West Lodge Farm Park has always been one of Lily’s favourite places, so much so that it was her first choice to head for her birthday last month too!
It was also one of the first places we visited after lockdown, as we trusted everything the team were putting in place to make it safe, and have had a fantastic time on every visit.
We booked the camping weekend pre-lockdown, so were so happy that it could still go ahead.
The team had reduced numbers for the camping weekends, so added extra dates through the summer to make sure as many families as possible could still enjoy their weekend.
Within days, all the dates were sold out. Why? Because everyone knows how fantastic West Lodge is, so to spend a whole weekend there is a dream for so many little ones!
Here’s how our weekend went!
Turn up, check in, and get the tent up. The team as awesome and welcoming as always, telling us where to go and what to expect!
We had already received great information on arrival times to avoid barrel ride times (when the gates would be shut), so we just needed to drive through to the field to get set up.
Clearly it’s time for a coffee after all the driving, unpacking and tent pitching. Lily’s bestie had arrived, so the girls ran around the epic play area while we relaxed with a drink!
The barrel rides soon started up, so the girls managed to lap them – no need to queue, even on a summer Saturday the capacity meant it wasnt overly busy.
It was time to explore, so we visited the petting area to meet some animals, fed the goats and enjoyed some of the trails.
The petting area wasn’t open on our last visit, so it was great to see the new setup. You could stroke chicks, a bunny and a guinea pig, all who were shaded by a canopy from the sun, and only one family was allowed at each station for a maximum of 5mins, allowing everyone to have a visit.
How is it midday already?! Lily’s friend had to leave by 1ish, so we had booked into the fantastic Rickyard restaurant for lunch. We had a halloumi salad while the girls had kids’ meals. The service and food is always fantastic in here so it was a lovely treat as we usually take a picnic with us.
There was a little time before her friend had to leave, so the girls went off to enjoy the maze.
It is one family in at a time, with an occupied/vacant sign to switch at the entrance – such a great idea!
We went back to the tent to have a drink and play with Lily’s toys for a bit. She had taken a ball to kick around and it was beautiful to be surrounded by the gorgeous views and countryside.
By now, a few more tents had arrived, but we were still all beautifully spread out.
The weather was warming up, so we decided to take some walks along the trails. She loves spotting the butterflies along the trails, so we enjoyed the empty paths and shady trees without crossing anyone else.
We wandered back to the farm to see the animals again. We grabbed a tea and an ice lolly, then Lily ended up happily lapping the barrel rides again – it was so quiet, she had them near to herself!
She wanted to meet the animals again and there were no other families in the area, so she spent ages chatting to Peter rabbit before heading off for a spot of den building.
We went back to the tent to relax and play for a while. It was so lovely to be outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, without having to head home – Lily was so excited to not have to leave one of her favourite places.
Dinner time would be soon, so we went for another wander around the fields. It was just so peaceful.
Dinner was served in timeslots to avoid gathering with others and we had one of the first slots.
They had converted the hut by Cloisters (previously where we had met Santa and the Elves!) into a bar, surrounded by bunting and lights, and picnic benches to enjoy the food on.
They served a hog roast, hot dogs or the veggie sausage rolls from the farmers, along with a salad. It was delicious and so lovely to be able to enjoy it outdoors together by the campsite.
She then enjoyed heading back for an evening play in the adventure play areas – having it to herself was fantastic!
Time for the twilight scavenger hunt! The children were all given a sheet to head off and find 6 of 8 nature items from the list.
Lily enjoyed finding a berry, acorn and filling her little paper bag with everything off the list, before running it back to Farmer James for her prize!
We took the trailer and went for a little wander to say goodnight to all the animals. Lily was now in love with the goats, so we had to say goodnight to them before heading back to the tent.
A family-friendly quiz was about to start when we got back to the campsite, but for Lily it was time to curl up in the tent for the night.
As a family-friendly camping weekend, there is a 10.30pm noise curfew, but it was so quiet that Lily slept right through!
We had a 7.15am slot for breakfast as Lily is usually a 6.30am riser, but all the walking and excitement of the day before meant she only just woke up at 7!
Breakfast was served in the Rickyard restaurant with a choice of fry up, cereal, toast and juice.
As always, the team were lovely, food delicious and the atmosphere was so relaxed.
After heading back to the tent and getting ready for the day, we took a wander along the trails – such a perfect way to start the day, with only the birds around.
Lily wanted to say good morning to the animals, which was lovely as they were having their breakfast.
Being a working farm, it was a great way to see how they start the day – something you rarely get to experience like this, and so peaceful too.
Anyone who knows the outdoor play area at West Lodge knows how fantastic it is, so to have it to herself, she was just in her element!
We went back to the tent to take it down. Lily wanted to stay “for 5 sleeps” but with only a night on the camping weekend, we thought it was easier to pack up the tent and drive the car off the campsite, so it would be easier to head off later on when we needed to – and it was a little cooler at this time too 😉
We were all packed up and off the campsite, but thankfully Lily wasn’t too disappointed as we could still enjoy the farm park, so we came back in and picked up some animal food to visit the animals again – she does love feeding those goats!
The barrel rides soon started up again, so Lily excitedly lapped those while I enjoyed a coffee!
I had booked a surprise for Lily – a tractor ride around the fields! We had done this on her birthday, so she was so excited to head back again!
You book at reception to have a section of the bench, with a maximum of 3 bubbles/families at a time.
You are then given a tour of the fields, where they tell you all about the farm, what they grow, all the animals and its history too. I didn’t know if Lily was listening, but she was telling me on the way home all about what she’d learn’t about the fossils!!
Although we were able to stay til 4.30pm, we had to get home for work, so I gave Lily the option of one more thing. She headed straight for the animals (via the maze!)!
We had one last ice lolly and play and enjoyed relaxing on the farm in the sunshine before heading off.
We also needed milk, so picked some up from the farm shop on the way through too!
West Lodge Farm park do camping weekends each year and we will definitely be back on the weekend again next year.
We love visiting the farm, but time always flies, so to spend the whole weekend there was just perfect to be able to enjoy everything they had on offer.
We really recommend these summer family camping weekends and they’d also be a great starter weekend for families to take their first camping trip too, as you have everything you need on site!
It will always be one of Lily’s favourite places, so thank you to the amazing team for making it so. Once again, everything was just perfect and Lily wanted to “stay for ever and ever”.
See you again soon!