Being the middle of February, finding days out suitable for young children is difficult. Many places are closed due to being off-peak and the places that are open very rarely cater for babies (or if they do, it’s limited). That’s when a friend suggested Tweddle Farm, a local farm in Blackhall Colliery, Co Durham. She had been plenty of times before and was a huge fan. I can definitely see why!
We attended Tweddle Farm as a party of 3 adults and 3 children (aged 8 months, 2 and 5 years old). On arrival we were given a leaflet with the times for events happening on the Farm that day – which included bottle feeding calves and lambs, meeting smaller animals in the petting room, and the barrel and tractor rides. The leaflet showed that they repeated the events twice through the day which is very useful if you miss one. We were also offered the chance to buy animal feed at just 50p a bag which was extremely reasonable.
One of the first places we visited was the Baby Barn. The Baby Barn is a large outbuilding that houses a selection of baby animals (it depends on the time of year to just how young these animals are). The children loved feeding the various animals which included sheep, goats and a calf.
There were also rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens to see too.
Whilst looking into the boxes attached to the chicken cages, we were surprised to find a chicken looking back at us, along with an egg. These eggs are available to buy in the gift shop!
The Baby Barn is also where the bottle feeding takes place. Although we didn’t get around to feeding the lambs, we did get a chance to feed the calf. The feeding was led by one of the young employees who invited the children to come up and feed the calf. One thing that really stood out is just how interactive the worker was with the crowd. He encouraged every child to have a go and if any were unsure, he offered to help. We weren’t sure whether our 8 month old was too young but he invited him over and helped him.
Another outbuilding that you can visit at Tweddle Farm is their Rabbit Barn. Within the Rabbit Barn there are several rabbit areas housing a variety of rabbits of different ages. We were lucky enough to see a newborn rabbit – no more than a few days old!
Twice a day there are petting sessions which allows the children to meet and hold a rabbit. As before, the employee made sure that each child had a fair amount of time and was really good as reassuring the children that were a little unsure.
Within the Rabbit Barn, there are also some beautiful exotic birds to look at.
The final part of the Rabbit Barn is the huge indoor play area. The area is more suited to older children so unfortunately we weren’t able to utilise it but we did go in for a quick look and it looked like so much fun.
Within the indoor play area, there was a huge frame to play on with several tube slides. Parents and guardians can seat themselves on the table and chairs which look down on the play area.
Next to this was a dead man’s drop slide which was enough to send anybody’s stomach into their mouth! There was also a Go Kart track for the children to enjoy.
The best part of all this is that the area is included in your ticket price!
Due to time, we did not spend as long in the outdoor area as we would have liked but we did see there was plenty to do.
The Tweddle Farm grounds are vast and there are many fields to visit.
If you are unable to walk or the weather isn’t suited then you can always pop on the tractor which ran once a day in the week we visited. The tractor ride took around 15 minutes and took us down to the bottom end of the farm and back again. During this time, we were able to look at the animals in the comfort of the tractor trailer which was covered over for winter (I am told that this is removed for warmer weather).
Another key feature of the outdoor area is the play area. The outdoor play area is superb for all ages with its swings, slides and even an indoor sandpit! The children can also play on the mini tractors which is an entertaining way for children to get into their farmer characters.
In addition to the indoor Go Kart track, there is also an outdoor track with peddle Go Karts. This was by far our favourite part of the whole day!
Other Activities at Tweddle Farm
As if the above wasn’t enough, there were plenty of other things to do too.
Inside the indoor picnic area, there was a small soft play area for ages 5 and under. We enjoyed playing here. Although the downside was that the soft play equipment was a little dirty and the climbing frame was freezing! Either way, the children loved playing on it and they had to be dragged away as they were showing no signs of wanting to leave!
Next to the soft play was a small track full of bikes for the children to have their ‘Tweddle Races’.
For older children, you could treat them to a barrel ride at just £1 a go.
Or play Crazy Golf with a small charge for equipment which is bought in the gift shop.
There are also lots of photo opportunities which is always a plus on family days out!
Where to eat
There are several places to eat that are dotted all around Tweddle Farm. If the weather is nice then the perfect place to eat your picnic is outside on one of the many picnic tables. If you’re unfortunate to have weather that isn’t so great then you’ll be relieved to know that there is an indoor picnic area (this is also where you can host birthday parties). Within the indoor picnic area there is a microwave which is a fantastic idea!
You’ll also find indoor picnic tables in the Rabbit Barn’s play area which overlooks the equipment.
If you decide not to bring a packed lunch then you can always go to the quaint little Tea Room which serves a selection a hot drinks and food. High chairs are available for babies.
Toilet and changing facilities
The toilet and changing facilities can be found in an outbuilding not far from the Rabbit Barn. As expected, both the toilets and disabled/baby changing facilities are basic but clean, and have clean, hot running water. They are easy to access and large enough for several on busy days.
It is very important that you wash your hands and there are signs clearly displayed to remind you. Around the farm are outdoor sinks with hot running water (allow the tap to run a short while to allow it to warm up) and soap, so there really is no excuse.
One of the things I found difficult about the visit is navigating my way around. I was never sure whether I’d missed something out and didn’t feel that things were well signposted. However, they do have a Farm Tour Page that gives you an idea of things to see. But, it would be handy if this was on the leaflet given at the beginning of the visit.
Opening Times (*correct at time of publishing)
Open 7 days a week
March to October – 10am until 5pm
February – 10am until 4pm
Prices (*correct at time of publishing)
Adults – £6.50
Children 2 to 16 – £5.50
Family Ticket (2+2 or 1+3) – £22.00
Over 60’s / Concessions – £5.50
Season Ticket – Adult – £26.50
Season Ticket – Child / Concession – £21.50
Children Under 2 Years – FREE
You can find them at:
Final Thoughts & Giveaway
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Tweddle Farm and loved the hands on approach that the farm takes. I was pleasantly surprised at the vast amount of activities to do for all ages and not to mention the friendliness of the staff. It’ll make you want to come back time and time again!
I’m excited to tell you that Tweddle Farm has given one family ticket (entry for 4 people) to giveaway to one lucky winner on the blog! All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter below. If you don’t know what Rafflecopter is then Rafflecopter is an online tool which allows the entrant to decide their method of entrant from a multiple of choices – see below. Remember all methods are optional but the more you complete the more chances of winning!
*All information, including times and prices, were correct at the time if publication. We are not responsible for any changes.
**Disclaimer: Tweddle Farm kindly gifted the family ticket to offer to one of our readers. The review was written before contact was made with Tweddle Farm and my experience is based on two visits paid for by me. All words and opinions are my own.
Terms & Conditions
Prize = a Tweddle Farm family ticket for 4 people
Ends: 11:59pm 28th February
All entries are checked and any not completed fully will be disqualified.
One winner will be chosen and announced on this page.
Then I Became Mum is not responsible for the delivery of the prize.
The prize will be supplied by Tweddle Farm.
By entering the giveaway you are consenting to your email being passed to Tweddle Farm for the purpose of organising your prize.