Nothing says spring like a visit to the farm does it?! We first visited Cannon Hall Farm in South Yorkshire a couple of years ago with the Butlers and I’ve been dying to go back ever since. I knew I wanted to go in the spring-time when we had the best chance of seeing lots of baby animals so it featured fairly highly on our list of adventures for this Easter.
As luck would have it our Easter holidays are a little wonky this year so not a lot of people seem to have been off this first week – I know that schools in York and Sheffield haven’t finished yet which meant that a trip to Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley was perfectly timed. I had expected we would benefit from it being a little bit quieter but in all honesty it was far quieter than I could have ever imagined – which meant no queues for the toilet, no struggling to find somewhere to sit at the indoor play and a super view wherever we went, it was an all round win to be honest. Well aside from being absolutely flipping freezing. The spring sunshine finally appeared mid-afternoon but it would have been a much nicer day had it been a bit brighter from the off!
Eleven Reasons to visit Cannon Hall Farm:
It’s lovely and clean
My friend Hannah doesn’t like Cannon Hall Farm as she think it’s “too clean and sanitised” and not like a real farm. I totally get where she’s coming from but honestly, when I’m visiting with three kids for the day – the cleanliness is a huge factor for me, it just makes it a much nicer place to be and an easier day out all round!
There’s plenty of space for picnics
There are a number of large picnic tables just outside the farm which we used on this visit and plenty of grassy space to sit on if the tables are full. But, if you don’t want to picnic . . . there are several options for buying food on site and if you spend £10 on food in the cafe areas then your £3 car parking charge is knocked off.
The ice creams are lovely
It was too flipping cold for ice cream when we visited this time (we plumped for cups of tea and hot chocolate) but I do remember them being delicious last time we visited.
For Amy, who absolutely loves cows, being able to watch them getting milked is a bit special. The milking display at Cannon Hall Farm is purely for demonstration – just a couple of cows are milked whilst a member of staff talks about the process.
Actual real live lambing
we were lucky enough to see three lambs born on Tuesday, two with intervention from staff and one without any help at all. This was a pretty special experience and something we’ve talked about quite a bit since. ( I even managed to capture one birth on film – the video is at the end of the post if you want to see!)
Variety of outdoor play areas for different ages
The only downside to this is when you have three children and one more suited to a different play area than the other two! Luckily because we had Aunty M and Granny with us we were able to split up a bit.
Indoor play area
This is a relatively new addition to Cannon Hall Farm, it certainly wasn’t there the last time we visited a few years ago. I loved that it meant we had somewhere to sit down and warm up whilst the kids burned off some energy. It’s one of those soft play set ups where it can be quite difficult to see your children and I lost mine for a good few minutes but I’m lucky that they are of an age now where I can trust them to come back to wherever I’m sat if they’ve got a problem and they’re really good at keeping an eye on each other for me.
Raised viewing areas
For both watching lambing and milking the raised platforms were an absolute god send. We were able to get a really clear view of what was going on without having to lift anyone up or get in anyone’s way.
Friendly helpful staff
All the staff we encountered on our trip this week were lovely. They were all happy to chat to the kids about what they were doing, answering questions and even explaining right in the middle of lambing what was going on with a particular ewe who needed some help with giving birth because her lambs were in an awkward position. This meant that the kids had a real understanding of what they were watching and were able to tell Daddy all about it later!
We loved being able to see so many baby animals of different ages, from fresh born that day through to months old. Being able to see the animals being born or feeding with their mummies was a real talking point for us and all three children learned such a lot from seeing things close up
A family ticket for four cost us £26 this week (but is £30 during peak season) and by the time you’ve added parking, fuel, a picnic and hot drinks onto that it’s not a cheap day out but it was absolutely worth every single penny. Next time we go back we’re taking Daddy too!
If you’re looking for farms to visit in the North of England, here are three of our favourites