We were recently invited by Sacrewell farm to come and review them and their summer of fun. They have a 7 day summer event program on until September. Sacrewell is unique in that it’s not run for profit. It’s run as a heritage farm and money taken is put back into the farm. It is set in a site filled with history as there is an old water mill there and a lot of the buildings are old farming buildings. The grounds are very picturesque and although conveniently situated near the A1 you don’t notice the noise as much as you would assume you would. Sacrewell is in East Anglia a few miles from Peterborough. It’s just over an hours drive for us from Lincolnshire.
Summer fun – What’s on
This year Sacrewell are offering you the chance to bet a small amount of money on a duck race or on the lamb national. The lamb national was on the day we visited.
We would have loved to have been able to take part betting on a lamb but sadly a visit to the doctors was calling. Jamie played his part in boosting some of the lamb’s energy though as he had a great time feeding them all food.
I chose a Wednesday to visit as they were offering the opportunity to go bug hunting. As Jamie is rather bug mad I had a feeling he would enjoy doing this. You meet a member of staff down near the mill, during our visit this was between 10:00-11:00am. You are handed all the essentials for a spot of bug hunting – magnifying glass, check card, pen and bug pot. Jamie was really enthusiastic. I thought he’d never want to leave. The idea is to turn over logs on a pathway and see what you can find underneath. He did well and found 8 of the bugs on the list.
On a Tuesday and Sunday you can go pond dipping. This is something we’d go back for as we are yet to do it and I think it would be a fun activity to do. They have a gorgeous pond and a stream at Sacrewell. On a Monday and Friday you can participate in den building. Then on a Thursday and Saturday there is animal handling, again something Jamie would love to do.
On some of the days there is a tour of the mill at 12pm, plus black-clay-smithing, leatherworks and animal talks. A full list of what’s on and when can be found on Sacrewell’s website. Some of the activates may be subject to change or a small charge.
Our day at Sacrewell Farm
The larger animals
They have goats, sheep, alpacas, calves and chickens outside in a few grassed area. Then there are more animals up past the mill including some recently born piglets. Jamie was more interested in the donkeys!
The pigs in the top field were highly entertaining and seemed rather sociable.
They provide food for the animals a bit differently now at Sacrewell. It used to be for sale in pots behind the counter. It can now be found near the goats and it’s in the form of a vending machine with cups. It’s 20p a time and it’s about 40p to fill a cup. Jamie had just 20p’s worth and it lasted him ages. He loves feeding animals. It’s his thing. I’m glad we had time before lunch as the vending machine had run out by 12:30pm. So get in early if your kids like feeding the animals. I am unsure as to whether it was refilled later in the day.
Near the play barn you will find the animal village with plenty of guinea pigs and rabbits in outdoor and indoor hutches. This is where you can feed and pet the animals if it’s one of their pet experience session days.
You can also find chickens, mice, ferrets and more in this area. It is also where you can now catch Sacrewell’s tractor ride.
This is charged at an additional cost, which is £1.50 per person over the summer and £1 each in winter. When we visited Sacrewell in the winter the tractor ride wasn’t hugely entertaining. But as we had spotted it was going from a different place we decided to give it another go. You have to purchase your ticket at reception and you are given a keyring with your allotted time on it. This luckily stops over crowding and means no one is turned away.
The tractor ride lasted for at least 20 minutes. It took a completely different route to last time. Instead of just going up the road that you drive in on it went a whole new way. It was really interesting and the tractor driver was very engaging and amusing. He didn’t stop talking for the entire journey and kept us entertained with interesting facts about farming, what Sacrewell grows, a brief history and much more. It was really interesting going by the working fields of Sacrewell.
The mill has been recently restored thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and additional funding from the William Scott Abbott Trust. When we visited this time both of the water wheels where turning and all the machinery was turning inside. We tried our best to explain the process to Jamie. He was more taken with exploring all the different levels and staircases. There’s a few interesting displays to read as well. It’s well worth walking around the back of the mill as it takes you to a lovely pond that we totally missed last time.
As mentioned above it is well worth a walk around the back of the mill to see the pond. There were a few ducks swimming around plus a swan. It’s really idyllic and you can also see where the two inlets of water are for turning the big wheels of the mill. There’s a few picnic tables in this area. If you follow the pathway round it also takes you by a pretty little stream and down to a bridge with a small waterfall.
There’s quite a variety of old farming equipment to discover around the farm. They have a 1952 tractor which the children are able to sit on. Jamie could have sat here for a lot longer than allowed. He loved all the levers.
There’s a playground with equipment for little ones and for bigger kids too. There’s also a sandpit in this area. Next to the playground you will find a small maze. Mum and I were all set to go round the maze with Jamie but he charged off and had vanished in the blink of an eye. He was happy as Larry running around though and chuffed to bits when he eventually found the middle.
They have a really good soft play barn at Sacrewell. The equipment can rival that of a regular soft play place. There’s a large section for toddlers and babies with slides etc. Then there’s a ball area with a tube that sucks up the balls and drops them back out again (Jamie’s favourite). For the bigger kids there is a very large soft play area with some great slides. Not only that but there’s also an area for riding around on ride ons. We spent a lot of time in here on our winter visit but even in the heat Jamie was keen to spend some time in here. You can also get refreshments in the play barn.
As mentioned above you can get refreshments in the play barn. They have a counter serving hot and cold drinks. They also serve cold food such as sandwiches, cake and snacks.
In the main entrance area they have a large café. This is to the left of the shop. They serve hot and cold food, including hot meals and sandwich boxes for the kids. They also have hot and cold drinks.
Food is served from 12pm-2pm. We arrived at 12 and the hot food and menu wasn’t out until 12:10pm. This was a bit of a shame for everyone that was waiting. Hopefully it was just a one off. The food was hot and tasty and we were glad of it as we were all very hungry. Jamie had a sandwich box and I was impressed by the quantity of healthy options on offer. Mum and I both had a homemade pasta bake with salad for £5.95. Despite our wait I would recommend a visit to the café.
There are plenty of picnic benches on site if you wish to take one.
Camping and Caravanning
They have 27 electric hook up points on their caravanning and camping field. They also have 48 non electric grass pitches. Campers will received a 50% discount on their entry to Sacrewell farm. The campsite is closed between November and February. Prices are very reasonable and priced per person. An adult in high season is just £7.00 a night and £6.00 a night in low season. They have a toilet and shower block just for campers and tourers.
Sacrewell is open 7 days a week, nearly all year round. They have summer and winter admission prices. An adult in summer is £7.50 without gift aid and £5.40 for a child ages 2-16 years old. Under 2’s are free entry. An adult in winter is £635 without gift aid and a child 2-16 is £4.55. They also have prices for seniors and family tickets. A tractor ride in summer is £1.50 per person and £1.00 each in winter. Click here for up to date information including opening dates.
They also have annual passes which gives you 1 free visit to Grimsthorpe castle, plus quite a few other benefits. Sacrewell have many events on all year round. Check out their website for more information.
Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of my review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.
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