You know that feeling you get?
The anticipation, the excitement, an overwhelming urgency to jump in and have fun that you get when first arriving at a new attraction.
Well that’s exactly how I felt as we pulled up at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park in Cheltenham.
I clambered over the kids in the car and made a sprint towards the entrance gate, got told off by the missus before I had even made it to the finish line and had to go back to the car and help carry bags, coats and stuff (frowning now).
PSSSTTT….During this blog, I will unexpectedly sneak in some fascinating facts just for you…..keep your eyes peeled.
After cruelly being treated like some kind of mule, fully laden with kit and a child hanging from my hind leg, we made it to the entrance.
Stood in the queue to collect our passes, we discussed what we would go on first.
The adventure playground?
Rare breeds trail?
Maize maze…….yes, that’s what I wanted and therefore that’s what the family WILL WANT!
We received our wrist bands, to which I fitted them (accidentally trapping arm hairs within, ouch!) and off we trotted.
First stop…………….(ahem) toilet. Okay, okay, not exciting but definitely useful. At the entrance, a toilet block, hand-wash area and shop all sit awaiting your visit.
Fact 1.) The shop sells animal feed and delicious ice cream #winner
Now, time for the Maize maze.
Honestly, I have never been to one, so without wasting anymore time we followed the signs for “Wonderland” (this years theme for the Maze).
A naturally exuberant character stood at the maze entrance, welcoming adventurers to the puzzling challenge that stood before us.
He introduced himself as “The Mad Hatter” and teased my moody teenage son about, well being moody (don’t worry, George is now 13 and has turned into Kevin off of Kevin and Perry and deserves a bit of grief).
Seriously though this guy was really good, makes you feel welcome and gives great advice like,
“Follow the white rabbit!”
Before entering the maze, you must crawl through a rabbit hole to be transported to the magical Wonderland on the other side, or for the less adventurous, frail or boring adults, just walk around it.
Clues, riddles, questions and obstacles lay before us but this maze was no match for the Lawsons.
We ABSOLUTELY smashed it!
Yes it only took, like an hour, which is actually a really good time ya know considering we got lost twice and had a 5 year old trying to sabotage our mission.
Feeling triumphant, we set off back towards the farm yard action.
Next on the agenda was tractor training. A sheltered area had a winding, country road and three ride on electric tractors ready for young, budding farmer sorts to test their skills.
No ploughing required!
To complete the “Be a farmer” experience, a “real” cow (actually a plastic replica, but don’t tell the kiddies) stood patiently waiting for anyone to come over and milk her.
Fact 2.) The United States produces the most milk in the whole world, a staggering 91.3 billion kilograms of the white stuff, I mean WOW!
Here in the UK we only produce 13.9 billion kilograms.
So, having driven a tractor, milked a cow, got lost in a maze and been to toilet, what was left for us to do?
Next up, was the Animal barn.
This is where Eliza and all the other kids could fuss over cute little animals, cuddle them and then continually ask if they could have one.
Adam if your reading this, I think that selling animals could be a real coup for you. Imagine going home with a cow, a goat, three rabbits and a chickling.
That would be a entertaining ride home wouldn’t it?
Hold, on, I’m obviously joking! Kids aren’t responsible enough to look after themselves, let alone a herd of pets.
We scurried about inside the barn, cooing over the cute rabbits, wrestling Eliza away from the chicklings (this is Elizas name for a chick or duckling) and trying to prize the whole family away from the squeaky, gorgeous guinea pigs.
Fact 3.) The Cotswold Hills are named after the Roman Longwool breed of sheep, a Cote is a sheep enclosure and a Wold is a rolling hill.
We loved the sheep and goats here, you’ll find them dotted around the rare breed trail.
They have such great characters and are always hungry for the pellet food you can buy in the shop for just 60p per bag (correct when we visited). It’s hilarious holding your hand out to fed the animals, they gently use their lips to grab the pellets and before you can blink they’re all gone!
They eat quicker than me!!
Do you remember bouncing on your Mum and Dads bed like a mad kangaroo? Just as it got really fun, you’d hear that terrifying sound,
“GET OFF OUR BLOODY BED!!!” getting told off for having fun?
Adams farm have a gigantic inflatable pillow thing that is just like a huge Mum and Dad matress and kids are actually encouraged to jump.
Yes, jump, jump, jump like a little Mexican bean!
You won’t catch me saying this at home, mind.
Then we went on to do all of this……
Finally, before departing, we queued up for the Farm Safari. We were really early and proudly walked towards the safari entrance fully expecting to get straight on to the ride.
The queue was massive! Make sure you get to this one early.
You get to sit in a customised trailer with seats that’s pulled along by a tractor. Along the safari, the driver talks you through what’s at the park and lots of great information.
Anyway enough of me and my chat, time for Days Out Now’s rating of Cotswolds Farm Park.