Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre in Kington – Our Return Visit

We have visited the Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre before with BattleKid and we thoroughly enjoy it. Last August Bank Holiday weekend, on our way to Chester, we visited again and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.small breeds farm and owl centre

The Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre is privately owned and run, and is located in Kington in Herefordshire.  It is open from 10.30 to 5.00 (4.30 in winter months), every day of the year, even on Christmas Day.

As usual during our last visit, we went clockwise, starting in the incubation room where we saw newly Southern-white faced owls. BattleKid wanted to hold them and was quite confused as to why he couldn’t. From there we made our way through the barn area where we saw my favourite of all the animals at the Small Breeds Farm, the Boer Goats. I love them and explained why in my last post.small breeds farm and owl centre

It took a little bit of coaxing to get BattleKid to help me feed them!

We then went into the small animal’s room which houses rabbits, guinea pigs and chipmunks. The various birds were next to be visited before we turned our attention to the farm animals in the outdoor enclosures.

BattleKid had a great time giving feed to the horses and goats. The Boer goats passed us on the way to their enclosure and one made a beeline for the feed bucket on its way past (see our vlog below).small breeds farm and owl centre

After finishing in the main farm area we stopped at the tea room for some lunch, and as it was such a nice day, we sat outside on the picnic benches to enjoy toasted sandwiches and baked potatoes. BattleKid hogged a whole potato and baked beans with cheese to himself!

Nicely full and satisfied, we visited the Owl Garden to see all the various owls which include tawny owls, barn owls, the snowy owls (my personal favourites) and BattleDad’s favourites, the great horned owls. We had another great visit to the Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre and were so lucky that it was a lovely day weather-wise at the start of that bank holiday weekend.small breeds farm and owl centre

Tickets cost £9.00 per adult and £6 per child*, with animal feed buckets costing £1 each. The Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre is wheelchair accessible and a mobility scooter available to loan on site.

The tea room serves both hot and cold drinks and food and there is a picnic garden and barn, should you wish to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy.

Something that I discovered during our last visit was their owl experiences which are available. There are two, the Owl Experience and Owls by Moonlight.

The Owl experience is available during breeding season (approximately March to July) costing £78pp (age 14 years and above only), which take place between 8.30 and 10.30am and must be paid for in advance. You get an introduction talk with a Senior Owl Keeper, a guided tour of the owl garden before opening and trip to the incubation room. You also get to prepare breakfast and feed it to the owlets. You get up close and personal with tame owls and have access to the rest of the Farm afterwards. You can share your experience with 1 other full paying person.

The Owl Centre also run an Owls by Moonlight Experience, which takes place on certain evenings between 7 and 9.30pm. In this experience you explore the Owl garden by lamplight with a Senior Owl Keeper. There is an interval during which you are served soup and a roll. You then get the chance to get photos with hand-reared owls and have a chance to take your own photos in the softly illuminated garden at the end. This amazing experience is available for those aged 16 years and over for £32pp.

I’d love to return when BattleKid is older to enjoy these Owl Experiences.

The Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre is definitely worth a visit if you are visiting the Kington or Herefordshire area. A visit takes about 3-4 hours to fully enjoy. And it is a great family day out, particularly with younger children, who can get up close and personal with animals of various sizes. Even if you are visiting South Wales (where we live) it is also worth the drive up to visit (it takes us just over an hour to drive there).

If you’d like to get a sneak peek at the Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre, why not watch our little vlog from our most recent visit below.

Thanks for reading.

Cath x

*Prices are correct at the time of writing this post.

**We were not asked to write this post.

small breeds farm and owl centre

Tenerife Day 8: 30/12/2016

We were up for 7.30 so got washed and dressed before having breakfast, our last of our Christmas holiday. While I got on with the final bits of packing, BattleKid watched the Lion Guard. Thank god for Disney Junior. I also managed to finish my book too, a first in a long time. I don’t get the chance to read books much these days unless it’s in bed before sleep.

We checked out at 11am and left our luggage in the luggage room at reception as we had a while to wait for the taxi to the airport. We headed to the themed restaurant at the sea front for a cuppa and some cakes. BattleKid also had a final play in the playground.

At 12.15 we asked reception to call a taxi and were still waiting 30 minutes later. It was a bit ridiculous. BattleKid fell asleep and stayed asleep until we had checked in for our flight at 1.20 and headed through security. I had kept an eye on the departures of Bristol Airport and thankfully our plane had left on time from the UK so we were looking good for a better time of it than our journey to Tenerife.

We got through security no problem and went to find somewhere for lunch. We had plenty of time before our flight was due to take off so found a seat in O’Leary’s bar and had a rather nice lunch. After eating up, BattleKid insisted on having a ride on one of the amusement cars. It combined a ride with a photo, but typically he was looking down when the camera took the picture. What a waste of money!Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 8

We walked around the airport, getting a few bits for the plane before heading to our gate when called. However boarding was delayed until 16.45, 15 minutes after our departure time. So much for getting home on time. We then sat on the plane until the doors finally closed at 5.10pm. The captain made an announcement after the doors closed to say they had been on the ground for 2 hours and he had been calling for passengers since 4.10pm! For some reason there was congestion in the terminal and although he and our plane were ready for an on time departure, the ground staff couldn’t get their act together! We took off at 5.28 and had a few snacks on the plane to tide us over.

BattleKid fell asleep on the way home from the airport and we transferred him straight to bed when we got home in the hope Santa would make a special delivery that night as we’d not been home Christmas Eve. And he did!

Although we enjoyed some quality time together, it wasn’t quite the holiday we had hoped for. We came away feeling quite disappointed and let down, particularly where the hotel and pool were concerned. I somehow don’t think we’ll be going away for Christmas again, unless it is to Ireland to spend it with family. Would I recommend Tenerife as a destination? Yes, but I would stay in a bigger resort where there are more things to see and do. I wouldn’t recommend our hotel for Christmas or any other time of the year. It needs some serious updating and a face lift.

Thanks for reading our Tenerife Holiday Diaries.

Cath x

Tenerife Day 7: 29/12/2016

As per usual, we were up before 7 so pottered around before getting dressed and going downstairs for breakfast. After filling our bellies we headed for the nearest pharmacy to get some cream for BattleKid who by this stage was tearing itchy, especially along his neckline!

The pharmacist confirmed it was heat rash and off we went back to the hotel with the sole purpose of trying to keep his mind off the itch. It reminded me of our damn chicken pox episode in Lanzarote a few years ago!

We stopped at the playground and let BattleKid run around for a while before heading up to our room to allow me to start packing us. BattleKid chilled out on the sofa with Disney Junior on the TV for a while and then playing with his stickers. I usually reserve them for the plane but this was an exceptional circumstance.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 7

We went for lunch just before 1 before heading back to our room. We had hoped to spend some time beside the pool but the breeze was just too much and we knew BattleKid would want to get in and end up freezing again. The cold wind against wet skin just wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to get him out of the pool. So we forwent the pool which was a shame. Had the pool been properly heated like advertised we’d have spent a lot more time in it.

After mostly packing us I read for a bit before having a snooze on the bed. BattleKid even got 20 minutes himself. Gone are the days of 2 hour marathon naps and boy do I miss them!

Our usual nightly routine of showers, dinner, bedtime and Mr Robot rounded off our last night in Tenerife. It had been a bit of a mixed holiday all round. Strange to be away at Christmas, nice to see some of the island and go to Loro Parque. Epic in terms of making a huge decision about our family’s future but disappointed with the hotel and non-heated pool situations.

Home day tomorrow.

Cath x

Tenerife Day 6: 28/12/2016

We were up by 7am and had decided to make the most of having a car by going out and doing something we were sure BattleKid would enjoy. I packed our change bag for the day and after having breakfast we headed straight for the car to head to the north of the island and our destination: Loro Parque in Puerto Cruz.

I can tell you that I did not enjoy the journey there. The roads are very twisty and turny as you head up the side of the mountain, and then descend it as you head towards Puerto Cruz. I actually felt very sick during the journey and was worried about BattleKid, although he seemed fine.

We arrived about an hour and a half after we left and parked within the car park of Loro Parque itself at a cost of €4. There is some free parking on the road outside of Loro Parque but you have to be lucky to get it.

We joined the queue and paid €34 each, BattleKid was free, and we were in. Sneakily you  have to pass some staff with cameras by some parrots to get your picture taken, but we didn’t bother buying them at the end of the day. But you cannot avoid them at all!Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 6

We initially passed a number of bird enclosures with the most amazingly coloured parakeets and parrots. We also passed the gorilla enclosure and after that we headed towards the penguin house. This was the most amazing penguin house I’d ever seen.

When we had finished with them we checked the times of the animal shows and saw that there was an orca show due soon so headed towards that. Attending the show brought about mixed feelings for me. I haven’t seen Black Fish and don’t agree with such beautiful creatures being enclosed in a watery jail but at the same time it was amazing to see them. Such beautiful, intelligent creatures. I just wish they were free in the ocean where they belong.

From there we passed the beautiful white Siberian tiger before seeing Chimps, other moneys and many, many more birds. The array of birds at Loro Parque is quite something. Lunchtime was looming so we found a seat at a grill restaurant and had good food. It made a nice change to be served nice food at a zoo and it wasn’t too expensive either for what we had. Poor BattleKid was closing his eyes while eating his spaghetti to avoid being splashed in his eyes haha!Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 6

After lunch we saw the flamingo’s en-route to the aquarium, which also had some different species of shark. We had pretty much seen everything we had wanted to including sloths, tortoise, otters, crocodiles and various types of monkeys. At 2pm we decided to head back to the south of the island, this time passing through El Teide National Park and seeing the mountain from the other side. It took us almost 3 hours to get back to the hotel but the scenery was absolutely stunning so it more than made up for it. Snow-capped mountains and snow banks on the side of the roads made way for drier land as we descended the mountain. Along parts of the journey back you’d swear we were in Utah or somewhere similar.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 6

The twisty roads were reminiscent of the Alps or the Rockies and it was certainly unexpected scenery. Again the twisty roads made me feel nauseous. BattleKid napped for over an hour on the journey home. But we were glad we took the different route home to see more of the middle of Tenerife Island.

When we got back we had our showers and got ready for my birthday dinner in the themed restaurant out at the sea front where we’d had tea and cakes after our morning walk a few days before.

The meal theme was Chinese/Oriental and it was a nice change from the usual buffet things on offer in the main restaurant.

After dinner we visited the playground on our way back and once BattleKid was settled we watched another Mr Robot (with quite a shocking end) before heading to bed ourselves. I had a bad night with BattleKid due to him itching his way through most of the night with a heat rash. He always seems to suffer with one. He’ll have to get used to it when we are permanently in the sun!

Pop by tomorrow for our last full day in Tenerife.

Cath x

Tenerife Day 5: 27/12/2016

We were up before 7, got dressed and headed for breakfast for 8am. We decided that today wasn’t going to be a lazy day. After breakfast BattleDad went to source a car and arrived back after an hour. An hour! BattleKid was mighty bored and soon playing up, so we ended up colouring and playing cars on the balcony while we waited.

At 10am we finally headed off for a drive, determined to see a bit more of Tenerife. We started in the direction of El Teide National Park which houses the highest peak on Tenerife Island. The mountains were snow-capped which was mad considering we were in shorts and t-shirts down at the coast. That said they were very beautiful. They reminded me of the mountains on Sicily.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 5

After driving for over an hour we finally arrived at Los Gigantes resort further up the coast. We stopped for lunch and the most amazing fresh food at a small place called Boost. Everything was really fresh and brilliant value for money. It was the nicest lunch we’d had so far in Tenerife. BattleDad had the spicy tuna panini, BattleKid had some of the ham and mozzarella wrap I ordered for him and I had the chicken wrap. They were all really tasty. I also ordered a fresh fruit salad in case BattleKid didn’t like his wrap and between him and me we devoured it. The portion sizes were very generous and we left feeling quite satisfied.

We drove back to our hotel following the coast road, which was quite twisty and turny. Grabbing our towels we then spent an hour beside the pool and this time tried a different tactic with BattleKid. We warned him that we would countdown to getting him out, following through with a 10 minute warning, then a 5 and 1 minute warning and this time we didn’t have any tantrum at all. There was a slight protest but nothing like the previous screaming matches. Result I’d say.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 5

Our evening routine followed previous evenings with another visit to the hotel playground. BattleKid was as happy as Larry and there were no protests when we headed upstairs for bedtime. Once he was down, BattleDad and I had a cup of tea with another episode of Mr Robot before turning in. We were glad we had the car and had seen some of the internal part of the island. The only thing to decide was what to do with it tomorrow.

Pop back tomorrow to see if we ventured even further.

Cath x