Where else can you try out a quad bike and turn somersaults on a bungee trampoline all for the normal entry price of £9.50. Here at Thurleigh Farm we like to think that we can provide some fun for everyone, be it riding on our tractor trailer ride up to the woods, cuddling a bunny or running wild in our indoor play barn, whooshing down the wavy slide or submerged in the ball pond.
Our philosophy is about parents interacting with their children so there is no excuse for parents not to have a go too. In fact it is often the dad’s who talk their children into taking a ride in our real red Dennis fire engine! During the weekends and holidays we run a timed schedule of all our various activities, usually commencing around 10.45 a.m. and running until 4.30 p.m., sometimes longer. All the activities are repeated at least once again during the day time – hence pony rides may operate at 12.30 p.m. and again at 3.30 p.m. The precise timings are subject to change depending upon what else we have on that day. If you can’t join us in the morning why not pop across after lunch? That said leave yourself plenty of time to do everything as our average visitor time is at least 4 hours.
Weekdays term time, (when the mini quads, bungee trampolines, etc. do not operate) visitors can still enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas, the ball ponds and sand pits plus all the pedal tractors which our younger visitors enjoy driving around the model village. There is climbing equipment, swings and slides plus a football pitch and pedal kart track for the older children. Why not turn your hand to a round of Crazy Golf? Let’s not forget the animals too. There are bunnies to see, plenty of piglets, goats, ponies and llamas. Come and say hi to Boomerang our newest acquisition a beautiful Dartmoor Pony. During March-May you may be called upon to assist us with helping to bottle feed the lambs. On busier days we will also put on tractor trailer rides. To make your visit more attractive we also offer an early bird entrance rate if you arrive before 11 a.m. check out details under tickets & prices.
Our Cafe boasts delicious home-cooked food, be it simply a drink and snack or a fuller meal, we hope to be able to tempt you! If not lunch then how about an early tea before you and the children travel home?
Still not answered your question, then contact us on 01234 771597.
Indoor Play Area
Our indoor play area comprises a three lane wavy astral slide, ball ponds suspended walk ways and a curly snake slide. At least that is how we the grown-ups see it! To our younger visitors however it is a place to let the imagination run wild. As far as children are concerned it is an adventure zone, a place to re-enact scenes from Star Wars, play chase or hide and seek – the equipment is secondary to their imaginations. There is a separate smaller toddler area, plus a sandpit which is incredibly popular. The indoor play area comes into its own during the winter months and on wet days. At times when the sun comes out to play it is blissfully quiet!
Outdoor Play Equipment
Outside we have play houses to explore, climbing equipment, an assault course, death glide, swings and slides plus plenty of pedal tractors which the youngsters spend hours riding around the model village on. Again imagination really can run wild as they load plastic logs onto a trailer and pedal away or else hitch up the roller or the milk tanker. An outdoor sandpit remains a central focus with many contented youngsters digging away for hours on end.
We have a number of animals for you to see ranging from rabbits and guinea pigs to our growing herd of llamas. Watch our mischievous pygmy goats frolic on their goat hill or wander over to where JJ our Saanen goat and moody Margaret the Nubian goat are housed. We have two micro Oldspot pigs – John and Edward, plus a micro Kunene Kunene pig - Polly. There are several piglets who are adorable and keep many of our visitors entertained. We have several wild fowl on our ditch ranging from ducks to geese to swans. Our sheep share a paddock with our ponies. Finally venture up to our woods and check out our two reindeer. From March to May we bottle feed lambs. These arrive on loan to us from neighbouring farms where the mothers may have had triplets and are therefore unable to feed all their babies – female sheep only have two teats.
At weekends and during the holiday period we run a schedule of bunny cuddling and also twice daily animal feeding sessions. Join one of our team as they wander around the farm introducing you to the animals and letting you help feed them. Watch out the llamas tend to hoover the food from you while the licky tongues of the goats tend to tickle!
Tractor Trailer Rides
Tractor trailer rides are an extremely popular part of visiting Thurleigh Farm. Weekends and holidays several rides are scheduled throughout the day. At other times, they are dependent on visitor numbers and whether the tractor is being used elsewhere on the farm. The Tractor normally takes you on a short tour towards the woods and back again. If you feel like stopping and exploring the woods, just mention it to the driver who will stop and let you off. It is only a 10 minute short walk back to the centre. Why not head to the cafe for a well deserved cup of tea and slice of homemade cake following your exertions?
During the warmer months there is a short ride on a miniature railway. The Engine is called General Shirley and is a replica of a Western steam locomotive complete with cattle guard. From May this runs through a teddy bear filled tunnel before becoming a ghost train at Halloween and Santa’s Toyland tunnel at Christmas. The miniature train rides are part of our weekend and holiday scheduled activities.
Mini Quads & Bo-Karts
Enjoy a turn on our quad bike track riding a 50cc petrol driven mini quad bike. Helmets are supplied. Children are given full instruction before taking a tour of the field. We normally operate two quad bikes at a time which we set off at staggered starts. The emphasis is on having fun and not racing. Children must be 6 years and above in order to go on the quad bikes. Entrance to the farm includes two laps of the quad bike field. Any additional laps are charged at 50p a lap but can only be offered once other visitors have taken a turn. If you enjoy the quad bikes why not consider having a quad bike party?
For children aged 10 years+, and adults why not have a go on our petrol driven Bo-Karts? These can be taken around the quad bike track, again following full instruction by our staff. Helmets are provided. Visitors are entitled to two laps of the field. Additional laps are charged at 75p a lap and again can only be offered once other visitors have taken a turn.
We have a 4-bed bungee trampoline set. Visitors are strapped into a hip harness, tension mounted and then away you go, simply bouncing high or for the more energetic practising somersaults. If you find back flips easy then try a forward tummy tuck. See how many turns you can do before your feet touch the base again.
Entrance includes one session of the bungee trampolines. Subsequent goes are charged at £2 for a further 10 minutes and can only be offered once other visitors have taken their turn on the apparatus.
Fire Engine Ride
We have a decommissioned real live red Dennis Fire Engine! Originating from the Isle of Wight where emergency vehicles are painted white, our fire engine will transport its passengers up into one of the fields, where we unravel the hose and build the water pressure. Then it is time to extinguish an imaginary fire, make wavy patterns or form a rainbow. During hotter days don’t be surprised if you get a little wet. The fire engine experience is great fun for children and parents alike.
Archery normally operates during the warmer months. It is not possible to guarantee this activity on the schedule every day but it is on for most days certainly during the spring and summer holidays. We have a range of bows for both left and right handed youngsters and a bow incorporating a pulley that helps the younger archers. Mums and dads are also encouraged to relive their youth and Robin Hood days!
We have two white Welsh ponies and a brown Dartmoor – The boss Bommerang and his mate Alfie take children for a short walk along the side of their paddock. Gentle subservient Captain Flint earned his retirment stripes in 2010 but is very friendly and loves wandering over to say hello and to have his nose tickled. Pony rides are suitable for children aged 4-9 years, weighing less than 50kg. Helmets are provided. In the event of inclement weather, then it may not be possible to offer pony rides on your visit. The ponies are easily spooked by strong winds whilst rain inhibits their ability to see properly – Sorry!
The ponies are very friendly and amiably amble over when out in their paddock. Have a stroke of little Munchkin – our American Miniature Pony. Knee high to a grass hopper he is too small to be ridden but loves the attention.
Rollerblading is great fun and suitable for both children and adults to share in the fun. Once are kitted out with blades, and accompanying safety gear – helmets, elbow and knee pads it is off gliding around the circular rink or possibly clinging frantically to the outside safety barrier! It is not long however before moves are mastered and it is great fun gliding around the rink or even playing a game of tag. We have skate sizes from kid’s size 8 to adult size 13 so that there is no excuse for anyone not to have a go!
February half term week and our rollerblading rink becomes an artificial ice rink. This time the children are provided with skates. Fired by Dancing on Ice and the Winter Olympics away they go. The artificial rink is 95% as slippy as ice which means that even beginners can get around the rink without falling over all the time as would happen with real ice. Within minutes the kids usually end up making up their own games around navigating the rink such as seeing who is the fastest, or who falls down the least! We have skate sizes from kids size 8 to adult size 13, so yes you the parents can have a go too!
We have a 6-bed trampoline set which is great for burning off the calories and very popular with all of our visitors. Please note that this can only be operated under our staff’s supervision and is therefore only open at scheduled times during the weekends and school holidays.
Try your luck at our 9 hole crazy golf course which is great interactive family fun. Host your own mini golf contest. See who gets the lowest score or try for a hole in one. Clubs and balls can be hired for a £1 (per club) returnable deposit from the front entrance desk. We have two size clubs so that even the littlies can have a go.
Popular with older children or parents looking to forego visiting the gym, we have a number of pedal karts which the children can pedal around our trackway. The karts are either single seater or allow 2-3 passengers on board.
Bring your own football or hire one from us with a £10 refundable deposit, and hone your penalty shoot out skills, or if your party is large enough run your very own football match. We can supply the bibs.
The Maize is sown in the spring and with good growing conditions evolves into a Maize Maze in time for the summer holidays. Meander through looking out for named scarecrows. Collect all the names and claim a small sweetie reward from our front entrance desk. Don’t delay too long however as this part of the farm evolves into the Field of Screams during October Half term. We would hate for you to become part of the exhibit!
Take a tractor trailer ride or else stroll up to the woods – the best kept secret on the farm. Let your imagination run wild as you continue to explore coming across play houses, climbing frame equipment, a tyre swing and a tree house. Can you find the magic see-saw tree? The pleasure gained from the woods evolves depending on the season. Wander through a carpet of blue during blue bell time usually from mid April to end of May. Enjoy bug hunting over the summer months. A great place to picnic. The wacky woods truly are a place of tranquillity although it should be noted that they are closed to the public from mid October until early into the New Year.