‘Arrive as Guests, Leave as Friends’
This is the motto of North Bradbury Farm owners Chris and Tracey Wilson and it immediately demonstrates how dedicated they are to their guests. From the moment you drive through their gates, you feel like a part of their family. Nothing is too much trouble, they always greet you with a smile, and most importantly they are there to make lifelong memories with you. We made so many, let me share them with you!
Every day is a learning day where new experiences become wonderful memories
We were invited to North Bradbury Farm by Chris and Tracey through Baby Friendly Boltholes to review their Farm Stay through the eyes of a toddler. I honestly thought that we would be staying in a cottage, on a farm with animals around. Technically this was exactly what it was, however, this farm stay is so much more than just that.
Staying at North Bradbury Farm doesn’t just mean you will be staying on a farm, it allows you and your children to immerse yourselves in farm life. Of course you can do as much or as little of this as you like but personally, we were on the farm for four days and we didn’t leave. The girls were having a ball. With Tracey’s background as a nursery nurse, and both her and Chris owning their own nursery prior to the farm, they know exactly how to engage and inspire little people. The twins thought they were both wonderful.
The Popitha Twins arrive at North Bradbury Farm
The Twins are now two and a half and you could see the sheer excitement on their faces when we told them we were staying on a farm. Having arrived late afternoon, we had a tour of our accommodation, which on first impressions was very comfortable and inviting and straight away we spotted the stairgate, two cots and booster seats and potties (they were ready for the twin invasion!). After gobbling down a quick supper, the girls were super keen to get out on the farm to help Farmer Chris with his evening feeding rounds. Farmer Chris welcomes all of his guests to join in with the two feeding times of the day which are at 9am and 6pm. We didn’t miss one – the twin’s confidence grew and grew and were soon telling everyone what to do including the animals!
How involved can you really be with the animal feeding?
What I loved about the animal feeding approach of Farmer Chris and Tracey was that it was real farm life. There were no rules saying stand here and throw the feed at the animals, or watching Chris and Tracey do all the work, the children joined in everything, and I mean everything, and for me, this is a massive selling point. Don’t get me wrong, the children’s safety was at the forefront, but so was experiences.
Farmer Chris and Tracey try to stick to a similar routine for each family every day. This is so that the children get used to what they are doing and what may seem daunting to them at the beginning of the week, they are jumping in head first by the end.
Each feed run takes about an hour to complete, so let see what we did!
The twins started by making up the feeds for all of the animals.
First stop, the chickens – Feeding them and collecting eggs.
Then they had to check on the chicks to make sure they had food and water.
Ducklings, they needed food, water and a cuddle too! We were lucky enough to be visiting when they were being moved to their new outdoor space.
Over to the pigs who needed a feed, a rub and their wallow filling up.
Let’s not forget a little wallow testing ourselves – Farmer Chris’ favourite job!
Time to check on those naughty lambs and see if one is still small enough to catch and cuddle.
And then on to the ducks – all the ducks need food and fresh water and then the children’s highlight of the day going over to duck island to collect the duck eggs – a great photo opportunity!
Last but not least, the ponies and the geese!
The ponies love attention and treats. Meggie and Echo are always hopeful they are going to be caught and ready to go on a pony ride. Then the geese just need to be counted.
We also joined in with some of the extra activities that Farmer Chris and Tracey offer. Some come with a small extra charge but it is completely worth it.
The Pony rides
I was surprised at how they both took to this. This is a great experience which can be tailored to your child’s age. The children start by bringing in the ponies from the field.
Then give them a groom before they help tack up.
Riding the ponies is such a treat – This can either be a few laps around the field or a one hour hack up to the woods and back – we opted for the field on this occasion as it was their first time but in hindsight, they could have easily have coped with the longer ride.
And finished off with untacking, filling up haynets and putting the ponies back in the stable and the girls weren’t cutting any corners. They were in this for the real thing.
Another highlight was the tractor ride – who knew it would provide so much fun. Their little faces said it all!
Other Facilities for Children at North Bradbury Farm
The Wilderness Area
This area was a favourite for my mud loving girls! A mud kitchen perfect for making mud cakes and getting really messy.
A fabulous shelter which has a campfire area for cooking sausages and toasting marshmallows – we weren’t quite brave enough to light it this time!
There are also lots of places to make camps and build dens.
And a stream for splashing, paddling, damming and collecting water, plus plenty of trees for them to climb when older!
Outdoor Adventure Area
With a large wooden climbing frame that has a sky deck, helter skelter slide, fireman’s pole, climbing wall and a sand pit. A stream for more water play with a bridge over to the island!
Zip wire, rope ladder, treehouse, aerial walkway, tunnel slide. Log balancing beams and steps. Tyre swing and a picnic area. It will wear even the bigger children out!
The Farm Yard Toddler Play Area
There are lots of ride on toys in this play area. The girls loved being just like Farmer Chris on the tractors!
There is also a trampoline, playhouse, play farm with slide, sandpit, swing and a children’s play shop, another favourite with the girls. This area is fenced and has bark chippings for safety and to keep it clean and dry.
Animal, Scavenger and Bug Hunts
Tracey has set up a few child friendly hunts around the farm to encourage more exploring, so borrow a backpack and get ready to earn a badge!
Whether you manage to lie on a sunbed or take a leisurely splash with the children, it is perfect heat for everyone to enjoy including me! (I shouldn’t say this too loud as Farmer Chris may hear and Tracey will get told to turn the heat down!)
The pool is stocked full of toys and inflatables; it will keep the children having a lot of fun.
For The Adults
North Bradbury Farm offers parents a few luxuries of their own. After all, why should the children have all the fun!
Clay Pigeon Shooting
A chance to get the real guns out!
Now we are talking! Book a massage at the cottage with the local beautician and once the children are asleep, enjoy a little you time.
The Farm Shop
Stocked full of delicious home produced meats which are perfect for an evening BBQ – believe me, we tried some! They also sell homemade take aways so you don’t have to cook, you are on holiday after all!
Why not have a romantic evening out down the local pub and call on the farms trusted babysitters.
The Holiday Cottages
From a toddler and child perspective, these cottages have it all and are 100% child friendly and safe. There are enough cots for 4 babies and all the accessories you can think of. You literally just need to bring your wellies and clothes! From baby baths, bouncers, potties, toilet toddler seats to highchairs and booster seats, plastic farmyard crockery, back packs, muddy buggies (for use on the farm), night lights, baby blenders, sterilisers, if you need something, just ask!
To the girls delight, each cottage also comes with several boxes of age appropriate toys and activities. Construction bricks, a farm, puppets, puzzles, simple games, crafts, the list goes on. A really special touch is that Tracey has put a farm story book in both of the cottages for parents to read their children at bedtime.
The barn has been divided into two self catering units:
The Cider Barn
This accommodation comprises of one double bedroom with room for a cot or single z-bed, bathroom which has a bath with shower over, and separate toilet downstairs. The sitting room has a leather bed settee which makes the self catering cottage suitable for 4 guests including children.
This accommodation comprises of two bedrooms, one double bedroom with room for a cot or single z-bed and one twin room also with two single beds , that can be converted into bunk beds and room for a cot, and bathroom downstairs. In the sitting room one of the leather settees is a bed settee which makes the self catering cottage suitable for 6 guests including children.
The connection door upstairs means that both cottages can be let as one for larger groups of up to 10 guests. Both cottages are fully equipped with comprehensive kitchens including dishwashers and microwaves, bed linen, tea towels and bath towels, Flat screened digital Freeview TV’s and DVD player, WIFI, music systems including a radio and CD player and have a selection of books and games.
So Where is this Little Diamond of a Place?
Situated in the North of Devon between the traditional market town of South Molton, ‘The gateway to Exmoor’ and the pretty village of Chittlehampton, North Bradbury Farm is located in the middle of beautiful countryside with stunning South facing views. It has easy access to award winning beaches, Exmoor and many attractions should you want a few days out.
Why Would Popitha Recommend North Bradbury Farm to Other Families?
- Perfect for children of all ages – something for everyone young and old
- Hands on experiences, making memories that will last forever
- Friendly and accommodating owners who engage and inspire young people to learn about farm life
- Comfortable cottages kitted out for all your baby and toddlers needs – there really is no need to bring the kitchen sink!
- A well stocked farm shop selling all of their own meat and eggs plus merchandise for the children – The girls loved their hoodies!
- Families return again and again – some are on their 12th visit!
- Easy access just off the North Devon link road but still in the beautiful countryside.
- Great attractions, Exmoor and beaches to choose from nearby.
- Open from March – November
- Swimming Pool opens from Easter
- For a week at North Bradbury Farm, prices start from…
- The Cider Barn £700
- The Stables £980
Checkout their website for full pricing including weekend and short breaks that have been extended until the end of June.
Right….it is now time that you started making memories at North Bradbury Farm – You won’t regret it!
To BOOK A STAY at North Bradbury Farm, please CLICK HERE
If you are a TAMBA member, Farmer Chris and Tracey would like to offer you a 10 % discount on your first stay.
Also, do give us a follow on Facebook to keep up to date with The Popitha Twins.
** We were invited to stay at the farm in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are Popitha’s.