My two young children and I have just returned from Manor Farm Park (we live in Pembrokeshire). My last visit was some 10 years ago. The person at the entrance kiosk told me that "a lot has changed in that time!". Well, I must take issue with that statement. This is an expensive, shallow and grubby venue with too few staff and some flashy signage. I have seen more zoo animals on the packet of my children's cereal packet. It was much the same as I remember from all those years ago.
Like many attractions in Pembrokeshire, this venue is geared towards parents with young children. It does not really cater for the more genuine interest in zoological matters. Much of it is spread over a wide area. The paths are mostly good but, in places, the fencing is dilapidated, warning signs are faded. Nearer the Manor House (where many children scoot around unsupervised) old and rusting spot lights have been abandoned where they were installed, waiting to catch old and young ankles unawares. At least the animals look contented, most of their quarters are in good condition.
In truth, I would describe this as an expensive, trying-to-be-family-friendly cafe with a scattering of animals and play equipment in urgent need of cleaning and/or repair. I was told, on trying to order my Chorizo, Pepper and Parmasan sandwich, that tables numbers had to be given at the same time. With one child in reins and another in a pram, it was virtually impossible to go find a table, come back and give my order...I had no other adult to help me. The internal doors throughout are stiff and narrow. One member of staff was good enough to just give me a table number but when we finally got out to the covered seating area, that table was no where to be found! I was later told that the table didn't exist and that I should just take a seat. Beyond that, I had more help throughout the visit from fellow parents than staff members. My children each had a so-called child size portion of beans on toast which was perfectly OK except for the actual portion size - it was huge (two slices of granary bread and roughly half a tin of beans). If you have poor eye sight get someone else to read the menu for you...it is printed on brown paper. Knives and forks are all wooden. Please, will you just buy a batch of good old fashioned metal cutlery? It will last forever and clean up well. My wooden cutlery was weak and broke at the first use.
For a public access venue with animals under its care, I was also surprised to see so many people smoking. I would have expected a complete ban on the premises. And if you buy the wallaby food (an extra cost) be prepared to have to walk right up to the very top of the Park to dish it out. I'm afraid that I was too tired to go that far. And is the wallaby food REALLY poisonous to other creatures? No, I didn't give it to other animals as instructed by the label.
Finally, let me mention the rather odd affair of the large farm shed filled with straw bales and a 'Digiwall' at one end. What is that all about? Are the children just meant to come in and throw straw around?? This is one place where extra signage really is needed.
For me, the best thing about our day was the handsome peacock and the fact that my two little ones are now fast asleep, quite happy. Maybe I need to grow down a little...but the Manor Farm Park was a let down.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.