Can’t decide what to do with the kids? Linda McKeown takes a trip to West Lodge Farm Park with her one-year old daughter to find out what’s on offer
One of the first things on my mind when I wake up is, “where should I take Ruby today?” My two eldest children go to school while Ruby stays at home with me.
It’s sometimes hard to think of exciting places to go that will amuse Ruby. On one particular day I wanted to take her somewhere where she could get some fresh air and be entertained.
So we ventured out to West Lodge Farm Park in Desborough which boasts a variety of attractions such as piglet racing, lamb bottle feeding sessions and pony grooming.
It also has a Cuddle Corner where you can meet fluffy animals such as rabbits (look out for Mickey and Minnie), chicks and guinea pigs.
We arrived at the farm at 10am and bought some bags of food for the animals as well as picking up an itinerary of activities taking place during the day.
Admission is free for under twos so I only had to pay for myself. Saving pennies is always a good start to the day!
Cuddle Corner was due to kick off at 10.30am so we headed to the outdoor play area first, which has swings, slides, a see-saw and sand pit. The ‘Welly Watch’ notice at the entrance to the farm said it was going to be dry, but if it’s a bit wet and windy, they also have an indoor play area.
After having a go on the swings and sitting on the real (but now defunct) tractor in the play area, we headed off to the Cuddle Corner where we met a big fluffy rabbit and two cute guinea pigs.
Ruby plucked up the courage to stroke them all despite being a little wary at first.
Opposite the Cuddle Corner is a little section dedicated to chicks and hens. Little blackboards above the pens tell you exactly when they were born, with one little fella being just ten days old – it was very small and oh-so-cute.
Next on the list was a visit to the pigs. It was a quick visit as they’re very smelly but they are certainly worth a look! And wow – you won’t believe how big they are. One actually weighs 70 stone!
At 11am (prompt!) it was time to meet the baby goats in the Display Barn and on our way we met the resident peacock, looking regal.
We were lucky enough to meet another royal in the Display Barn. Kate – twin sister to Wills the goat, was born around the time of the Royal wedding of Wills and Kate!
I was worried Ruby might find meeting Kate a little daunting but there was no need as she loved stroking her fur and watching her eating her breakfast ‘cereal’.
The member of staff in charge was great in telling us all about the twin goats and the experience is another lovely way to get up close and personal with the animals on the farm.
Despite having a dry start to the day, it began to rain a little so we visited some of the resident hens and ducks (including the very vocal Ababcot Ranger ducks) before heading to the onsite restaurant – which sells home cooked meals, snacks, tea and cakes – to have some lunch.
Alternatively, you can bring your own picnic instead (another way to save pennies) as there are plenty of dedicated picnic spots.
After lunch we headed back outside with the aim of going on the free barrel ride which runs around the play area every hour.
However, by this point the rain was pouring down and Ruby was getting tired from all the fun. So, we decided to leave for home for a much needed rest – but I’m already planning another visit!
More about West Lodge Farm Park
You can easily spend the whole day here. There are nature trails around the farm that take you through woods and meadows – and even to the Witch’s House (if you dare).
And look out for special events that take place throughout the year.
Open seven days a week – 10am-5pm (although earlier closing times during winter months)
Peak (weekends, school holidays, special events)
Adult £5.95, Child £4.95, OAP £5.45, Under 2s Free, Family (2 adults/2 children) £20
Adult £4.70, Child £3.70, OAP £4.20, Under 2s Free, Family (2 adults/2 children) £15
How to get there
The farm is one mile from the A6, five minutes from the A14 and 20 minutes from the A1 and M1.
When petting the animals around the farm it’s important to remember to wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser and there are plenty of antibacterial dispensers dotted around the farm.