On the Lanchester to Satley road in County Durham, you will find one of the premier farm based attractions of the region, Hall Hill Farm.
There are many farm attractions across the region, however, few are as well laid out as those you will find at Hall Hill.
With ample free parking, it is only a short walk to the well signed entrance and having paid the entrance fee at the shop you are straight amongst the animals.
The first animals you will encounter are the rabbits. Ideal for the younger visitors who can, under supervisor, hold and cuddle them. It amazing to see how even the most boisterous children become calm and attentive when given a rabbit to hold. It can also provide a valuable sensory experience for those who are deprived of one of their own senses.
However, the rabbits are only the start. Further ahead are the sheep pens, where during our visit, sheep about to lamb were being held. Informative signage explained what to look out for to spot when a sheep was about to give birth.
The lamb to the left arrived in the poly tunnel only minutes before we did.
The woollen coat was still wet from the womb as the lamb’s mother continued to lick it clean.
Also in the poly-tunnel were pigs and goats, some with kids.
This cheeky little one seemed to revel posing for the camera. Although most of the larger animals seemed keener to find out if you had any feed that was sold by the bag at the entrance. This feeding of the animals seemed to be positively encouraged and once again allowed children to learn about the animals and interact with them in ways simply not available elsewhere. However, be aware of the pecking order within the groups of animals. Sometimes they can scramble for the food so make sure you feed the dominant one first to distract it away from the others.
Just before leaving the poly-tunnel a sign reminds you to wash your hands. It is one of many around the site and clearly great thought has been given to ensure that no disease is passed from the animals to visitors. There are plenty of hand-washing facilities provided which were all well stocked with hand gel, soap andclean water. Particular useful if you have just bottle fed a lamb.
Donkey rides are available around an enclosure, escorted by a member of staff and if you are worried your child cannot climb on, there is even a handy step to ensure the smallest can mount up with minimal effort. All around the site you will find signage to ensure that older children with enquiring minds are also catered for.
So whether pigs, donkeys, wallabies, alpacca, cows or rare breeds are your thing, there is something for you at Hall Hill Farm.