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We were recently invited to The Big Sheep in Bideford. Whilst not knowing much about this venue, having visited many other tourist attractions within the South West region we were intrigued to know what North Devon had to offer. The correspondence I received from Anne (‘Head of Happiness’) as stated on her business card) was very warm and welcoming. Further correspondence told of a reception committee including the rolling out of the red carpet. Some might have misinterpreted this as being primed for a showcase of the business, boasting all of its best attributes. How wrong they would have been!
On arrival Anne came to meet us personally and we were ushered to a table in their main food court where we were treated to a freshly brewed Barrista coffee and a quality cup of tea. We chatted through the general features of the park at which point Anne tactfully sent us on our way to enjoy all the park had to offer. Henry and Lowenna were most excited to know what the day had in store.
On entering the farm we couldn’t help but notice the abundance of flowers and well-kept hanging baskets that adorned the patio areas leading to the sign posts pointing out the attractions around the farm. Crossing the bridge the children were particularly excited to see the big sheep swing ride although we felt that our children were too small to handle the excitement of this ride so we swiftly moved onto the swan boats.
The children then opted to try out the coin op tractors which were great fun! Following that we headed towards the show arena where a demonstration of the different breeds of sheep was taking place. This was extremely well done and followed by the children all going down to the front to feed the sheep. Prior to this the other half was somewhat distracted by seeing the vast number of fermenting vessels where traditionally brewed ales are produced with their very own Country Life Brewery.
Next were the duck trials! Here we saw one of the farms youngest collies showing off his talent with only 1 months training!
Henry particularly liked bouncing on the giant pillows followed by archery.
Next it was time for mum and dad to have a break so we entered the indoor soft play area where Henry and Lowenna burnt off some of their energy on the drop slides. The other half bought me some local fudge and we sat and had a cup of tea while the children happily entertained themselves.
By now the children were starting to think about lunch so we headed back to the food court to order our lunch. On arrival it was very busy and we did wonder whether our food would take some time to arrive, with young children this is always an issue when trying to hold their attention for prolonged periods. Our lunch arrived within 20 minutes which was remarkable considering our lunch was clearly cooked freshly to order.
Suitably replete, Lowenna insisted on seeing the new season lambs, the miniature ponies and yet again wanted to feed the sheep. Next, and this was certainly the highlight of my day, we saw a litter of Collie puppies. The children were invited to hold them on their laps. How disappointed Lowenna was not to be able to take one home.
Henry then opted for a tractor trailer ride around the farm and the other half opted for a go on the shooting gallery.
The children then noticed a little pink tractor pulling little pink pig trailers. The announcement was made that James would be “Pulling the pigs” of which he was pointed out as being an expert. This was all very tongue in cheek and certainly amused the other half!
James then entertained the children on the vintage merry go round which was turned by hand before reverting back to his tractor and trailer rides. Lowenna insisted on a train ride around the swan boat lake. This was a lovely way to round off our day.
All in all a very worthwhile visit, very well thought out and the staff most friendly. Thank you to the Big Sheep.
WIN Tickets to The Big Sheep
I am currently running a giveaway with The Big Sheep & Mumsnet Devon. If you would like to to be in for a chance of winning a family ticket (2 adults & 4 children) then enter using the rafflecopter box below. We have 10 tickets in total to giveaway so there’s a great chance of winning.
Good luck everyone