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“Looking for somewhere a bit different?”

Barleylands Farm and Craft Village
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Get ready for free range family fun at Barleylands Farm Park. Packed with excitement there's so much to do whatever the weather. Say hello to farmyard friends big and small, meet birds of prey, handle reptiles, run wild in the indoor play, jump aboard the tractor & trailer ride and miniature train and join in changing daily activities. The Farm Park is now also home to the South East's largest reptile display collection with the permanent Reptile House from Snakes Alive. Explore over 50 enclosures bursting with snakes, lizards, tortoises, amphibians, mini-beasts and more plus enjoy interactive reptile experiences where you might end up holding a huge Burmese python or a monitor lizard! With the indoor animal barn you can get close to the farmyard animals and cuddly creatures and join in hands on activities including animal bottle feeding every day! Also undercover is an indoor sand pit, ball blasting arena and toddler inflatable as well as the Indoor Play Barn packed with soft play adventures. Daily timetabled activities in the farm park vary and can include bird of prey flying shows, hand-on reptile session, hilarious 'Lamb National' sheep racing, goat grooming, petting cute guinea pigs and bunnies and more. There are bumpy tractor and trailer rides and even a miniature train. Plus you'll find extra special events every school holiday including babies galore at Easter and spooky happenings for Halloween. On sunny days head to the outdoor adventure areas complete with an enormous jumping pillow, zip wire, climbs and slides to explore. There are go karts to race and children can grab a welly and challenge their parents at Crazy Farmers Croquet. Little ones can take to mini tractors and didicars to transport themselves around the farm park! Interested in the history of farming? Head to the Discovery Barn to see vintage tractors, machines and interactive exhibits. Next to Barleylands Farm Park, you'll also discover Barleylands Craft Village. A great place for unusual handmade gifts and seeing crafter in action it also hosts bi-monthly farmers markets, and boasts an Italian cafe and an a la carte restaurant. Plus annually the site transforms into the Essex Country Show.
Reviewed December 8, 2014

Barleylands is a mixture of independent unit shops and a farm park for families . You can spend a full day or just a couple of hours browsing, but I doubt you would resist the temptation to buy. It hosts some unusual shops, like ashes to glass, where you can have the ashes of loved ones made into jewellery or ornaments. Specialists for music, quilting, millinery and embroidery hold classes and workshops. Other shops just sell gorgeous things. I love the idea of a hen party where you make your own fascinatior !
The cafe is vastly improved by a new proprietor, hence the food is far better than it was a year or two ago. There is also a restaurant ' The Magic Mushroom' but I haven't eaten there as there is not much on the menu for veggies. A farmers market is held regularly.
The farm section has an entry fee, free for under twos. best feature is the giant pillow, like a bouncy castle but without the walls. Great fun for adults and children alike! Children can ride around on little tractors to see all the typical farm animals and some birds of prey.
I've heard reports of some special events being a bit disappointing, however I can't speak for myself because I haven't attended any.
Many of the outlets are closed on Mondays. You can pick up good quality, unique and bespoke gifts especially for children. In fact, it is an extremely child friendly venue.

Thank hitchhiker1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barleylands B, Public Relations Manager at Barleylands Farm and Craft Village, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2014

Thank you so much for such a thorough review! We so pleased to read you enjoyed your visit and would recommend us. Our Farm Park events over the last year have had great feedback from Six Weeks of Summer to Spooky Nights at Halloween and so much more! We hope to welcome you back soon.

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Write a ReviewReviews (535)
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"tractor ride"
in 39 reviews
"bouncy pillow"
in 30 reviews
"reptile house"
in 28 reviews
"soft play"
in 26 reviews
"play barn"
in 18 reviews
"glass blowing"
in 17 reviews
"indoor play area"
in 14 reviews
"barleylands farm"
in 28 reviews
"birds of prey"
in 40 reviews
"tea room"
in 14 reviews
"go karts"
in 8 reviews
"animal feed"
in 7 reviews
"per adult"
in 7 reviews
"entry price"
in 7 reviews
"lamb feeding"
in 6 reviews
"bird show"
in 6 reviews
"half term"
in 11 reviews
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352 - 356 of 535 reviews

Reviewed December 6, 2014

Took my kids to see Father Christmas here today, as we went a couple of years ago, and it was good (Father Christmas, not so much the farm....). What a disappointment! He was was by far the worst Father Christmas we've ever seen. He kind of mumbled at the kids, and didn't have a clue how to interact with them. He didn't ask their names, or how old they were, or whether they were looking forward to Christmas. Seemed totally uninterested in what they wanted for Christmas anyway, and made absolutely no effort to engage them. It was like this:

Him - "Hello..... What do you want for Christmas?" (In the most unenthusiastic manner possible)
Child - "A pogo stick."
Him - "Oh.....right.......Well........Be good then....................... Do you want to take a photo?....Bye" . (Barely audible tone)

That was pretty much it! He almost made me feel like we shouldn't be there, as did the Elves, who were bored and also lacked social skills. The only one who did make an effort was the girl at reception who booked us in. We walked all around the park trying to find the Grotto, as there didn't seem to be any clues to where it was. Then we accidentally walked in the exit (again, no clues...) and the Elves weren't very welcoming, and made us feel like idiots for having gone the wrong way (again). We were led into a room which had a lovely display for the kids (nice place to take pics) and were told there was warm apple juice and cookies in the corner. This bit would have been nice, except that about 1 minute later we were ushered upstairs with our hot drinks and biscuits to see Father Christmas (bit awkward and also a safety hazard). The corridor we went into was all glittery, and very promising, but then we were led into a small and very boring room with a tree, and a the very bored (and way too skinny), Father Christmas. So there we were, having a very disappointing "experience" and trying to balance hot drinks, cookies, bags and cameras. The kids were underwhelmed. I PAID FOR THIS! :/ I've written an iffy review for Barleylands before, and got a message from management that it was much better now, and I should come again and see for myself. Well, now I have and I can say it's gone downhill from last time. I really do feel ripped off, and sad, because I don't think my kids will believe in Santa for much longer, and I really wanted this to be special. :( The rest of the farm is bleak, (and yes, we did see EVERYTHING, before they say that we didn't.) The soft play area was really dirty, and the kids were running around on squashed food in there socks (how lovely!). The Cafe is still bad (unless you like watery hot chocolate?). And the restaurant on the outside of the farm park hasn't improved either. I have no doubt that Barleylands will now give their stock (and rather patronizing) reply that they are "surprised by my negative review, as they've had lots of good feedback" bla, bla, bla. But this only goes to show that they really don't care, and does nothing to improve customer relations. My rating for this place has gone from average to poor (bordering on terrible), and we will not be returning again.

1  Thank Annoyed381
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barleylands B, Public Relations Manager at Barleylands Farm and Craft Village, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2014

We are genuinely very saddened and surprised to read your review. Can we ask you to email your feedback to farmcentre@barleylands.co.uk with your contact details so our Management can address your specific concerns directly.

Our Christmas Experience was fully booked for the weekend you visited and we did have largely very positive feedback. We are very sorry if Father Christmas did not meet your expectations and have taken your feedback onboard and have addressed this.

We do ask that our Christmas Experience visitors arrive 10 to 15 minutes ahead of their slot so the children can enjoy our the snowball game, dressing the snowmen, taking photos and having a surprise treat. We do have A3 size posters directing visitors to the grotto area and we are sorry if these were not obvious enough.

Last year we made a big investment adding our indoor animal barn so our farmyard friends could be kept warm and dry and visitors could enjoy more contact so we have more indoors than ever before. Alongside the indoor play barn, there’s chirpy chicks play area with ball blasting and a huge indoor sand pit too.

We would urge all our visitors to speak to a member of staff during their visit if they have any issues as it gives us a chance to rectify them immediately where possible, and improve their experience. We hope to hear from you by email soon.

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Reviewed December 4, 2014

Visited here to have some pictures framed and ended up exploring. So many small businesses in one area, and very easy to find little gifts and unusual items you didn't know you needed! Shops are very friendly, very helpful people who looked to offer options and alternatives, even suggest each other's shops. Understand there is also a great fortnightly Farmer's market here.
Barleylands do a good job of marketing a variety of public events, but the real secrets are discoverable even on a wet wednesday!

Thank Dambuster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barleylands B, Public Relations Manager at Barleylands Farm and Craft Village, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2014

That’s lovely to hear! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We’ll pass on your comments to our Craft Village studio owners!

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Reviewed December 4, 2014

Visited barleylands farm attraction with grandchildren and we had to queue for 45 mins to get in as not all ticket windows were staffed
Also my little special needs granddaughter who is wheelchair bound with muscle weekness was bitten by the petting pony. It suddenly reached down and bit her finger - blood everywhere!!
A member of staff did bandage it up but was not sympathetic. As she unfortunately is silent she didn't cry but I didn't feel the staff were at all bothered
Hope it hasn't bitten a child before and doesn't again
Food was outside and again took ages although they did make scrambled egg as she can't chew

1  Thank diana07878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barleylands B, Public Relations Manager at Barleylands Farm and Craft Village, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2014

We are very sorry to hear about your experience when you visited. Unfortunately animals can be unpredictable but our staff are usually very friendly and helpful and we’re very surprised to hear they were not more sympathetic. The very last thing we want to do is upset a child and we hope she has recovered. We believe that you may have visited us during our Pumpkinfest when indeed we were extremely busy but we did have all 3 ticket desks open. We did our utmost to help keep everyone occupied during the waiting period with our staff entertaining queueing visitors with some of our farmyard friends. We hope we'll be able to welcome you back again in the future.

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Reviewed November 22, 2014

There's something for everyone here - craft and gift places and animals for teh kids. Also there are a number of interesting events throughout the year - plus a great farmer's market twice a month!

Thank UncleBarbar1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barleylands B, Public Relations Manager at Barleylands Farm and Craft Village, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2014

Thank you for your review

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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