Monday, 9 April 2018

Places To Go: Foxburrows Farm Zoo, Hainault Country Park

I'm always on the hunt for cheap or free places to take my fifteen month old, she's at an age where she would have equal levels of enthusiasm for the local park as a theme park so new places to entertain her that don't cost much-so I'm not full of resentment about my lightened wallet as soon as I'm through the gate- are the name of the game! I put an appeal out on Instagram and you lovely lot gave me lots of ideas. First up, on a bright spring morning we tried Foxburrows Farm Zoo at Hainault Country Park. It took about fifteen minutes from home and we arrived at just after 10am. 

You can park right at the entrance to the farm/zoo (I'm still not sure what to call it!), once inside the park. It cost £1 for an hour of £3.50 for the day and has to be done on Ringo, which if you haven't had the pleasure relies on you having a charged phone and a bank card to hand. If there's one thing I'd like to put in room 101 it's this system. I digress but HONESTLY, what was wrong with rooting around in the footwell for a pound coin in exchange for a paper ticket? 

We'll move on shall we? The gate is unmanned, in fact I saw the sum total of one member of staff the whole time we were there (she was relocating a chicken), so you're free to come and go, say if you've travelled light and left everything the baby needs in the car. 

As you enter you're greeted with birds, there was very little signage so we had to make a few guesses but can quite confidently say that we saw peacocks, budgies and a few others (glazing over the fact that we weren't sure)...followed by rabbits,  guinea pigs, then lambs, meerkats a pig and an enormous horse. The horse was super chilled and came over to be "stroked" by the toddler, he didn't seem to mind at all. Moving on, the signage seemed to improve because we saw some sheep, and a "badger face goat", followed by miniature horses and a couple of alpacas. 

It's all out in the open so it's not a rainy day activity (unless getting wet is your thing), but the paths are all gravel so it's fine to walk around in dry weather, even if it's been raining all night, you won't get your brand new trainers dirty. I know! 

We just popped to the farm but it lies within acres of Hainault Forest Country Park, perfect for long walks or picnics, there were signs advertising a boating lake and a small cafe with people enjoying a morning cuppa. I hope you find this useful and I'd love to hear of other budget friendly places to check out with my brood! 

Location: Hainault Forest Country Park
Duration: We took a fifteen month old and it took us about an hour to get around and look at all of the animals 
Cost: The farm was free but parking cost £1.12 for an hour or £3.50 for the full day.


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