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West Lodge Rural Centre is situated in Desborough, Northamptonshire and is one of my favourite places to take the boys for a day out. You can spend either a few hours here or a full day and the admission prices are very reasonable. The farm caters to children of all ages with the main attractions being close together so not to tire little legs too quickly.
Upon entering West Lodge Rural Centre you walk straight through the main entrance into the centre of the farm. We always head straight for cuddle corner for the small animal petting first. There are some gorgeous rabbits and guinea pigs that you can touch (at allocated times only) plus some chicks, goats and a pretend cow that you can milk!
From here we usually check out if anything is happening in the display barn, in the past, the boys have been able to feed the lambs which they loved or groom a pony.
This then leads us out to the poultry and hens which you can feed using bags of food that is available to buy at the main entrance.
One of the boys favourite things to do at West Lodge Rural Centre is pony riding! This needs to be booked upon arriving and is only on twice a day. There is also a small charge of just a couple of pounds.
Something not to be missed is the piglet racing! This is a short 10 – 15-minute event that is great fun to watch – I never knew pigs could run so fast!
What I love most about West Lodge Rural Centre is the thought that has gone into making this farm so full of adventure, rather than just a place full of animals. Not only do they have what I have already mentioned but other activities include a maze to find your way through, a den making area under some trees, barrel rides behind a tractor plus nature trails that lead to places such as a troll bridge, witches house and fairy dell.
You really feel at home on the farm and when you are finished you can grab a drink or something to eat in either the larger restaurant or smaller cafe and let the kids have a play. There is an amazing indoor play area that looks like a huge tree with wooden bridges and slides coming off it or if the weather is nice they can play outside in the huge castle themed play area. There are also little ride on tractors for the smaller children and if the weather is wet there is a play barn filled with trikes and a sandpit.
We have visited this farm 3 times so far and will definitely keep going. You can even buy an annual pass at only £150 for a family of 4. If going for just a one-off visit then buy online beforehand if possible as this can also save you a few pennies.
If you plan to go to the indoor play area then remember socks as these must be worn and if going on a wet day then definitely take wellies! One thing that does annoy me about the farm is that you have to walk through the gift shop to get both in and out and of course this is filled with toys all at little people eye level.
Overall, there is something for everyone at this farm and will be one of our favourite school holiday destinations for a long time.