We visited Wimpole Hall and Home Farm in Cambridgeshire, as a break from our long journey to Norfolk. It was conveniently located ~ 2 hours either way, so worked pretty well for us.
The estate is huge, with so much to do that you can easily spend the entire day here. Although we had planned for a quick visit, we ended up staying for nearly two hours, and we still couldn’t fit everything in!
We started by taking a stroll through the winding woodland trails. We (I mean Ay) climbed trees, explored the apple orchard, and discovered hidden treasures. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you walk around, and listen to the birds chirping their joyful melodies. Don’t forget to grab a map from the reception to choose from one of the many trails!
Next, we headed to Home Farm. This working farm is one of the largest rare breed centers in the UK and is home to a variety of animals, including horses, sheep, pigs, and goats. The best part? Admission to the Home Farm is included in the National Trust admission price, giving a unique experience beyond the usual offerings of National Trust properties.
As we entered the farm, we were greeted by an impressive piggery, although the smell caught us by surprise (it was quite strong!). I felt sick and Ay even had to hold his nose for a bit! We encountered playful Bagot goats in their paddock, while donkeys and rabbits delighted us in the farmyard. Petting/ grooming and pig feeding sessions are held at certain times of the day.
We even got to try our hand at milking a cow, well, with pretend udders (lol). I heard from a few regulars that they do let you milk real cows, which is an experience I wouldn’t mind traveling all the way to Cambridge for! You can also watch as the sheep get their fluffy coats sheared. It’s a hands-on experience like this that makes you appreciate the wonders of farm life.
One of the most extraordinary highlights at Home Farm was the Shire horses. These majestic creatures are considered a rare breed and are classified as ‘at risk’ (this means that there are less than 1,500 breeding females left in the world). Wimpole Estate is actively involved in their conservation, and we had the chance to admire them up close. The stables provided a wonderful opportunity to observe their brilliance, and interactive educational displays throughout the farm enriches the learning experience. There are interactive educational displays for children throughout the farm.
You can also participate in the Home Farm trail and collect the eight special brass rubbings at each station. Make sure you go upstairs to the barn with the cart shed. Here, we discovered a grain store with captivating interactive displays. Children can learn about different types of grain, how a combine harvester works, and the process of grain processing. We even tried our hand at grinding the mill and winching a bag of grain to the top of the store. It is a great way for kids to appreciate the hard work involved in such tasks and learn about the day-to-day goings at the farm!
There is a small play area next to the cafe and picnic area. It has a combine harvester climbing frame, wooden animals and sculptures to climb, mounted tyres, a spinning bucket, balancing board, and logs. The play area is not massive but is enough to keep em busy waiting for food. There are lots of picnic benches here.
Make sure you finish all your food here, as there are signs posted throughout the area to remind visitors not to take food or drinks into the farmyard. If you are in the habit of wandering around eating your ice cream (like us), then you can’t do it. There is no other way to exit this area (or at least I couldn’t find one).
The parkland itself looked lovely from a distance. We could see many sheep and lamb grazing away as the people walked around them. I believe you can also find a ruined tower set called gothic folly on top of a hill, bridges and a lake there, but we couldn’t extend our walk due to time constraints.
Although we didn’t have the opportunity to go inside, you can not help but admire the grandeur of the Wimpole Hall. Just behind the house, we discovered the Dutch Garden. The geometric pattern, dense planting of hardy fuchsia, anemone, and clipped box hedging created a picturesque scene. And yes, we couldn’t help but giggle at the naked statues in the garden (as always).
If you find yourself in Cambridgeshire or nearby, I highly recommend visiting Wimpole Estate. The vastness of the estate ensures there is something for everyone, and you can easily spend an entire day here, immersed in history, nature, and farm life.
Address: Wimpole Estate, Arrington, Royston SG8 0BW, United Kingdom
Free for national trust members, otherwise, admission fee applies.
Different activities continue throughout the season (please see website for more details)
Parking is included within the ticket price
Toilets and baby facilities on site.
Refreshments available on site
Picnic are allowed in designated areas
Buggy accessible, though there is a mixture of loose gravel, tarmac and grass. An accessible route to the car park to the Walled Gardens, Farm and Stables is available
Dogs on a short lead are welcome at Wimpole Estate all year round. However, only assistance dogs are permitted in the Hall, Gardens, Home Farm and indoors at the Old Rectory Restaurant.
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