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Five great days out with the kids – Summer is here!

Vintage aircraft on days out at Shuttleworth

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Got young children? You know the drill, one minute its sports day the next school’s out for the Summer, eek! What to do with the kids!

Look no further, for we at The Farmhouse at Polehanger have compiled a helpful list of fun days out with the kids in our local area to relieve that sudden panic – and provide anyone staying at our luxury farmhouse accommodation a guide to what’s available in our corner of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire for ways to fill those long hot sunny days (we hope!) and keep young children entertained.

A Day at the Local Farm - fun for all

Get up close and personal with furry friends – I’m talking bunny rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, cows, horses, donkeys and even alpacas. What is more humbling than farmyard life replicating all that your children have seen in picture books at bedtime.

Standalone Farm in Letchworth is just a stone’s throw away, 10-15 minutes by car and has free parking, making it perfect for planning days out. It will fulfil all of your requirements; with times to pet or groom the animals, feed available to buy, picnic tables on the grass, a lovely wooden outdoor climbing frame with slides and tunnels, tractor and trailer rides at weekends and plenty of grass covered pathways to walk along and pick daisies along the way.

Followed of course by lunch in the café and an ice cream to finish! Not forgetting the all-important gift shop to ensure you take a piece of the heritage farm experience home with you – be sure to pick your time to leave carefully to avoid any tantrums though, as they won’t want to go home!  

days out visiting Standalone Farm and seeing the piglets

Fruit Picking

Fruit picking on days out in the local area

One of my favourite activities for the early Summer is a visit to the local ‘pick-your-own’. In this case Graveley fruit farm, which has ample parking, an outdoor café to grab a coffee on arrival, a play area and even little pigs wallowing in mud for your youngest to admire while you drink said coffee and decide what fruits to pick. You pick based on what’s ripe, strawberries in late June and raspberries in July (other fruits are also available, check their website before you visit).

Fill the punnets to the brim then queue at the weighing-in-scales to see who has picked the most, that is if they haven’t eaten them all on the way round! You can then spend time happily devouring ice creams and let the kids play in the free sandpit, zoom down the zip wire or clamber for hours on the haystack, loads of fun! Or if you have slightly older children, they can enjoy crazy golf, brand new jumping pillows or ‘krazy karts’ for a fee.

Remember to check before you go to ensure the fruits haven’t all been picked the day before; they may need an extra day to ripen. The fruit farm gives a daily update on their website and facebook page if you have a query.

When the Weather is hot - Head for Water!

If you and your young brood need to cool down completely, I would recommend a splash park – yes it might be busy but get there early and you’ll find a space in the car park and a place in the shade for your picnic blanket. All set for a day of sunshine filled happiness watching your little ones splashing each other to their hearts content!

The one to head for whilst enjoying a luxury stay at the Farmhouse at Polehanger is Howard Park splash park and paddling pool, again in Letchworth and only 10-15 minutes away.

Once their shoes are off, the kids can enjoy a low-level clear stream of water meandering from one end of the landscaped park to the other, with a tiny bridge or two along the way for your youngest to investigate – ending in a series of water fountains and jets, perfect for a whole-body soaking on a hot day!

A café and shaded wooden play area with climbing frames for the slightly older ones make this an ideal find for a morning of fun.

We are also lucky enough to have the option of two recently renovated lido’s just down the road, 10-15 minutes from Polehanger Farm. For days out, choose from either Hitchin or Letchworth outdoor swimming pools to while away a sunny day and get everyone active with a dip in the clear blue waters.

Shuttleworth Collection & The Swiss Gardens

A day out to suit everyone – Shuttleworth Collection & Gardens is a hidden gem for our local area of Bedfordshire, on the doorstep if staying at the farmhouse, and with options for all ages. Vast grassy areas for running off some energy, a heritage aircraft collection, beautiful gardens with a sculpture trail, a cafe and an array of outdoor play areas that include swings, slides, climbers, spinners and sensory panels each with varying degrees of skill – from the very young up to those almost in double figures.

The play areas are surrounded by hedges to keep the little ones from venturing off and has seating options for anyone too big to climb.

Sit and watch vintage aircraft practising for a weekend air display or take a closer look at the full collection with a stroll through the hangers, it will take you on a journey through time and is well worth the visit.  

A walk fit for a King - Ampthill Great Park

Follow the footsteps of King Henry VIII on one of your days out with a leisurely walk across the 160 acres of Ampthill Great Park, taking in the panoramic views. The youngest in your group will love exploring the woodlands and will not be able to resist the challenge of climbing up or rolling down the parks optional steep hills!

Just a 20-minute drive away from the Farmhouse at Polehanger it has ample free parking in the main car park (a smaller car park can be found near ‘The Coffee Lodge’, with accessible parking plus a few extra spaces) toilets, baby changing and a five star hygiene rating for food.

With the bonus of a good-sized play area featuring traditional and challenging play equipment, a zip wire and accessible trampoline this park is a great mix of open spaces, natural forest, a playground for the children, recently planted new trees and wildflower areas.

The walks across this green and ancient park are absolutely stunning on a bright and sunny day and will certainly blow away the cobwebs after an evening of eating and drinking – you are on holiday remember!

And in case you are wondering what the connection is, King Henry VIII used to hunt and ride his horses across Ampthill Great Park.

For more information on any of these suggestions please see the information pack in the farmhouse or feel free to ask Andrew or Charlotte in person or by email prior to or during your stay.

For Luxury Group Accommodation in The Countryside

Contact the Farmhouse at Polehanger for your next stay

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