Whether you are local to South Wales or are holidaying in the area, there’s one place you just have to take the kids.
Folly Farm is our absolute favourite place to visit. It has just about everything you could want in a day out. From farm yard animals to zoo animals, playgrounds to funfairs; Folly Farm has got you covered and it’s all weather fun as 50% of the park is undercover.
This is somewhere that I have been coming to since I was a kid and I have seen the park grow from a small farm to a huge attraction with a lovely zoo and a fantastic indoor funfair. And even though the days where you could launch yourself into tonnes of hay are long gone, the magic of the farm is still going strong, with plenty of farm animals and animal interactions throughout the day (not currently happening due to Covid19).
The Jolly Barn.
When we get to the park, usually the first place that we head for is the Jolly Barn which is filled with adorable farm animals. It houses sheep, goats, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, alpacas and loads more.
My girls are obsessed with looking at the Black Widow Spider in the toilet! It’s not real but they are fascinated by it and slightly nervous that it might actually be real.
On a normal, pre-Covid day there’s lots of opportunities to cuddle bunnies, stroke giant pigs and milk goats. I will never forget when I was younger we could take it in turns to bottle feed the lambs. Absolutely adorable but my word they were strong!
This area also has a farmyard themed playground and plenty of handwashing facilities.
From the barn you can get to the land train which takes you around the fields to see more of the farm animals. It’s definitely worth doing and is included in the entry costs.
Folly Farm is also home to a variety of zoo animals including lions, rhino, giraffes and crocodiles. If you are visiting Folly Farm for the first time, then I advise heading straight for the zoo as it’s usually quieter at the start of the day. The newest section of the zoo is the Asian Adventure which is beautifully themed and is home to the red pandas which are too cute. I just want to give them a big squeeze!
Near Asian Adventure is the Kifaru Reserve which is where the black rhino live. It’s home to two female rhinos, one male and of course, little Glyndwr! Glyndwr is the baby rhino, born in January 2020.
And don’t forget to visit The Pride Of Pembrokeshire Folly Farm’s family of lions. There’s 5 females and the head of the pride is Hugo who is absolutely beautiful. His roar is so impressive. I remember on one occasion that we visited, there was somebody with a guide dog and the dog did not like the look of the lions. Hugo slowly crept toward the viewing window, just like a cat when they stalk their prey and started roaring at the dog. It really was an amazing thing to see. The dog wasn’t scared either, he stood his ground; although I think if the screens weren’t there he may not have felt as brave!
The zoo is nicely spread out and all the enclosures are designed for easy viewing; in the giraffe enclosure there is a big viewing platform where you can get at head level with the giraffe. The animal enclosures are well designed with plenty of space for the animals to run around
Amelia says that she would like to see elephants, tigers and wolves added to the zoo in the future.
Back when I was a child, Folly Farm had a decent sized soft play area which was in the barn where the picnic area now is and I remember thinking that was amazing. There was a one or two outdoor play areas and round the back of the Jolly Barn area there was this place where you could climb up some bales of hay and jump from the top into a tonne of loose hay. It was honestly the most fun thing but I suspect health and safety wouldn’t allow that these days.
Nowadays, Folly Farm is home to some of the best playgrounds I’ve ever seen. There’s loads of them, inside and out, and they are all beautifully designed. The kids love running around them (and adults too) and they fly down the slides. Florence loves the castle playground but I think it’s safe to say that Amelia’s favourite is the huge pirate playground which also has an adventure course and maze. Indoors there’s a lovely little soft play area for toddlers, a larger one for children up to 6 years and a massive woodland adventure playground which is such a stunning design. The playgrounds are perfectly designed for creative, imaginative play.
The Vintage Funfair.
As ride enthusiasts, one of our favourite parts of Folly Farm is the vintage funfair featuring 17 classic British funfair rides.
The funfair rides are an additional cost requiring tokens at 50p each. Rides are usually one or two tokens each but it is worth it as it is such a wonderfully unique area.
Our favourite is the skiddy ride which the youngest is finally tall enough to ride. I thought it would be too fast for Florence but turns out she’s also a thrill seeker and laughed and screamed all the way around it! Her second favourite ride is the ghost train. Amelia loves the Twister ride. It’s so fast and definitely fun but be prepared to be covered in bruises by the end of it.
There’s plenty of rides for all ages, my kids have been riding some of them since they were about 6 months old!
The rides do seem to have had a bit of a revamp recently; most noticeably, the caterpillar ride although I’m really not keen on the addition of the seat belts. I don’t feel that they are necessary, I have been riding it for probably over 20 years without seat belts and it has always been so much fun. Now with the seat belts it’s a bit uncomfortable and at times quite painful. Nevertheless, it’s still a cracking ride and one we always make sure to go on.
The indoor fairground also houses a number of penny games, grab machines and sideshows. On a normal day (pre Covid) you can watch shows in the theatre which is also located in the funfair area.
The majority of the rides are inside but there are a couple outside too. There’s the Follystone race course, diggers, paratroopers and the big wheel which gives stunning views of the park and surrounding countryside. According to Amelia, the only things that are missing are a rollercoaster and a water ride. I would like to see a splash park added to the park. It would be a great addition and most welcome on a sunny day.
Places To Eat.
In terms of places to eat you are spoilt for choice. There’s plenty of kiosks around for coffee and ice cream but if you are after a meal then there’s a burger place, hotdogs, The Hungry Farmer Restaurant (we had cawl from here once and it was lush), The Carousel Café located at the indoor funfair (this has been closed the last few times we have been there) and the Cwtch Café. We usually take a picnic though as the food can be quite expensive. Luckily there are a good deal of picnic spots too (indoors and out).
Toilets are always an issue here for us. There’s lots of them around but we find that the toilet blocks are not very child friendly and are quite rough around the edges. Florence has a slight phobia around public toilets and finds the ones at Folly Farm particularly bothersome. We didn’t have the same problem at Paultons Park. The toilets there are very child friendly with there being a fold down toddler seat attached to the big toilet seat and this seemed to make all the difference for Florence. As Folly Farm is a place for families and young children, this is something that I would like to see them add.
Stay at Folly Farm.
You can even stay at Folly Farm. In 2020 they opened their holiday park where you can roll up with your caravan, pitch a tent, stay in one of their wagons or a 5 star luxury cottage which includes a hot tub.
At the time of writing (June 2021) entry to Folly Farm will cost you:
- Adults (16+) = £19.95
- Child (3-15) = £17.95
- Toddler (2) = £12.95
- Under 2s are free
- Senior citizens (60+) and disabled adults = £17.95
- Disabled child = £15.95
- Disabled toddler = £11.95
- Disabled senior citizen £15.95.
I think the prices are quite reasonable considering the amount that the park has to offer. Because we visit so often we usually purchase an annual pass which we find is better value and means that even when money is tight we can pop up there and have a fun day out.
Note: You currently have to reserve your entry through Eventbrite before booking your tickets unless you are an annual pass holder.
Annual Pass Prices
- Adults £50
- Child £45
- Toddler £30
- Senior citizens and disabled adults £45
- Disabled child £40
- Disabled toddler £27.50
- Disabled senior citizen £40
- A family pass will set you back £184 but in my experience, it’s well worth it.
Another thing available to book is an animal experience. You can get up close with the Sloths, Penguins, Giraffes, Lions and Rhinos; a memory you certainly won’t forget. Age limits do apply for these experiences. Check out the Folly Farm website for more information and how to book.
Folly Farm is by far our favourite day out in South Wales and is somewhere that I highly recommend visiting. It’s always a great day out and the staff are so friendly. If you are local it’s definitely worth getting the annual pass. We love it because we always have somewhere to go if we get bored. If you are visiting the area, why not try and stay at the park? I bet being waking in the morning to the roar of Hugo the lion would be the most fantastic experience! Staying at the park is definitely something that I would like to experience at some point.