Matlock Farm Park is fast becoming one of our favourite farms to visit. There seems to be something new or different to do every time we go, and on our most recent trip, we were lucky enough to find that the new outdoor adventure playground – the Enchanted Hamlet – had just opened.
Enchanted Hamlet at Matlock Farm Park
The new playground is a great addition to the farm, not least because much of it is undercover – giving much-needed shelter from the sunshine or rain. There is a large sand area with buckets, spades, two mud/sand kitchens and a variety of other sit on diggers and pulleys and buckets.
There is also a gravelled area with slides, wooden huts and various things to climb, part of which is undercover alongside a new seating area and snack bar which looked to be selling salad boxes, sandwiches, ice creams, cakes and hot and cold drinks.
My daughter and her friend spent lots of time playing in the sand and also loved exploring some of the new wooden structures. This was only rivalled by the HUGE jumping pillow elsewhere on the farm, which is always a hit with my daughter – she can literally spend hours bouncing on it.
Animals at Matlock Farm Park
Of course, the main attraction at Matlock Farm Park is the animals, and my daughter’s favourite thing to do is always the small animal holding, where you can cuddle a guinea pig, rabbit or tortoise – or all three. There are usually two-hour-long slots, giving you plenty of opportunities to hold the animals, although if the farm is busy the queues to take part can build up.
Other activities to look out for on the daily timetable include a meerkat feed and talk, a wallaby encounter, and a ferret race and sheep race (weather permitting) where you even get a chance for a free bet, with the chance to win a free return pass to come back to the farm. My daughter loves to cheer on the sheep and ferrets, excitedly hoping for a win!
Know Before You Go
Where to find Matlock Farm Park : Jaggers Ln, Matlock DE4 5LH
Entrance to the farm is £11.95 per adult (£9.95 for children/concessions) during weekdays in term time, and £12.95 per adult (£10.95 for children/concessions) during weekends and school holidays.
Tickets can be booked online in advance, or bought on the day.
Family tickets are also available, and there is also a parent and toddler coffee morning offer Monday to Friday during term time, where entry is just £9.50 for one adult and up to two toddlers, and also includes a free hot drink – arrive between 10 am and 11.30 am, and stay all day.
In addition to the entrance fee, there are a number of extras which you can spend money on if you’d like. Animal feed can be bought from the entrance for £1 a bag, to feed the sheep, goats, donkeys and other four-legged animals. Pony rides can also be bought for £3.50, Crazy Golf is £2, and there are coin-operated cars (£1 for up to two riders).
There are plenty of benches around the farm park, some of which are undercover if you want to take your own picnic or buy food from the outdoor takeaway outlets. Or if you prefer to sit inside there is the Garden Room Café, or food available inside the Rainforest Play Barn, which also has a soft play area for toddlers and an indoor play area for older children.
The farm park is only closed two days per year (Christmas Day and Boxing Day), and opens 10am to 5pm April to October and 10am to 4.30pm November to March, so there is plenty of opportunities to visit. But be warned, whenever you visit dress for the weather.
The farm park is very open and often has its own microclimate, so we always wear layers, and don’t forget a hat and suncream if it’s sunny or wellies/waterproofs if it’s wet. There are places dotted around to shelter from the rain or sun, and good paths so you shouldn’t get too muddy, but much of the farm park is outdoors, so dress accordingly so that the weather doesn’t dampen your day!
During weekends and school holidays there are often special events at the farm too, so keep an eye on their Facebook page or website to see what’s on. My daughter is a big fan of the Big Bubbleman who seems to draw a crowd every time he visits, and the annual Peak District Highland Games, held in August, is one of the biggest events of the year.
Whenever you visit, just make sure you do!
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