Pennywell Farm – Review for families

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What is it?

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It’s a rural farm in South Devon. Find it 1 mile from Buckfastleigh. The Sat Nav postcode is TQ11 OLT.

Best for:

Babies / Toddlers & Preschool / 5 – 8

OK for:

9 – 12 / 12+

Cost

£££ – It’s £12.95 for an adult and £9.95 for a child. Under 3’s go free.

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What’s on offer

Touted as the “largest farm attraction in the South West of England”, Pennywell Farm has a lot to live up to. The farm’s main aim is to get visitors involved with the animals, instead of feeling like ‘spectators’.  They’re home to ponies, donkeys, reindeer, pets, falconry, cows, pigs, sheep and many more. They even have alpacas!

From treasure hunting to bottle-feeding the lambs, even watching a ferret race, there’s an activity on every half hour at Pennywell.  Whether it’s a talk by the knowledgeable staff or a cuddling session with Pennywell’s famous pocket pigs (yes, you heard me, those tiny teacup-sized pigs) – there should be an event to suit all tastes and interests. During school holidays, children’s entertainers perform shows.

Included in the admission price is access to Pennywell Farm’s four rides – the Red Rocket, the Tractor and Trailer ride, the Rainbow Railway and Rub Rabbit Go Carts. Each ride is schedules for specific sessions, so make sure to ask the staff members on site what’s on and when, so you get to do everything. There are also well -equipped play areas.

Facilities include plenty of undercover and outdoor picnic benches for families to bring their own lunch or just take a breather. The restaurant, coffee shop, takeaway and gift shop are available if you don’t fancy taking a picnic and all have step-free access. Next to the coffee shop and the main barn on the farm, you’ll find public toilets with changing facilities. There are also lots of hygienic hand-washing stations dotted around, ideal after a session with the animals.

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Highlights

It’s very engaging, with such a range and frequency of activities, it would be hard for little ones to get bored. The play areas have been highly praised – consisting of slides, a bouncy castle, climbing frames and a big ‘snakes and ladders’ game. All weather indoor and outdoor activities. 

If you visit on a rainy day, you’ll be given a ‘bad weather voucher’ for a free return visit within seven days! Don’t dismiss the children’s activity sheet, either, as completion of the sheet gets a child free entry in the future. Not bad.

The biggest highlight is the pigs! There are all kinds of pigs – piglets, adult pigs and of course, the micro pigs. Children (and parents) will love to hold them, watch them race and maybe even feed them.

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What to watch out for

  • Need help or got a quick question? Keep an eye out for the staff –  they all wear bright red tops!
  • Children under 4 cannot ride the Red Rocket and children under 8 cannot ride the Run Rabbit Go Carts. Children of all ages can ride the Rainbow Railway, but it’s best suited to little ones!
  • The farm is very ‘hands-on’ and the animals are frequently held by visitors. While this is a nice experience, a few visitors have expressed concerns about the animals looking distressed. If you’d like more information, please contact the farm for full details of the experiences.
  • Some handy Sat Nav advice from their website lets you know that the farm is on an unnamed country lane, signposted off the A38. You may need to continue a few hundred yards once you’re Sat Nav has told you you’ve arrived.
  • Many visitors have noted that there aren’t enough staff and areas of the farm or rides are often unmanned – particularly the pig areas.
  • Dogs aren’t allowed (except for guide dogs) but there is a free of charge kennel service.
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MFM tips:

Only 12 miles away from Pennywell Farm is the popular tourist resort Torbay, which means that the gorgeous fishing town of Brixham (home to the Golden Hind and Battlefield Live) is within easy visiting distance. 

Pennywell Farm is 20 miles Plymouth and Exeter, meaning it’s also close to the likes of Plymouth Aquarium.

What the owners say

“Pennywell Farm is a multi award winning attraction, the largest farm attraction in the South West. There is a different hands on activity, show or display every half hour and four farm rides included in the admission price. Pennywell is also the home of the world famous Pennywell Miniature Pigs!”

Visit the official Pennywell Farm website

Our essential guides to family attractions in South Devon:

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Sea Tractor
South Devon Railway
Woodlands Leisure Park
Crealy’s Great Adventure Park
Miniature Pony Centre
Babbacombe Miniature Village
Paignton Zoo

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