I’ll be honest, there’s not a massive amount of things to do with a toddler in the South Wales Valleys. When we look for things to do with our daughter, we usually end up at a soft play centre. But we thought we’d try something different and head to Walnut Tree Farm Park in Newport. The reviews were mostly positive for it, and the price was fairly cheap. So we thought this would work out quite well. Here’s my review of how we found it.
Things to Do In South Wales: Walnut Tree Farm Park Review
Our toddler absolutely loves animals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tiger or a sparrow. If she lifts her finger up and makes some silly little noise, chances are she’s spotted an animal and wants to tell you about it. So as you might expect, heading out to a farm was always going to be a great success to her. But we still couldn’t help the feeling of being slightly underwhelmed the entire time we were at Walnut Tree Farm.
I know this is going to sound unbelievably stupid, but for the majority of the park, it basically felt like you were wandering around someone’s farm.
I know, I know. What did I really expect? After all this is a farm. As such it has all the things you would expect to find on a farm. But a lot of the time it really didn’t feel like a park that’s open to the public. Maybe it didn’t help that we were literally the only people there. Minus the people who work there, of course. But if it wasn’t for the odd play area, we really would have felt like we accidentally stumbled into someone’s barn on private property.
Despite my dismay, there are still things to do at Walnut Tree Farm to occupy you for at least a couple of hours.
Things to Do at Walnut Tree Farm
First up you have the animals. Which feels like an obvious place to start. As you might expect, you’ll find all the typical animals that come to mind when you think of a farm. You know, farmyard animals. You’ve got your cows, pigs, horses, rabbits and even some reindeers. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you can pet and play with the rabbits or guinea pigs in the petting area that they have set up. But at no point was this offered to us despite the fact it looked like something that they did.
Play Areas for Children
One of the good things that Walnut Tree Farm has going for it is the number of parks on offer. It has a large one in the indoor barn area and then a bunch more smaller ones dotted around the rest of the farm. They usually have the odd bench or two so if you happen to bring some sort of packed lunch – assuming that that’s allowed? – then you have a place to relax if the weather permits.
Go-Kart Racing, Pony Rides and Tractor Rides
After that you have a bunch of other things that we didn’t actually do. There are pedal powered go-karts on offer as well as daily pony or tractor rides if you fancy doing that. Our daughter was 16 months old when we visited, so chucking her on a pony probably wasn’t going to be the best idea. Don’t get me wrong, I was all for it, but my wife wasn’t convinced.
There’s also a very small, very limited soft play area in the cafe area, but we didn’t really bother with it. I’ll be honest, when we were there the cafe kind of felt like a staff room as there were a few members of staff enjoying a break there and that was it. But again, we were literally the only members of the public there when we visit, which really didn’t help with the feeling that we shouldn’t be there.
With All Things Said, It was a Little Bit Disappointing
Unfortunately, Walnut Tree Farm doesn’t really have a whole lot on offer. Even more so when it comes to having a toddler. The play areas aren’t that much more than you’ll find at a local park, and we never really felt like there was anything else to do other than walk around and watch. Whilst you can have pony rides and the other things mentioned above, none of this was pointed out whilst we were there. If it was something we wanted to do, there wasn’t exactly anyone around who you felt like you could ask about it.
I will say that we were rather impressed with how clean the farm was. It didn’t smell and all the animals looked well kept and well maintained. I dare say it’s a rather hard task to stop pigs from smelling, but they’ve done a great job with that one. Perhaps we were just expecting a little bit too much, or maybe it would have seemed better had there been more people there. Either way, this isn’t the first time we’ve been disappointed with a zoo – or farm in this case – that others have seemed to like.
Opening Times, Prices and How to Get There
Walnut Tree Farm Park is open Monday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. It’s fairly cheap too, it’s just £5.50 for an adult and £4.50 for a child. Then it’s £4 for for both during term time. I’m not actually sure what age counts as a child as we paid £12 for the three of us and Isabelle was only 16 months old. I think this was the first time we’ve ever actually paid for Isabelle to attend anything. I would’ve been under the impression that child just meant over 3, or something around that.
If you want to know how to get to Walnut Tree Farm in St. Brides, then here’s a map. I’m not sure how much use this map is going to be to you. If you don’t want to use this, then just use this postcode – NP10 8SQ
Despite Being Slightly Underwhelmed, Walnut Tree Farm Park Might be Worth a Visit
I’m not going to lie, we didn’t massively enjoy Walnut Tree Farm, but that doesn’t mean it’s not perhaps worth a visit. I wouldn’t exactly call this a day out, more like an hour or two which was the case for us. But it’s pretty much what you expect from a farm.
If you’re simply after something like a petting zoo in the South Wales area that’s really affordable then it might be worth a visit. Just limit your expectations. This farm isn’t going to blow you away. But then and again it is just a farm with a couple of play areas.
If you want to book tickets or check out Walnut Tree Farm for yourself, then you can do so via their website.
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