Sunday, 3 February 2013

A day at Church Farm, Stow Bardolph, Norfolk, England

We spent most of today at Church Farm, it's located in a pretty tiny village just off the A10, Stow Bardolph in Norfolk. Through a little bit of research I have found out that the village name derives from Stowe Bardolph, which means "Meeting place of the Bardolfs", probably something to do with the Lords Bardolf, from nearby Wormegay Castle. You can blame the tourism translator part of me for the googling part.

As a passing remark I have to confess that, to this day, it confuses me no end that we live in the English county of Cambridgeshire but incredibly nearby we have Suffolk and Norfolk (two other English counties). It was even more confusing where we lived before and 10 minutes from home we drove straight into Essex but a bit further on we were in Suffolk, despite living in Cambridgeshire still... Not only that but you could take the same road just outside the house left or right (east or northwest-ish) and both ways would take you into Suffolk county.

Liz (of Violet Posy fame) had recommended Church Farm already last year, we were a bit slow and today was the first time we finally visited this amazing farm. We had a fantastic time!

We *may* have trusted the sat nav and ended up in a village on the other side of the A10 with a very cute name: Wimbotsham. Should you end up there in your search of Church Farm: however pretty that hamlet, it's not where you want to be. Turn round back and turn left onto the A10, it will all become clear a few metres later.

When we finally made it to the right village, pretty houses and a beatiful pub led the way to the farm entrance. As we arrived into the building, the staff were very welcoming, the building was warm in this cold and grey winter weather and LittleT, who was fast asleep in the car, started waking up.

First off, in true Tapas family style, we sat down for lunch.

Quiche, farm eggs, cheese pepper and tomato quiche
Lunch, deliciously cheesy quiche

The farm's gift shop is strategically positioned on the way to the toilet and it has a fantastic selection, I resisted temptation this time.
petting zoo, church farm, perfect day out with children
The shop has an amazing selection
 With full tummies (and an empty bladder) we made our way outside to see the animals.

Pampered pigs
More rare-breed pigs

Church Farm, Norfolk, England farms, petting zoos
The signs were all worth reading but this one in particular made me chuckle

There were lots of kiddy-sized tractors ready to drive

A huge sand pit with a climbing wall to one side and lots of sand castle implements

Someone loved the trampolines, at ground level
Then it was back inside where there is an amazing indoor play area, all made of wood, you can see photos if you click on the link, I couldn't take any photos without getting kids in them and I don't like doing that. LittleT had an amazing time indoors as well as outdoors us grown-ups got chatting to the parents sat next to us who, small world, turned up to live a few streets away from us and, not only that, the lady runs one of the local playgroups that LittleT attends with the childminder. I loved going down the big side-by-side slides with her, it's not something I have always done in the past, conscious of my lack of fitness and the size of my bum but I managed to squeeze my bottom and thighs and down we flew.

Then it was back outside for a bit more trampolining and a quick goodbye to the horses
Throughout the visit I noticed gluten-free food and a wheelchair both inside and outside so it is totally accessible.

PS-As usual, when I write about places we've visited, I do so as an undercover blogging agent, just telling you about it because it really is well worth a visit (in this case). They had no clue they had a blogger in their midst (mist too).

I'm linking up with:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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