We took Elijah to Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom a few weeks ago for his first time at a farm. Despite some apprehension at first because of the current COVID situation, we decided to give it a go anyway and we had a really lovely time!
We were actually so surprised at how big the farm was! Based on the online map and the price paid, we were expecting a small farm where we could just spend an hour there but we were pleasantly surprised! The farm is amazing value for money.
The one big thing that really sold it for us was that you can get close up to the animals and feed them. For just £2 for a tub of feed, you really can’t go wrong! It’s hard to find farms and zoos where you’re not looking at the animals through high fences, metres and metres away or peering over a crowd. So, Hoo Farm really was a hidden gem!
We fed the goats, sheep, deer, llamas, and wallabies. What beautiful animals they are! Elijah couldn’t stop staring at the red deer! He also loved watching the horses run around the paddock, Jen the pig digging around in the mud, and the meerkats bobbing up and down. My personal favourite, as a huge Harry Potter fan, was seeing Specsavers the spectacled owl who starred in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!
All of the animal enclosures were very well maintained and each enclosure had a plaque with the name of each animal, its species, and other educational information. We loved learning about the binturong and the fact that the real meaning of the word binturong is unknown because the local language that used it is extinct. How interesting!
We stopped for a bite to eat and to feed Elijah at the outdoor picnic area. The picnic benches were covered in plastic sheets and were cleaned by staff every time a family had finished eating and left the table. We really couldn’t fault the staff or cleanliness of the farm at all!
After we had something to eat, we looked at the reindeer, reptiles, wolves, and cows. The sensory forest was also a great spot for Elijah! He loved hearing all of the chimes and watching the wind spinners in the trees. If you have older children, there are a lot of animal talks scheduled throughout the day and a big play area to be enjoyed at the end.
It was such a lovely experience as we didn’t feel rushed around the farm at all like you often do at other farms and zoos. Once you have booked your slot, you can stay as long as you like. You’re not restricted to a time limit.
Hoo Farm are also tightly following and implementing government safety measures so be sure to pre-book tickets online and pick an entry time slot. This is so Hoo Farm can limit the number of visitors and ensure everyone is spread out once inside the farm. While we were there other visitors did abide by the two-meter rule, which is great to see. The farm also have a one-way system in place which makes the experience so much better! There are plenty of hand sanitiser points and wash stations dotted all around the farm which is especially needed after feeding each animal.
Overall, I would really recommend a trip to Hoo Farm. For just £10.95 per adult, it’s definitely a must. You won’t be disappointed!