Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo – Our Visit and Review

While on a recent long weekend away at Bluestone in West Wales, we visited Folly Farm for the first time. Now I’ll admit when I first heard the name Folly Farm, I automatically assumed it was a small petting farm similar to Cefn Mably or the Small Breeds Farm, and when it first opened back in 1988 I wouldn’t have been far off.

However that assumption is now way off the mark as Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, to give it its full name, is a hell of a lot more than the name Folly Farm suggests. Winner of the “Best Day Out” in the National Tourism Awards Wales in 2015, and a 2015 Traveller’s Choice on TripAdvisor, Folly Farm is an amazing place situated in Begelly in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, not too far from Tenby or Bluestone.Folly Farm

It is not only a farm but also has a full indoor vintage funfair, an award-winning zoo with over 200 species of animals and extensive indoor and outdoor adventure attractions and play areas.

On our visit to Folly Farm we arrived shortly after its opening of 10am, parked our car and made our way to the entrance where our friends sorted out our tickets, courtesy of Tesco Clubcard vouchers. We passed the huge gift shop, which both of us mums commented we’d visit on the way out, and out we went into Folly Farm itself.

First stop was the Jolly Barn & Farm, an indoor barn that houses farm animals including pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens and the most magnificent Shire horse. He was amazing and very majestic looking. BattleKid had a great time running around shouting “oh piggy, oh chicken” while doing the noises they make. I even got brave and touched a rat during the “meet a rat” time although BattleKid was having none of it at first until the handler said he was going away and then he just had to touch it!Folly Farm

Folly Farm

Folly Farm

Folly Farm

folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

I then showed BattleKid how to milk a cow which he thought was hilarious as he squirmed milk (water) over himself and me.

From the Jolly Farm we decided to visit the vintage Funfair as it was getting close to lunchtime. We got change and tokens and then proceeded to get frustrated trying to win Batman teddies on the grabber machines from the boys. £5 later we were still empty-handed despite getting them in the grabbers a number of times. The arms just let go too easily. This was our only disappointment of the day. BattleDad was sure we’d get one after spending £5 but no! After this we wandered around the amusement rides and us mums took the boys on the Ghost Trains. I’ve never been one for these types of rides but I’m fast coming to the realisation that I have to start doing them for BattleKid’s sake. I was also a bit apprehensive about how BattleKid would react to it but I just made a fuss of the flashing lights and the ‘dragons’ and he was fine, shouting “peep peep” ala Thomas the Tank Engine. After the ghost train I took BattleKid on the carousel which he really enjoyed. We didn’t get to see all of the Funfair as it is huge and our bellies were rumbling.folly farm

We decided to have lunch in the Funfair Restaurant and my jacket potato was tasty, while BattleDad thoroughly enjoyed his fish and chips. BattleKid ate his garlic bread and only picked at his pasta Bolognese, too distracted by the lights and sounds around him. He is also not a huge fan of pasta shapes, preferring spaghetti instead.

Before we left the Funfair the adults tried their hands at the Side Stalls, knocking tins off shelves and Duck Bingo. BattleDad actually knocked all his tins off during one of his goes and won a large blue dragon for BattleKid. He tried his best to repeat it to win our friend’s son one but ran out of tokens.

With lighter pockets and satisfied bellies we made our way to the zoo and first up was some monkeys and the lions. BattleKid loves lions from his “How to Hide a Lion” bedtime stories and didn’t want to leave their enclosure. We then saw the Tapiers, Giant Tortoise, Meerkats (Kalahari Critters) and the camels before making our way to the Rhino enclosure.folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

To our surprise there were not one but two Rhino enclosures and they were huge. After the rhinos we went to show BattleKid the pen-pens (penguins) and flamingos. He loves pen-pens as some of you know from our Oliver Jeffers book “Lost and Found” and I literally had to drag him away.folly farm

folly farm

After the penguins we quickly made our way to see the giraffes. I’ve always found them to be majestic looking animals, so graceful.

folly farm

From the zoo we went to the outdoor adventure area where BattleKid made a beeline for the pedal tractors, picking the largest one he could find. He is still learning what pedals are all about and usually goes backwards more than he does forwards, as you do when you’re two. folly farmFrom there we went to the sand diggers while we waited for the Big Dig attendant to return and BattleKid loved them. He actually managed to operate the two levers on his own!folly farm

Once the attendant was back the Dads handed over their tokens and spent the next few minutes living out their dreams of operating diggers. Boys never grow up. However BattleDad didn’t get much hands-on experience as BattleKid kept swiping his hands away shouting “no dada, Ada do it”. Al I could do was chuckle as I filmed it.folly farm

After the diggers and another quick visit to the sand diggers we started thinking about heading for home. We passed by the go-karts ad BattleKid had an absolute canary fit when we explained the cars were too big for him. He was both hugely disappointed and overtired, having not napped all day. We said he could do them next time but it’s unlikely as well be back before he’s old enough.

We stopped at the gift shop and got some pick’n’mix and I got one or two other little things too. BattleKid only then fell asleep in his buggy, pooped after a big day out. It was 4.30pm so hardly surprising he couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer.

I couldn’t believe that it was 4.30 before we headed for the cars. I certainly hadn’t anticipated spending the while day at Folly Farm but it’s so easily done!

As I’ve mentioned Folly Farm outdid my expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by everything Folly Farm has to offer. It is no wonder it is an award-winning day out. There is plenty to do and see for all age groups and lots of places to eat too which we thought were reasonably priced. There are extra charges for certain things like the Funfair and diggers but they are reasonable.folly farm

Folly Farm is family friendly as you’d expect and also wheel chair accessible. There is free parking there, baby changing and feeding facilities and a large gift shop too. Prices, as shown below, are great value-for-money in my opinion and, as our friends did, you can use your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers towards Folly Farm tickets.

We will definitely be visiting Folly Farm in the not so distant future. So if you are based in South Wales or are visiting Pembrokeshire on holidays, such as Bluestone, then I can highly recommend a day out at Folly Farm, especially if you have children!

Cath x

*I was not asked to write this post.

General Information about Folly Farm:

  • General Opening Hours are 10-5.
  •  Winter Opening hours are 10-4.
  •  Adult £13.95, Concession £11.95 (concessions are for child age 3-15, Senior citizens or disabled patrons).
  •  Children aged 2 and under go free.
  •  Discounts are available online.
folly farm
BattleKid loved the tractors in the Jolly Barn and did not want to leave them!

Bluestone Day 2: 11/06/2016

When BattleKid woke up BattleDad kindly took him downstairs for his milk and let me have a much needed lie in. I woke at 8.15am and although I could have easily gone back to sleep, I knew everyone else was up so dragged myself out of the bed, grateful of the extra hour BattleDad had given me. Once I’d shaken off my bleary-eyed state I cooked us all bacon and pancakes, served with strawberries, blackberries, Nutella and maple syrup. And yes I had all of these on pancakes at the same time, and it tasted delicious. A nice mixture of sweet and savory. Try it if you don’t believe me! BattleKid enjoyed the Nutella on his pancakes and ended up with a chocolate covered face! Nice start to the morning at Bluestone.

After breakfast we got dressed and decided to head to Folly Farm for the day. Our friends had kindly exchanged Tesco vouchers towards the tickets, and as the weather on Sunday wasn’t looking too bright, we decided that Saturday was the better of the two days to visit Folly Farm. It was drizzling as we got ready so we weren’t holding out too much hope as we prepared to leave. We had to dry the buggy off with a towel so as to prevent us all getting wet arses as we went to collect the cars.Bluestone June 2016 6

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is less than 10 minutes drive from Bluestone and was not at all like I expected. I’ve written a full review of our visit to Folly Farm which will be coming soon, but suffice to say we had a brilliant time. When I had heard the name Folly Farm, I assumed it was a little petting farm but it’s a whole hell of a lot more than that I can tell you. We arrived shortly after 10am and thankfully the rain had stopped and we didn’t leave until 4.30pm! We had spent the whole day there and hadn’t felt the time rush by us. It really was beyond our expectations and I can highly recommend you visit Folly Farm if you ever stay at Bluestone or visit West Wales. It’s definitely worth the money and will be a place we’ll return to again in the future, even if we’re not staying at Bluestone! I’ve put a few pictures from our day at Folly Farm at the end of this post and more will be featured in my forthcoming review post.

The two boys didn’t sleep at Folly Farm, there was too much to see. However, as we were stood outside the gift shop waiting on BattleDad to get his pick’n’mix, they both fell asleep, completely wiped out from a full day’s excitement. How they had stayed awake that long was anyone’s guess but both were sound asleep, even as we transferred them to their car seats. We headed back to Bluestone and let our friends take the buggy back to the lodge while we chose to walk a sleeping BattleKid back in his buggy to prolong his nap. I thought at one stage he was waking up but he just had a little cry and was back to the land of nod soon enough.

While the boys slept, us adults enjoyed some chips, dips and drinks around the huge table while we chatted. It was nice to finally sit down after all the walking we had done. At 5.30 we woke the boys and neither were too happy about the situation. BattleKid soon chirped up a bit and played with L. We decided to get a Chinese for dinner so BattleDad and W dropped into Narberth for it. BattleKid actually enjoyed some Chinese and helped himself to quite a bit of BattleDad’s noodles, despite having some on his own plate! After dinner, at 8.30pm, much later than normal, we got BattleKid into bed. L took a lot longer to settle and as a result we never got to play any board games that night. We chatted in the living room for a while over a cup of tea before turning in early ourselves.

We’d had a great Saturday and all commented how good Folly Farm was. Keep an eye in the coming days for my review post of our visit.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

Bluestone June 2016 7
Farmer in the making?
Bluestone June 2016 8
Lions at Folly Farm
Bluestone June 2016 8
Outdoor adventure area at Folly Farm
Folly Farm
Having fun on the Tractors at Folly Farm