Hollow Trees Farm Review

Hollow Trees Farm Review

Last week we visited Hollow Trees Farm in Suffolk. Even though the farm is only about 40 minutes drive from where we live, we had never visited before – and I’m absolutely kicking myself about that!

We paid £5.00 entry for the farm trail (it cost £2.50 per adult and Jasmine was free as she’s under two). We also paid an extra 50p for a bag of animal feed. Gotta be done, right? Considering how much there was to see and do on the farm trail, I think the entry fee is very reasonable.

We decided to leave our pushchair at home, however, the trail is wheelchair and buggy friendly. Some parts of the trail were quite muddy (due to the rather soggy December week that preceded our visit). The muddy puddles were great for splashing in but I was quite glad we’d left our buggy at home.

Hollow Trees Farm Review

There was a great selection of animals to meet including pigs, cattle, chickens, alpaca, goats and horses! What I loved most about the trail was that you could really get up close and personal with the animals. And with my bag of feed in hand, I made a lot of friends!

Hollow Trees Farm Review

Not only were there lots of friendly animals to meet on our way round the trail but there was also a lot of other things to see and do – including tyre swings, wellie boot throwing and a giant wooden chair (great photo op!)

Hollow Trees Farm Review

Before heading to the Hollow Trees Farm shop/cafe for lunch we stopped off at ‘The Beach’. Inside a marquee was a huge sandpit with buckets and spades. It’s the last thing I expected to see at our visit to the farm but was a lovely addition to our day out. I thought Jasmine might never leave that sand pit and it was only with the promise of lunch that we managed to coax her away!

Hollow Trees Farm Review

The farm shop was filled with a wonderful array of fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods and of course, meat. We had a quick look around but by this point we were pretty hungry so we waited for a table at the cafe. It’s not a huge place and was quite busy so we had to wait a little while for a table. Once we were seated, I was massively impressed by the menu. There was a huge variety of meals tailored to young children – why don’t more places do this? Usually when we go for a day out somewhere the children’s menu consists of a long list of things ‘with chips’.

For Jasmine we ordered the hummus and pitta bread which also came with cucumber dippers, cheese puffs and a fromage frais yogurt. Stephen had a cheese and ham panini and I had a jacket potato with beef bolognese. The service was quick, staff were friendly and the food was lovely.

What we liked about Hollow Trees Farm:

Being able to get very close to the animals and feed them.

The wellie throwing!

Plenty of hand washing stations.

The size of the trail – it’s a perfect walking distance for young toddlers.

Being able to sit on the old tractors (Jasmine’s tractor obsessed so this was right up her street!)

Hollow Trees Farm Review

What we didn’t like so much:

The ‘Fox Slide’ in the ‘Pogals pit’ play area wasn’t very, erm, slidey? I went down with Jasmine on my lap as she was too scared to go down by herself and I had to bum-shuffle the whole way down. The child that went down before us got stuck half way!

And that’s about it – we loved everything else!

Other things you might like to know:

  • If it’s been raining recently then make sure you take your wellies as the farm trail gets pretty muddy!
  • The farm has a large onsite car park which free to use.
  • There’s plenty of benches around if you want to take a picnic. We will definitely go back for a picnic in the summer!

I couldn’t resist making a little video of our visit to Hollow Trees so here it is for you to enjoy:

Opening times: 

Monday – Saturday: 9am – 4.30pm last entry at 3.30pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 9.30am – 4.00pm last entry at 3pm

Please check out the Hollow Trees Farm website for up-to-date opening times and entry prices.

Nobody asked me to write this review but we enjoyed our time at Hollows Farm so much, I just had to rave about it on my blog. I’m already looking forward to our next visit!

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Winter Gardening {Living Arrows #20}

Winter Gardening {Living Arrows #20}

I can’t quite get over how mild this winter has been so far – my hat, gloves and scarf have all been pretty redundant! But as far as I’m concerned, it can stay like this for a little longer. It’s meant that we’ve been able to get outside a lot more than we normally would in December. On Wednesday, the weather was gloriously mild and sunny but I didn’t fancy the battle of wills that happens between Jasmine and I  every time we go to the park. It goes a bit like this:

Me: “Jasmine it’s time to go home now.”

Jasmine: “NO!”

Me: “Let’s go home and have some lunch.”

Jasmine: “NO!”

and that goes on for a while until I have to drag her, kicking and screaming, out of the park.

Don’t you just love it when they learn the “N” word. o_O

I decided we’d venture out into our (rather neglected) back garden instead and it was actually really lovely.

We spent some time digging in the Vegtrug, re-arranging the gnomes and sweeping the decking. It made me realise how much Jasmine enjoys doing ‘jobs’ around the home, she thrives on those kind of activities. It also made me excited for Spring when she’ll be able to be a bit more involved with growing fruits and veggies.

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You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

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Muddy Knees {Living Arrows #19}

Muddy Knees {Living Arrows #19}

I must admit, I’m not very precious about Jasmine’s clothes. I’d like them to last her as long as possible, which let’s face it, isn’t a very long time when you’re a toddler. This girl’s growing shows no signs of slowing just yet. But if, at the end of the day, the clothes she’s wearing are as clean as they were when I put them on in the morning – it’s probably been a very dull day.

It makes me smile when I get her ready for bed and I notice the stains on her clothes from whatever we did that day – the muddy knees from our trip to the park, the paint from our crafting session and the gravy from dinner.

There will be plenty of times throughout Jasmine’s life when she will have to look smart and presentable.

But not today…
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You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

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Rainy Day {Living Arrows #18}

Rainy Day {Living Arrows #18}

For weeks Jasmine had totally freaked out every time I tried to put her wellies on her. I have no idea why but she was terrified of them. After a while I gave up and put them to one side and hoped she would get over her fear (preferably before her feet grew too big for them). This week she started putting her toys inside the wellies and I think that gave her the courage to try them on again. She happily pootled around the house in them and then on Friday we had a playdate at the park so we put them to the real test.

I think it’s safe to say she’s over the wellie boot phobia…

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You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

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Jasmine’s 20 month update

Jasmine’s 20 month update

Gosh, how is my girl 20 months old? I cannot believe she’s going to be a two-year-old in 4 months time!

Let’s get cracking with her update, shall we?!

Changes/Behaviour:

This month’s biggest change has come in the form of Jasmine’s vocabulary – it has exploded, almost overnight! She’s gone from using very few words (she mostly used baby sign to communicate) to using several new words every day. I was never particularly worried about her lack of vocabulary in the past because I knew she understood an awful lot and was still able to communicate to us by other means. I was sure it would all come in good time and it has – I’m blown away by how talkative she’s suddenly become.

Jasmine is a proper Daddy’s girl which has it’s pros and cons. It means she has a meltdown every time he leaves the house which makes our mornings super fun. It also makes me feel a bit pants because I think “Hey, am I that bad?!” On the other hand, it means when Stephen is around, I can go out or get other stuff done around the house and she’s quite happy to be with Daddy!

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I’m pleased to report that the biting incident from last month seems to be a one-off and she hasn’t done it since. Phew! She has quite a few little friends at nursery now and they wait for her to get there in the morning. It’s so sweet!

Jasmine had a habit of being asked to be picked up whenever we were out walking somewhere. It usually meant I’d be carrying her and trying to navigate her empty pushchair (which she refused to go in). The other day I had a moment of clarity and realised how ridiculous it was that I was carrying her everywhere. The last week or so I’ve been really strict with her and when she’s asked to be picked up I’ve told her that she needs to walk or go back in her buggy. OK so, it’s resulted in a fair few tantrums (the crying-facedown-on-the-pavement type) but she’s finally starting to get the message. She still asks to be picked up but usually just the once and after being told no, she’ll usually carry on walking. It’s a working progress.

Sleep:

Thankfully, Jasmine seems to be over the 18/19 month sleep regression she was going through and is now back to sleeping relatively well at night. She goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until around 7am. The naps are back also – I put her down after lunch at 1pm and she sleeps until 3pm.

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Health: 

Aside from the usual nursery/playgroup colds (sigh) – Jasmine had an awful stomach bug this month. In fact, we all had it. It was grim! If anybody knows how to get sick stains out of carpet then let me know!

This month Jasmine:

  • learned to say lots of words and sounds including: Baby, Tree, Up, Down, Bike, No (joy!), Roar, Meow, Snack.
  • had her first ride on the teacups.
  • had a tummy bug.
  • started poking her tongue out, constantly!
  • got an early Christmas present – her very first baby doll.
  • enjoyed visiting the garden centre and christmas fayre to see all the lovely festive things they had on display.

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Likes: going down slides, Bunny, dancing to the Peter Rabbit theme tune, animals, playing with dolls and pushchairs, riding on the teacups, her Smart Trike, drawing, playing with playdoh, poking her tongue out, raisins.

Dislikes: having her teeth brushed, nappy changes, green vegetables!

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Want to read more of Jasmine’s monthly updates? Click here.