Saturday, 27 September 2014

A Day Out at Mead Open Farm, Review

A couple of weeks back, to round off the school Summer holiday, we drove down to Billington, Bedfordshire (just outside Leighton Buzzard) with our 'terrors' to visit Mead Open Farm. The farm is open all year round from 10am up until 6.30pm and has recently added some fantastic new attractions to it's inventory which our two were eager to check out. Entry to the farm costs £10.75 for adults, £9.75 for children aged 2-16 and is free for under 2's (during peak times); you can pay at the gate but there is also the option to purchase discounted tickets online saving you a little money on the entry fee.

As we neared Mead Open Farm by car we found plenty of signage, letting us know we were heading the right way and making the farm itself easy to find. There was a very large sign at the entrance to the farm, something which a few similar venues we've visited have missed. Upon entering Mead Open Farm we could see teasers of the brand new adventure playground. The kids were incredibly excited and couldn't wait to get inside and have a play. We made our way down to the car park where there was plenty of space to park and the entrance to the farm was made clear and easy to find.

When we entered the farm we were greeted with a warm welcome from the staff and offered food to feed to the animals and an information booklet about the activities taking place while we were visiting. On entering the farm, I found it really well set out; there was enough space for everyone to get around without there being a long walk between attractions.

We found lots of animals around the farm; everything from your expected farmyard friends, horses, cows, goats, pigs and sheep and then to bunnies and hamsters and some more unusual ones that took the forms of reindeer and alpacas. The kids loved seeing all the different animals, especially the reindeer as they're not an animal any of us had really seen before.

My two were also very much in love with a small walkway that led around one of the barns. It was only a little area with a tiny stream and bunnies and birds roaming free. It was really lovely and something that could be extended into an even bigger attraction - my two definitely thought it was something special and insisted on going back to walk through it for a second time.

There are lots of animal activities going on throughout the day that are great to pop along to and wonderful fun for the kids; pony grooming, bottle feeding the lambs, the bunny hop and goat agility were all taking place while we were visiting and continue to do so throughout the year (weather permitting).

As well as all of the animals there were plenty of places for the kids to play, and they all offered something different. There was a wonderful maize maze, tractors to play and have photos taken on and go kart racing. For the slightly older kids there was also a climbing wall and an adrenaline filled sky trail.

We found ourselves in Digger Village first, where our two 'terrors' enjoyed using the manual diggers to move the sand around. They soon got stuck in doing plenty of digging and playing on the larger, wooden JCB diggers. It was a lovely large area with plenty of seating around for Parents to have a break while the little ones played. In fact, that went for the entire site. There was always somewhere to sit down for a bit, whether you were a parent having a rest while the kids entertained themselves or if you were one the kids needing to rest their legs for a little bit.

The soft play area, known as Shaggy's PlayWorld, was a wonderful area too, and the 'Mini Moos' section for the under 5's is a fantastic and reasonably new addition to the Farm. It was a big hit with our two as there was just so much to see and do!! For the younger ones, in Mini Moos, there was a smaller play area with a ball pit, slide and plenty of climbing and playing to be done. There was also a separate area for the younger ones with a mini village and play cars. As with the rest of the site, there was loads of seating around the soft play areas and a cafe, making it the perfect place to have a drink, a slice of cake and a break. There was also plenty of space within Shaggy's PlayWorld for the older kids to run around. Along with a large soft play area there were some daring, 65ft slides and a rather terrifying drop slide that all the bigger kids seemed to having a brilliant time on!

Mead Open Farm also recently introduced it's stunning new Adventure Play Area which my two spent a lot of time at and really loved. Divided into three areas it met the needs of children of all ages. There was an area for the little ones, a large tower and area with tunnel slides for the older ones and a lovely area with an 'assault course' for the ones inbetween, a group that often get forgotten in playgrounds. It was fantastic, well cared for and looked like an awful lot of fun.

We took a picnic with us to Mead Open Farm and, when lunchtime came around, we definitely weren't short of places we could stop to eat it. There were picnic benches dotted across the whole site but, as the weather had gotten a little windy, we made our way to the indoor picnic area. It was a large, well maintained area and was wonderful that there was a place to sit for lunch when the weather wasn't co-operating.

The facilities across the site were also superb! There was LOTS of seating and plenty of places to find something to eat if you hadn't brought some with you. There were also lots of toilets, a real positive point when you have little ones...especially ones that may not have been toilet trained for very long! There were two toilet blocks within the main site which were both clean and cared for, but we also spotted a handful of portable toilets around the activities that were on the outskirts of the farm, meaning that it was never far to run when a little one inevitably declared that they "need the toilet that minute."

After we had made our way around the farm and enjoyed each of the activities we made our way towards the exit, which was through the Gift Shop. I was pleasantly surprised to find there were lots of small knick-knacks and toys that were very reasonably priced, especially when compared to similar venues we've visited.

Overall, we all had a fantastic time at Mead Open Farm. There was lots for the children to do and the site itself was laid out really well. It wasn't too large to walk around and there were always benches and toilet and handwashing facilities nearby. The animals seemed well cared for and there was a good variety of them and the play areas were wonderful, all bringing something different for the children to engage with. The entire site appeared very clean and cared for and there was a good flow as you walked around; we were able to alternate between seeing the animals and stopping at the play areas easily. There was lots of offer and plenty for all ages of kids, including the 'inbetween' ones that are often a fraction too big for the little kids play areas but still just too small for the older kids activities. At £41 I felt it was good value for money and offered much more than similar local venues for the price. There was a lot to do and it was a day we all enjoyed and will remember for quite some time to come.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Disclaimer : We were sent a complimentary family ticket to access Mead Open Farm. As usual, all words, opinions and images are my own.


  1. Wow, what a lot to do! The play areas look fantastic and lots of animals to see always how down well! Sounds like a fantastic family day out x #CountryKids

  2. What a fabulous day. If you'd like to send us any of your reviews (old or new) please do as we host day trip and holiday reviews. #countrykids Karen of

  3. Sorry I'm having trouble with auto fill in this morning! We have a place like this near us but this looks loads better, what a fantastic playground too. #countrykids

  4. this looks a lovely day out. and your photos are great at showing the kids having fun. #countrykids

  5. Whenever I see something for Mead open farm I am impressed by it, it always looks well run with the animals best interests at heart. Looks like a lovely day out and as you say good value for all they have on offer. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids

  6. We go the Mead Open Farm often and the facilities are definitely improving. Looks like you had a fabulous day out.

  7. This farm looks lovely, especially the adventure playground. Farms are some of my fondest memories from childhood and I always love taking the children to farms when we can x