Tucked away on the edge of the Tatton estate is this small Victorian farm. It’s home principally to rare breeds, so you can brush up on your Gloucester Old Spots and your Angora Goats. What that means in practice is the most extraordinary collection of chickens clucking around your feet if you’re a small child with a bag of goat food in your hand. I swear, one chicken was the size of my daughter!
We took the land train from the car park and happily spent an hour laughing at the greedy goats, patting the donkeys, admiring the pigs and playing with the chickens. The farm has been extended to include a play barn. It isn’t the biggest, and only contains small pedal tractors, so I imagined it wouldn’t hold much appeal. How wrong I was. They, and a dozen others, would have spent all morning careering into one another in the tight space if I hadn’t prised them away.
Also relatively new is a play area with a mini activity course through the woods, a den-building zone, two mazes (one a seasonal maize maze), and an al fresco story tent (there’s another story area at the farm in a barn) where stories are told (May-Sept) on Sundays. We had a ball in the woodland park, and if that wasn’t enough, the walk to and from it involved stroking some pretty friendly reindeer – always a winner!Nov-Mar Sat-Sun 11am-4pm, Apr-Oct Tues-Sun plus Bank Holidays 12-5pm. Closed during RHS Flower Show in July. Adults £6, Child £4, under 4s free. Family £16.
National Trust members half price. Car parking £5 Tatton Park, Ashley Road, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6QN Tel: 01625 374400 tattonpark.org.uk