I’ve been meaning to share this little gem for quite a while now. It’s one of those special finds that is so tempting to keep to yourself… but of course you really can’t! Have you heard of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire? Well, Hatfield Park Farm is part of the estate. Unassumingly tucked to the side, the farm makes a lovely escape for the little ones from the main house attraction. And in our opinion, is a very good stand-alone half day out in its own right. Here’s what we got up to on our last visit.
Places like Hatfield Park Farm are perfect for sunny summer days. So when we got the chance, we took a 40 minute drive from London up to Hertfordshire to meet up with one of Little Buttons friends for a day of adventuring at the farm. We always aim to arrive early as the onsite (free) car park does get busy. We’ve always been able to get a space, but it’s much nicer to negotiate parking when you don’t have a big que behind you.
If you face towards the walk way, you will see the farm entrance immediately to your right. And if you head to the left, you’ll find the courtyard with decent toilets, a fab restaurant, ice cream stand and a handful of boutique shops to explore.
The entrance to the farm is via a small ticket office. Tickets are very reasonably priced at £5 per adult and £2.30 for children (under 3’s are free), these include the entrance to the farm, bloody Hollow (a fab outdoor children’s play area) and unlimited tractor rides. You can buy bags of animal feed for a small fee, which we always do. Feed is limited so as not to over feed the farm animals. There’s always plenty in the morning, but late afternoon you may find it sold out. Which we think is fair enough. The ticket price does not include the miniature train ride which is an extra £2 per person.
Once inside you’ll see that Hatfield Park Farm is simple and honest. Huge grass walkways between the large animal enclosures mean that little ones can safely let loose and dash from one place to the next, without you losing sight of them.
Little Button and her pal criss crossed all over the place. Shaking their feed at the goats who obliged by running over and bleating at them. We love the different breeds of goats as they are all so lovely and friendly. If a bit cheeky, trying to grab your attention by standing with their hooves up on the fence, eager for lots of fuss.
There is plenty to see, and the large area will keep younger visitors thoroughly entertained.
As always the little ones finally made a beeline to the sandpit digger area. Each bagging a digger and content to sit shifting sand from one place to the next. It’s not really big enough to warrant bringing the good old bucket and spade. But nonetheless, a welcome pit stop before lunch.
*I didn’t take any photos at the diggers! Ekk!!! So this one is from a few years back so you get the idea of what it’s like.
With hungry daddies in tow, we all headed out of the farm (you can come and go as you please for the day) and over towards the courtyard restaurant and ice cream stand. There is limited seating in the courtyard, but if you time it right, it’s a lovely place to sit if you bring your own picnic or just fancy ducking out of the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. Though, having said that, back in the farm itself there is a lovely picnic area if you fancy staying in there to eat.
After lunch we took a bumpy ride tractor ride around the farm, and Little Buttons pal did the miniature train ride which was a big hit. We’ll definitely be trying that next time.
They both ended up racing round again to look at all the animals, using up the remains of the animal feed they were still hanging onto. Then we headed out to the bloody hollow for a bit of a play before home time.
Nowadays, the bloody hollow children’s play area is perfect for Little Button. At 5 years old, she can do most things. It’s pretty adventurous, and with a steep hill down, it won’t be for everyone. But parent’s do fit, trust me, so there’s nothing stopping the grown ups from joining in the fun and making sure younger children are OK on the harder bits.
It’s pretty epic as playgrounds go, and makes for a fab place to use up that last bit of energy before home time.
We love Hatfield Park Farm. As I’ve said before it’s simple and honest and we like that. You won’t see any noisy rides or amusements with their glaring lights. Just the animals, in large spaces enjoying the company of the farm guests on their own terms. Exactly how things should be.
Do you like going to the farm and what is your little one’s favourite animal to see there? Little Button was smitten by the goats!