Smithills in Bolton is an impressively-stocked open farm with baas, grunts, moos and quacking deafening you from the moment you hit the car park. The main attraction is the big barn which seems to have every animal imaginable side by side. I learnt this to my cost when one of the staff asked for a volunteer to hold one of the animals. The children were beside themselves when I, expecting a cuddly bunny or something, found a twelve foot python thrust onto my lap! Snakes aside, feeding and petting the chicks, guinea pigs and lambs was great fun for all ages. Then, at the opposite end of the barn, a herd of cows trooped in for the 1pm milking parade!
Outside there are open spaces, climbing frames and pedal tractors if your kids need to let off steam, and up in the top fields you can see llamas, alpacas and deer. Donkey and tractor-trailer rides are available too at a cost of £1 each and if it’s wet there are plenty of indoor attractions. Don’t miss the brilliant, free bouncy assault course and the cosy café that serves cheap tasty children’s meals with a smile.Daily 10am-5pm Adults £7, Child £6, under 2s free. Smithills Open Farm, Smithills Dean Road, Bolton, Lancashire BL1 7NS Tel: 01204 595765 smithillsopenfarm.co.uk