Matlock Farm Park is a place we’ve wanted to visit for a while, so we took advantage of being in the Peak District last weekend to take a visit.
We turned up for the 10am opening on a sunny Sunday morning, and were surprised that it wasn’t too busy – in fact at times throughout the morning, we had the areas we were in to ourselves.
My adult and child tickets cost us £18 combined, which initially I thought was quite expensive, but then considering you had an indoor play area with soft play, outdoor play areas, and the farm with animals too, there was plenty to do for your day there.
The staff were really friendly when we arrived, chatty, and asked us whether we’d been before. As it was our first visit they gave us a map, along with a list of the animal schedule for the day. With wallaby encounters, meerkat feeding and ferret racing on the line-up, it was set to be a fun day with plenty to do.
We purchased some food for the animals at reception, which allows you to feed all the 4-legged animals, such as sheep, cows, ponies and pigs. They even had goats and alpacas to feed! Being the first ones on the farm, the animals were excited to be fed, which made Lily really excited to feed them – even as far as asking the sheep to “sit nicely” to choose who was to be fed!
We then went into the indoor animal area, where you can see ferrets, tortoises, rabbits, guinea pigs and more, and there’s even the chance to get involved with the animal encounters here through the day.
One of the staff members had a ferret on his arm, who he let Lily stroke while we were there, and he was telling us all about them, such as how long ferrets sleep for (up to 15 hours a day!), despite it not even being an animal encounter time, which was lovely, and shows how much the staff love their work and how knowledgeable they are.
We visited the meerkat feeding time too, which was definitely a highlight for Lily, as she got to feed them wriggly worms from her hand – definitely something she will remember for a long time!
Outdoors you can find several play areas around the farm, including a tots’ area for smaller children with a wooden pirate ship and sandpit, a separate tractor to climb on next to the indoor animals, as well as a larger wooden adventure play area too, for children age 3 and above.
Indoors, you can also find their new indoor play barn by the Rainforest Coffee Shop, with a giant slide, a smaller slide, and plenty to play on, as well as a small soft play corner for the younger children. I also liked this area as there was a little café with coffee and snacks too!
Next to the Rainforest Coffee Shop and play barn, there’s also a separate café, The Garden Room, with hot and cold food and meals throughout the day, including children’s hot and cold meals. It was fairly expensive but there are plenty of areas for a picnic on the farm – as well as an outdoor giant chess game!
There’s a gift shop by the exit too with a whole variety of toys, including pocket-money toys and gifts, which is always nice on a day out.
I’d really recommend Matlock Farm Park and it is somewhere I’d love to go back to. Despite the cost, there was plenty to do, it was clean and well looked after, and there were so many animals to visit too.
Everyone who was visiting the farm at the same time also were clearly enjoying it, and Lily really loved the outdoor play areas as well as the chance to feed and meet different animals. We have visited a whole host of farms with her, but this one really stands out thanks to the knowledgeable staff, the variety of activities, and the chance to get involved with animals that you can’t often visit at other farms.
For more on Matlock Farm Park, visit their website here. https://matlockfarmpark.co.uk/
Tips for visiting with children
- They host parent and toddler coffee mornings throughout term time, which includes access to the park.
- They also offer free meals for over-60s, which is great for grandparents taking children too. See the website for more information
- Check out their social media to find out about their half term, Halloween and Christmas activities too as they sound a great excuse to visit the farm
- Bring a picnic with you – there’s plenty of picnic benches, hand washing facilities, and even an indoor marquee for your picnics too.