Summer At Rare Breeds Centre Ashford

Do you have a list of local things you must visit again but then never get round to doing so? Well I feel like that with the Rare Breeds Centre. We last took a trip there about two years ago and we loved it, promising the girls we’d be back one day soon.

As I said, that was two years ago but recently we were invited to stay at Longberry Farm glamping site so knew this would be the perfect opportunity to head back to the Rare Breeds Centre as it’s only 15 minutes away in Woodchurch, Ashford.

We decided to go for our day out before we checked in to our glamping holiday. We arrived at opening time on a day that was relatively warm weather during the summer holidays. It wasn’t busy at all.

Entrance to the Rare Breeds Centre costs £37.50 when bought online for a family (2 adults and 2 children) and under 3s go free. That price includes a donation to the Rare Breeds Centre which I’ll explain in a minute.

After heading through the entrance and into the farm, we decided to stop by the Children’s Barn. This is where you can really get close to some farm animals and typical pets too. We saw pigs, goats, two beautiful cows, chickens, rabbits, guinea-pigs and so much more. The Rare Breeds Centre has some of the animals out for the majority of the day so that you can stroke them.

We then popped into the Reptile room which is probably Hubby’s least favourite place at an animal park due to the tarantulas inside. We got to see the

As you wander further into the farm you can see the Birds Of Prey, Pig Sties, Cattle and the girls really enjoyed seeing the different types of chickens. They poked little bits of straw for the chickens to peck at.

The girls have been super interested in butterflies since our visit to Countryfile Live so I was excited to show them inside the butterfly tunnel. Sadly the number of butterflies was quite low due to a naughty bird taking residence recently, but they still loved spotting the remaining butterflies flying gracefully around the tunnel.

The majority of the Rare Breeds Centre is outside, our previous visit was on a day where we needed coats but this visit we were blessed with lovely sunshine. Not the warmest it’s been but still beautiful. After the butterfly tunnel we hopped onto the free Trailer Ride.

The staff driving our specific ride was so enthusiastic and the girls loved it. He really got the passengers and children involved in the journey. The trailer ride takes you up the hill and to the further parts of the Rare Breeds Centre. You are able to hop off at various points which is great if you don’t fancy the walk there or back.

On the way back down we got off at the Mysterious Marsh. It’s a little wooded area under the cover of trees that has an obstacle course. It’s a bit tricky so not really suitable for the younger visitors but with a bit of help P3 was able to enjoy herself exploring too. We were in this bit for ages just challenging ourselves on each part.

We then walked further down the hill and back towards the main area of Rare Breeds. There is a brilliant Plants & Produce Life Skills Garden to explore where the Canterbury Oast Trust residents and students grow and learn important life skills and opportunities too. The COT helps to run Rare Breeds and a lot of the staff are disabled. I love that!

On the other side of the garden is another outdoor play area. This one is a brilliant open space with an obstacle course, tube maze, a fort and two awesome zip wires! The girls loved this area and we spent a long time watching them running about and also getting involved too.

We then made our way to the next outdoor play area. They’ve updated their toilet facilities in this part from when we visited previously. They are now so fresh and clean. We had a quick loo break, a lolly pop and a play in the playground. Although the lollies attracted some unwanted wasp guests so we decided to head for some lunch in the restaurant at this point.

The restaurant which is actually outside the main entrance slightly, has loads of food to offer. Hubby and I opted for the full english fry up and the kids shared my one. The restaurant has a teeny splash pool and a little sandpit for children tto keep amused in whilst the adults eat.

After filling our bellies we decided to go back to the animal barn as they were now out and able to be strokes. The girls loved it! P3 enjoyed stroking the goats, P2 loved the guinea pigs and giant rabbit and P1 found the cockerel hilarious.

The Rare Breeds Centre has a great range of activities on throughout the day, the tractor rides, animal handling, bird show and the pig race. We were actually a little bit early for the race so popped inside the Discovery Garden and Wildlife Garden.

I actually love this part of the Rare Breeds Centre. Not only can you see a beautiful garden come to life, they have a cute little hunt for the kids to go on. Inside the little hut you can pick up the spotters checklist and then hunt around the garden for the various wildlife animals. Honestly I had just as much fun as the girls doing this!

After gathering around for the pig race we headed for the indoor soft play. It’s a little soft play right near the entrance of Rare Breeds. P3 is able to climb on everything so Hubby and I enjoyed a few minutes sitting down and resting. It’s funny how demanding a day out with children is!

We had one last bit to explore before heading home and that was the aviary. I always get a bit nervous walking through these as I’m a little uneasy around flying things. The girls loved it. The aviary is right next to one of the outdoor playground so the girls obviously wanted to pop back in there for a bit. The Rare Breeds Centre was really quiet as it was close to closing time. 

We had such a lovely day the Rare Breeds Centre. We really do need to make more of an effort to head there during better weather. Check out my video from our day out! I hope you enjoy it.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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