrow Wood, and on up the hill with wonderful views of the countryside, past the pigs, until it comes back down the hill and arrives back at the tractor shelter.
Opposite the tractor shelter is the kitchen garden where the children explore all the different fruit, herbs and vegetables being grown on the farm. They are all growing in labelled child friendly tyre beds with lots of variety and opportunity for children to read and learn about them should they want.
The farm has two eating places, the main are being the Old Barn tea rooms which offers a selection of home cooked food. The food grown in the garden provides lots of the ingredients used in recipes on offer there throughout the year. These products can also be bought in the gift shop. The other eating place at the farm, is the coffee bar in the cow shed, next to a large indoor play area, so you can sit and drink a coffee whilst your child runs off steam in the ball pool or on the trampolines.
At the back of the kitchen garden are some beautiful peacocks. The males tried very hard to upset their audience on the day we went. They turned their back when displaying their stunning plumage to the lady peahens . Our group leader said it was often deliberate.
I’d almost given up waiting to photograph him in his finery ,but as soon as we walked away, he turned around and I eventually caught him! GOTTCHA.
The first barn you enter as well as play areas, toilets, coffee shop and gift shop has the animal handling area and pet world. This is built like a little village community with the animal homes looking like shops, post offices and other town offices. Instead of Iceland with its frozen food produce they had Miceland with a family of mice. There are rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters and small animals of every kind to peruse.
At the back of the small animal village is the group pet handling area. In this area there is room for a whole class to sit round the outside whilst the group leader talks to the children and then brings small pets round in baskets for the children to stroke. This is a great opportunity for nervous children to become more confident about touching and being near animals that maybe they’d have never come across. You would be surprised at how many are reluctant to even put one finger on a rabbit’s fur!
The group leader then fetches a goat and the children watch as the goat is milked. This is always an interesting one, as children only ever think of milk as being cold from the fridge. At the farm they get to feel a jug of milk that has come straight from the goat and feel that it is warm!
Outside of the main barn are the stables with donkeys and horses and then there is a a huge barn that was not there when we first started visiting Bocketts Farm many years ago. In this barn there are pigs, goats, cows, sheep, llamas and baby animals, some of which are only days, sometimes hours old. Being a working farm means there are always baby animals. This for me is the joy of a farm as an adult, I just love seeing newly born animals!
Another popular and unique experience of Bocketts Farm is the pig racing. The children watch and some are given a flag to wave as they cheer their favourite pigs. They race up the hill as they are released from the pen and then lesiurely trot back down again. We were rooting for Harry Trotter, but sadly he wasn’t on fire the day we went and needs more pig Olympic training!
The farm also has developed its play areas, so as well as inside equipment for wet weather, it has a huge play area outside with trampolines, sand pits, swings, climbing frames and slides. There is seating for parents to watch or have picnics on. The children just love it and get as much fun playing, as they do seeing the animals. They also run off lots of excess energy so both them and you get a good night’s sleep.
Always on the way home there are children asleep and often there are adults having a snooze too!
Bocketts Farm is an all round great family day out with so much to do and in the holidays they often plan special events.
An adult ticket is £10.50, children from aged 3-17 is £10.95, children aged 2 is £9. 20, senior citizen is £9.80, disabled is £8.20 and under 2 years old go in for free.
There are activities you can pay extra for like pony riding, tractor rides, electiric diggers and some seasonal activities. More information can be found on the website here. Would I recommend it, 100% yes.
Honestly Fiona xx
P.S More photos. best of the rest!