For our ‘first’ day out we decided to head to West Lodge- I’d been ‘watching from afar’ and concluded they had the whole ‘social distsncing’ thing well managed. I wanted our day to feel safe but fun.
It turns out I wasn’t far wrong. Although our ‘normal’ day out at west lodge would include indoor play, coffee and chats with friends- we all admit life is much different now. A degree of isolation and fresh air feels so safe- and that’s what west lodge offers.
We booked an afternoon session; it was expectedly busy on our arrival- no one in the busy queue seemed to be wearing masks or caring much about distancing; so (having been shielding for 16 weeks) I felt a little wary. But the staff managed the queue quickly, effectively and safely; with hand gel and advice leaflets given- and once inside the farm park felt incredible spacious and distancing from others was easy.
As we arrived at lunchtime we headed straight to the picnic/den building area- and enjoyed the space- no one was around (in fact 8 picnic benches around us) Dot enjoyed the pre built dens and cute toad stool seats.
We then headed over to the animals when Dot (and Nanna, to be fair) enjoyed feeding and petting the incredibly tame, cute and often bouncy goats. We also took our dog Woody; despite being a total plonker, he was incredibly well behaved and enjoyed watching the goats and pigs!
Dogs are surprisingly welcome at West Lodge Farm Park- a blessing to doggy families- of course they cannot cuddle the bunnies or try the swings (that would just be weird) but there’s a multitude of walks to wear them (and their chatty sidekicks) out.
Talking of walks- we then snuck off to an old memory of Mummy’s- the witches house (I remember bring my nephews here 18-20yrs ago- and not much has changed). Dot and Nanna loved spotting the super cute fairy doors, toadstools and the badgers crossing- making a 4km walk a breeze.
There’s a fairy trail and a dinosaur trail for those with older kids; you get a worksheet and a reward if you find them all.
Dot found the witches house, but she was out. A little girl we saw shortly before told us the witch had gone to mend a poorly deer with her magic potions! Dot liked this idea, and although her legs were tired, her imagination carried her up the many steps and back to the farm for an ice cream.
Visiting, what you think is going to a busy family attraction post lockdown was very anxiety inducing for me, but after a hour I felt incredible safe. West lodge have obviously got this all in hand; staff regularly spraying down areas of high use, very clear signage, great leaflets, hand washing facilities, one way paths marked out, and enough space to very safely distance.
Seeing your child’s face enter a play park for the first time in 16 ish weeks was pretty epic, Dot was so happy, so full of energy and she literally loved every minute. She’s keen to go back- so hopefully we can make it a weekly trip.
Dots favourite bits:
– the incredibly tame and friendly goats
– a beautiful walk to the witches house and spying all the fairy doors
– the maze; so impressed with herself that she found the way out
– her first whippy ice cream with flake
– being ‘king of the castle’ in the outdoor play area
Mums top tips:
– take a picnic; there’s so many great picnicking spots
– you have to book your visit online(don’t disappoint the the kids)
– pre book your tractor your online (we didn’t know this and missed out)
– buy some animal food on arrival so the little ones get a hands on experience
– a few quid for the shop is a good idea; they’re beautifully stocked including Lanka kade and cute wellies
– grandparents will also love the on-site garden centre (we left with a huge olive tree!)
– if you live local-ish then membership is a must have (costs 14p a day!)
West Lodge Farm Park is just outside Desborough in Northamptonshire
West Lodge Insta drop them a follow