North Bradbury Farm - Our Weekend Staycation
I initially made contact with Tracey and her husband Chris after realising that they lived so close to us. I saw that they were running a competition to win a weekend stay with one of our favourite brands Tootsa McGinty. Jonah and Winter LOVE all things farm related; the animals, the fields... Winter's first word was 'tractor,' (that's living in Devon for you!) but when do kiddies really get the opportunity to actually spend some time on a farm? Take a look at our VLOG above to see what we got up to before reading on!
More than just a self catering holiday.
Usually when we go away to self catering places, we very much keep to our ourselves; use the facilities, enjoy the accommodation, but generally don't socialise or see anyone else. We knew from the start of conversation with Tracey that this weekend was going to be quite different to that.
North Bradbury Farm is a 'family farm' tucked away in North Devon between Tiverton and Barnstaple. Tracey and Farmer Chris welcome families for weekend a week long breaks to their lovely Farm where the whole family have the opportunity to get stuck into farm life, whether it be feeding the animals, enjoying a tractor ride or spending some time with the farm dogs Rosie and Misty. There's also lots of things to enjoy at your leisure such as two play areas, a wilderness area in the woods for those who love building bivouacs and damming streams (like Chris) and a lovely heated outdoor pool.
We arrived early on Friday evening just in time for an express version of feeding time. Trace had said before we arrived that they would be going out with their Grandchildren for the evening but would be happy to do a quick tour before they left. We were quite pleased with this option because after a tiring week at work and school, we were happy to enjoy the cottage, the cream tea that awaited us and an early night. There would be plenty of time over the weekend to get stuck into farm life so we went to the park for a quick play (with the dogs in tow!) and then headed to bed! To see the inside of the cottage that we stayed in, take a look at our VLOG above.
The boys were up bright an early and ready fro a day at the farm. We met Farmer Chris at 10 am to get going with feeding time. The routine at the farm is optional but really fun to embrace. Jonah LOVED the routine and by Sunday evening was a dab hand at all his 'chores,' and was showing the new guests on Sunday evening what they should be doing. It was so lovely to see him have that confidence develop over the weekend.
Feeding time usually took between an hours to an hour and a half. As I said, you have to embrace it to get the most out of the experience and if you have nowhere else to be, then why not? I'm sure that if you were there for the week you could opt out of some of the feeding times if you fancied going to the beach or for an explore.
Every feeding time starts the same and goes around all the animals. First up were the hens, to feed them and collect any eggs. Winter tagged along but didn't really get involved in the actual feeding but really had a ball chasing the hens and causing havoc. We tended to follow Jonah and Farmer Chris for a little while and when Winter got bored we heading to the park to play.
We visited the farm at the right time for ducklings (who grow SUPER quickly, so we were lucky to see some!). This was the highlight for me, giving them a cuddle and a squeeze!
So after the hens and the ducks, Jonah helped to collect the feed and water for the pigs, the horses and the ducks over on duck island. All the while we were more than happy to be chatting with the owners about their story and how they accidentally started this family friendly holiday retreat.
We spent the rest of the day either in the park or enjoying the swimming pool which was heated to a perfect temperature that even encouraged Winter to get in. The boys finished off the day with a tractor ride (again, see VLOG!)
By Sunday, I was feeling it... at 34 weeks pregnant I was pushing myself a bit much so handed over the reigns to Chris for feeding time on Sunday morning. Jonah was particularly interested in a magpie trap that Farmer Chris had set up on duck island to trap any birds trying to steal the eggs and there was a jack daw trapped in it. When Jonah asked what would happen to it, Farmer Chris told him he was going to shoot it... that became the talking point of the day!
After feeding time, the boys got to ride on the ponies which was such a highlight for them and for us! I didn't think that Winter would have a go but he proved me wrong! All of these experiences that the boys shared I knew that they would remember for a long time.
Now that it's almost been a month since we visited and Jonah is still saying 'just like North Bradbury,' and 'Do you remember this happened at North Bradbury...' It's not surprising that families tend to revisit time and time again with their kids as they grow... Jonah wouldn't rather be anywhere else!
We were hosted at North Bradury Farm on a review stay. All opinions are our own.