It’s been years since we last visited Reddish Vale Farm, so long in fact that I was pregnant with Amy. On the basis that it isn’t too far away from home, not too expensive and had cows (a key factor in any farm visit!) we decided to pay a visit this Easter rather than travelling to a much larger but more expensive farm.
With it being the first actually nice day of the Easter holidays, Reddish Vale Farm was understandably busy and we struggled to park onsite, having to drive back up the hill and park on of the nearby residential streets. Luckily we found a spot not too far away and were able to make our way back down to the farm without a problem.
The farm had only been open about half an hour when we arrived and as such there was a bit of queue to get in but this moved reasonably quickly. Of course this fed through into the first part of the farm being pretty crowded too and in hindsight perhaps we should have started in the play area and worked backwards. The farm area was much quieter later in the day meaning there was plenty of room to mooch about and spend time at each animal pen.
Having been before, I knew that Reddish Vale Farm wasn’t very big but I think I’d forgotten just how small it actually is and I quickly worried that we were going to have wasted our money – it cost us somewhere in the region of £32 to get in (including a couple of buckets of carrots to feed the animals) which for a full day out would be great value but in reality turned out to be pretty expensive.
Because it was so busy we found ourselves moving on quite quickly from each animal pen to allow other people a chance to see and feed the animals and as such within an hour we had finished in the farm area itself. I was quite disappointed as seeing the animals at our other favourite farms is the main focus of our day. (Amy has been known to spend 45 minutes just watching the cows being milked at Smithills Farm!)
We made our way out to the new adventure play area – I say “new”, I don’t know how long it has been there but it’s certainly not something I’ve seen before and all the equipment looks pretty new so I wouldn’t think it has been more than a summer or two. The playground equipment was spot on for Amy and Chloe, and whilst I would say it probably lacked the challenge Ben would like, it still kept him occupied for a good while – particularly the zip wire.
We took ourselves off to the Tea Room for a drink and to share a cake before the kids tried out the soft play and bouncy castle – which if I’m honest I thought was an odd choice on their part considering the weather was so lovely but hey, who am I to argue. There was a lengthy queue for the toilets at lunch time which was frustrating – especially as the majority of customers are small children who might not be able to hold it in!
All in we actually managed to spend about 4 hours at Reddish Vale by virtue of the weather – had it been cold or miserable I think we’d have been done within a couple of hours. It was lovely to get out in the fresh air and see some calves but in all honesty I think our children are now too big for Reddish Vale Farm.
Here’s eleven reasons why we think Reddish Vale is great for Under 5s
It’s not huge – there isn’t too much walking for little legs
There’s a nice variety of typical farm animals in easy to see pens
There’s only one or two pens of each type of animal so it doesn’t get boring
The animals are used to being fed and petted
The soft play and bouncy castles are undercover for days when the weather is below par
The majority of the outdoor play area is easily accessible for little children – at 4.5yo Amy could go on everything independently
You can hand feed the animals with buckets of carrots purchased on entry (£1 a bucket)
There’s a small indoor petting area with chicks and rabbits to hold under staff supervision
There’s plenty of places to sit down to enjoy a drink and snack if you’ve brought them with you
The adjoining Tea Room offers a great variety of options for a snack or meal and isn’t too expensive.
Under 2s are free.