The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!
We went to Godstone Farm today (more of that in a while) but I started the day with a little run. This was enhanced by a) the sunshine b) my new mpow headphones c) a MarathonTalk podcast and d) not being chased by any dogs. I did encounter dogs because I risked going along the doggy path again but the ones I encountered were not interested in me and simply bounded past.
The downsides were that it was early in the morning (never good for running) and that the only routes are downhill (followed by the inevitable uphill). Somewhere in the middle of the run I was going pretty well (7:31 per mile) but the Nike app reckons I took 8:21 on the last mile, which I find hard to believe as I thought I was still doing OK, in spite of the fact that it was uphill. In these circumstances I always presume that the GPS lost me! Anyway, the result was 4.1 miles @ 7:48 pace.
Later in the morning we took the kids and the wrinklies (aka the in-laws) to Godstone Farm. When we got there, the car park was packed with cars – so many people! Anyway, eventually we found a parking space miles from the entrance and walked down only to find free parking spaces right by the entrance.
I took a quick photo of the kids on the way in and a lady asked me if I would like her to take the photo so that I could be in it too but I didn’t really want to be in the photo so I declined her kind offer. However, when Dominic looked at the photo he said “Oh, I see you got in it after all.” Charming!
We bought some feed for the animals but the tubs said on them that we weren’t to feed the pigs, horses or donkeys. That didn’t actually leave many animals to feed and certainly not many that would eat out of your hand. Dominic was not impressed even by the food chute for the sheep.
The good money was on Hock but you never know – form isn’t everything in pig racing. And they were off. Hock took the early lead through the hanging balls and nimbly negotiated the painted tyres. The clothes line posed no problem and then through the gate at the turn Hock still held the lead. A deft little jump through the farmers legs and a sprint to the finish through the tunnel and Hock was the winner!
From one set of pigs to another and we found that the piglets in the barn were only ten days old and were particularly cute.
The play area was great for all ages although Dominc said that the slides weren’t high enough or the zip wire fast enough. He seemed to have more fun in the huge sand pit. Daniel certainly enjoyed himself pouring sand down the chute and then getting Naomi to refill the bucket.
We hadn’t seen and certainly hadn’t fed that many animals so we went in search of more. Dominic didn’t have that much luck with the rhea which pecked his thumb but had more joy with the geese.
On the way home we stopped to get Dominic’s hair cut at the barber’s. I’m not sure what the barber made of his painted face.
We were also able to tick something else off Dominic’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 as we found a hollowed out tree outside the barber’s. There weren’t many creepy crawlies inside but there were lots of spiders webs and evidence of woodworms.
All in all I would recommend Godstone Farm for a visit. It is a little pricey for a family (£8 each admission) but there is plenty to do and the play area is great. They also have a soft play area but it was really busy today do we didn’t go there. The refreshments were reasonably priced and the kids loved the real fruit juice ice lollies. The only disappointment was the lack of animals that could be hand fed. For example we couldn’t get close to the goats or the alpaca, animals that you can normally feed, and we weren’t allowed to feed some of the other animals. I think that, after being shut down due to infection a number of years ago, they are probably just being very cautious.