Our list of Summer holiday fun for kids in Herefordshire will give you plenty to keep them occupied and won’t break the bank.
Animal Farm Park where you can buy your next pet
Wynne’s of Dinmore’s animal farm park near Leominster is so irresistible that if you fall in love with their little (and not so little) creatures you can actually buy them and take them home, yikes!
Scamper after the pygmy goats, stroke the micro pigs, feed the alpacas, pet the sheep, marvel at the peacocks and guess what breed the amazing varieties of chickens are.
Originally known for their chicken breeding, Wynnes still stocks plenty of animal feeds and rather beautiful chicken houses (as well as homes for your other new beasties), the farm has grown into a wonderful place for adults and children alike looking for their next country animal experience…and it’s free to visit.
With a lovely tearoom and gift shop, you can easily wile away half a day and probably come home with much more than you bargained for!
With flexible packages, Want to Canoe offers simple DIY canoe hire, a guided journey or an extended camping overnighter, and you can go as far as you like along the Wye Valley, stopping off for a picnic (or a pub) or snacking as you drift along spotting the wildlife and nature on the banks.
What a way to make some great family memories.
Go potty with clay
Fancy a play with the clay? We think you’ll pretend to do it for the kids but why not join in yourself: who’s plate will be best, imagine a family of homemade mugs, or a vase, we need more vases.
Let their minds and hands run riot with decorative details, colours, and a unique personalised masterpiece to keep forever as a memory of their day. The magical location in the rustic studios next to Eastnor Castle make this the perfect setting to let young imaginations run riot.
Ideal for a group of youngsters to get together (and their parents), maybe a brilliant birthday party activity and you get the lasting keepsake of your creation to take home.
Never let it be said that Herefordshire is boring. Here your cherubs don’t just have to do pony trekking (although that is an excellent pastime) now you can wring the changes and get cosy with the llamas at Old King Street Farm in Ewyas Harold. First the kiddiwinks have the fun of calling in, catching, haltering and grooming these lovely cousins to the camels. Then, while it’s not about saddling up and mounting, they do get to lead them across the countryside and admire these fascinating Andean ancestor’s lashes.
This unique experience lasts around 2 hours and 11 of the farm’s 15 llamas love to trek, each with their own personality and names, these docile creatures really enjoy the social experience of human interaction with their particularly inquisitive nature – we guarantee your family will come back having made a new friend.
An a-maze-ing time
This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘get lost’. Yes the brilliant maze at Hampton Court Castle near Leominster could actually keep the kids running around for hours…days even! Professionally planted from 1000 yews, the impeccably trimmed maze forms part of Hampton Court’s gorgeous gardens (including a water garden with waterfall, sunken garden, bridges and vast lawns for running around on). A gothic tower is at the maze’s centre, and if you reach it you can climb to the top and gaze across the panoramic views and the hedges to try and map out your route back – but you’ll soon be lost again.
Perhaps you’ll wind into the underground tunnel to the watergarden and dip behind the cascading waterfall or skip the stepping stones into the rose gardens and incredible hanging wisteria arch, encountering magical metalwork and sculptures along the way.
Wednesdays and Thursdays through July and August see Trevor Hill stage his exotic animal and bird encounters, plus there are outdoor theatre events, and on August Bank Holiday enjoy the wild Four Horse Jousting and the Cavalry of Heroes.
Talk to the animals
Dedicated to a vast array of miniature breeds and famous as an owl sanctuary, the Small Breeds Animal Farm and Owl Centre is a firm favourite for children’s fun.
Here, a hands-on experience is actively encouraged for a close encounter with some of the rarest and cutest teeny tiny animals and birds. Diminutive horses, reindeer, donkeys and zebu add to more familiar creatures and can be cuddled, fed, petted and played with.
Bring a picnic or indulge in the tearoom’s hot and cold food.
Tucked away in Kington, the site is home to one of the best collections of owls in Europe, the thoughtfully designed owl garden creates an intimate setting to observe up to 32 British and spectacular species from around the world, some of which cannot be seen on public display anywhere else in Europe.
An owl experience takes you behind the scenes and into the hatchery to check for signs of life in the incubating eggs, prepare breakfast and feed the owlets and go nose-to-beak with the tame hand reared veterans.
Of course, we know that owls are most active at night and a moonlight owl experience is also available with the senior owl keeper.
The lovely riverside location of the Weir Garden is where you’ll want to be every day with Teddy, rediscovering the 1920’s games that children used to play. A series of trails resurrects timeless classic games that you might still be playing today, or ways to make up your own – No PlayStations, X-boxes and electronic devices here!
Every Wednesday this summer, a further variety of changing and FREE activities for children, including puppet-making, eating off a camp fire and much more features to get your kids enjoying a social atmosphere and making new friends, all in the backdrop of this abundant informal garden.
If you go down to the woods today…
…you’ll be in for some brilliant fun! The Cart Shed, based at Wootton Farm in north Herefordshire, brings you a series of activities through their Woodland Kids Club this summer. A wide range of courses and activities have been designed to encourage children to learn and play outdoors in ways that are fun, stimulating and at times challenging. Fun includes cooking on an open fire, games, free play and a range of woodland activities, born out of evidence that real and meaningful experience in natural environments at an early age gives children a better start in life, greater emotional security, better concentration and an ability to empathise with the needs of others.
What a great way to enjoy Herefordshire’s rich countryside. To find out more Summer holiday fun for kids in Herefordshire, keep an eye on our What’s on page.