On Sunday we visited Longdown Activity Farm (one of Hampshire's Top Attractions), at Ashurst in the New Forest. It had been a few years since our last visit (way before The Pickle came along) but we remembered it being a fun day out with lots to see and do, both indoors and outdoors.
There is a car park directly opposite the farm which also has kennels to leave dogs. You do have to cross a road to get from the car park to the farm, but it didn't seem a particularly busy road when we were there.
There are lots of farm babies at the moment - pygmy goat kids and a donkey foal, as well as piglets and calves. The pygmy goat kids were adorable, so small and fluffy, running and jumping around their pen, I could have watched them all day!
The Princess and The Pickle enjoyed feeding the calves, goat kids and pigs. There are lots of hands on activities throughout the day (something different every half an hour) and some activities are repeated later in the day if you don't manage to do them the first time. They also enjoyed the baby animal encounter, where they each got to hold a chick and brush the rabbits and goats. The Pickle's chick even fell asleep in his hands for a moment!
Pony rides are run by Pony Magic and are £3 a ride. It's not a bad price but it would be nice if it lasted a little bit longer as it was just one lap of the small paddock. I think 2 laps would have made it a bit more worthwhile, but The Princess still enjoyed it (The Pickle wasn't quite brave enough this time!)
There are many play areas, both inside and out, which means you can still have loads of fun there even if it's pouring with rain! The trampoline barn is great, with a number of large trampolines with safety nets, some just for children and some for grown ups too! The Farmer's Straw Den is full of straw bales to run around on and jump off, plus a couple of slides attached to the bales. There is a soft play area with ball pit, climbing equipment and large slide, plus a seating area so parents can relax while the little ones play - the soft play is enclosed with a net and isn't large enough an area to lose sight of them.
The preschool play area is just behind the tearoom, with seating to enjoy a coffee or lunch. There are two rooms with various toys including wooden bead frames and puzzles, plus a further room with sand pits.
Outside there are mini tractors, go karts, table tennis tables, a digger (extra charge of £1) and a lovely wooden play area with picnic benches. There is also a tractor and trailer ride (no extra charge!) which drives around a large field. It's very (very) bumpy but a lot of fun for the little ones - I think this was The Pickle's favourite part of the whole day, he was smiling and giggling all the way!
Longdown Activity Farm is definitely somewhere you can enjoy in all weather and there is no chance of the children getting bored as there is so much to do. I would recommend it, especially for young children.
We were sent a family pass to review this attraction. All opinions are my own.