We secretly visited the award-winning Cannon Hall Farm on Wednesday 11th October as part of my new blog series “Undercover”. The plan is to visit family-friendly places nearby then write a honest review based on our whole experience without telling them we are coming.
For my first Undercover blog post I searched google for somewhere we could go that ticked all of our boxes. We needed somewhere educational, fun for all ages, a great place to meet our friends PLUS an on-site family friendly restaurant. I usually take a picnic but I was feeling lazy!
But what did we think when we visited? Did Cannon Hall Farm live up to it’s high expectations?
We arrived around 11am greeted by friendly smiles as we paid for our entry. There was also the option to buy a bag of animal food for 50p each so we got 3, 1 per child, which was more than enough. We were given leaflets which listed the times of the talks and demonstrations on the farm. We noticed it was almost 11.15 so we rushed to the meerkat area and waited for someone to arrive. But no one came.
We thought we must have missed them so we started making our way through the farm ready for the milking demo. As we reached the first barn we saw a member of staff with a lovely little lop rabbit and guinea pig. We were invited to come and say hello and stroke the animals carefully. The children were thrilled and loved getting up close with them. We asked the lady lots of questions and she was very informative and friendly.
We moved on and reached the pig area. There were lots of pregnant sows and piglets but we had to move on quickly as we didn’t want to miss the milking demonstration. We did stop for a little while though to admire this mummy pig call her babies for milk time then off we rushed.
We arrived on time, luckily. The children immediately began filling the food shoots with the animal feed for the cows and goats while the adults listened to the milking demonstration. The guy doing the demonstration was also very informative, however the children were far too excited to listen properly and spent the time filling the food shoots and running around. Once it had finished we decided to visit the playgrounds for a little while so the kids could release some energy.
All I can say is WOW! I was so impressed by how awesome the playgrounds were. Seriously, they are dead impressive!! There are 4 (I think) different outdoor play areas but we only got to try 2 of them. We played in the tunnel playground right at the top while we were waiting for the ferret racing to start (it never did!) and the kids absolutely loved it! It’s not like anything we’ve seen at a playground before. They had so much fun running through the tunnels, hiding and peeking through.
Then the other playground we tried was right down at the bottom near the pigs. It’s only a small area but the slide really impressed me. The ladders for climbing up we’re “boxed in” therefore were much safer for younger children to climb up – or at least I felt less anxious about letting little Pop go up. He loved that I was giving him some independence and I loved watching him do it himself 🙂
This was so cool! You can put on ”a bet” for free to guess which colour sheep will win the race and the winner gets a free return ticket to Cannon Hall Farm! So pick wisely 😉
I thought this was a great bit of fun.
THE HUNGRY LLAMA RESTAURANT
I didn’t get many chances to take pictures inside the restaurant as I was much too busy running around the soft play with the kids. I did manage to get a quick snap of my unappetizing vegetarian lasagna. Seriously, It was utterly appalling. Broccoli and other vegetables with lumpy, almost jelly like, cheese chunks and a tomato sauce. Yuk!
It was absolutely awful! I couldn’t eat it. The chips were horrible too 🙁
To be honest, I think the vegetarian menu at The Hungry Llama could be much better. On this menu I’ve circled the vegetarian meals and at first, the number of options looks fantastic! But then when you look further you see that the meals are actually pretty boring and bland. Chip butty, Egg mayo sandwich, Macaroni cheese, Baked potato with cheese, etc. Yawn!!!!
The vegetarian lasagna seemed the best choice – which I quickly discovered wasn’t a good choice.
This poor dining experience really tippled the day for me. We parents know how stressful a ”fun family day out” can be. The toddlers running off, the four year old wanting (another drink) quickly followed by several visits to the loo and the 8 year old dragging his feet. Then sitting down and having a delicious bite to eat to refuel my tank is a welcome relief – even if I am feeding little Pop too. So you can imagine that I was pretty disappointed with my lack of a meal!
So, I really hope that the vegetarian options at Hungry Llama are reconsidered. There’s lots of easy, delicious and nutritious foods which would look awesome on this menu.
So all in all, was it a good or bad experience?
I’m going to say it was a positive experience however there was quite a few let downs on the day. The meerkat talk, the ferret race and the food we’re all disappointing but everything else was lovely. The staff we’re all a credit to the Farm and it was nice, clean and fun.
I’d love to go back and re-review the Hungry Llama once the menu has a little update.