Spring time is the perfect time for a trip to the farm, and our top choice in the Midlands is Mary Arden’s Farm*. I’ve written about this before but it really is a fantastic place to visit. Located in Wilmcote and the former home of Mary Arden (Shakespeare’s mother) and her family, the farm has acres of land beautifully laid out for children and adults to explore. There is so much to do and for just £13.25* per adult (under 3’s are free) or £35** for a family your entrance ticket gives you a year’s access, so you can have a thoroughly enjoyable day out time and time again.
The farm takes you back to Tudor times with interesting demonstrations, Tudor music and dancing, falconry displays and activities for children to enjoy through the year like pumpkin carving and clay tile decoration. During our visit last week we made pom pom creatures!
The house is carefully presented as a Tudor home with dinners prepared in the kitchen and served at lunchtime. Rooms can be explored giving a taste of life in the 1500s and perhaps a glimpse of what the young William Shakespeare would have experienced. Outbuildings house a dovecote and a cider press, and there are barns to explore too.
Along with the demonstrations (we saw a gentleman writing with a quill and an Eagle Owl being flown – or “Owl Eagle” as the Loud One insisted on calling it), activities and displays are, naturally, farm animals. You will find informative signs displayed around the farm relating the animals living there today to their predecessors in times gone by, adorned with quotes from Shakespeare’s work. At this time of year the farm was starting to buzz with lambs, chicks and we even saw a very young kid (with its very patient mum!).
A short walk will take you to a children’s playground, and if you walk a little further you will come to a willow tunnel, a beautifully peaceful woodland area with dens constructed from branches and twigs (and plenty more for you to have a go at building your own) along with some wooden climbing structures, and a wild flower meadow.
Mary Arden’s is undoubtedly one of my favourite places to visit as a family. It is so much more than a farm, a house, a history lesson. It is a wonderfully relaxed place to go with family young and old. It is a somewhere to have a moment of peace and focussed family time in what can sometimes be a chaotic family schedule. Although I have written this following our latest visit, I am certain that we will take full advantage of the annual pass and return several times over the coming months for a little more Tudor magic.
* I have not received any payment for this review of our day out, I am simply passing on our experience 🙂
** correct as at April 2017, booking online in advance reduces the rates.