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“back in time”
Review of Appuldurcombe Farm

Appuldurcombe Farm
Reviewed September 15, 2013

the second time to this village , that's what it is , craft shops a small glass works turning out gifts , a maritme wreck museum , a lovely big carp pond , an old fashioned sweet shop and a lovely old church , well worth a visit .

Thank WatfordTonypip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 3, 2013

I am keen on falconry (hence my username) and have been to many displays and had decent hands on experience. Appuldurcombe shows how it should be done. We stayed for three different displays ranging for Gyr falcons to Vultures. The Bald Eagle was really impressive and you could see how much training had been involved. The Falconer tried to engage with the audience throughout but was clearly relying on a well researched script that he had delivered hundreds of times. He needs more confidence in delivering his genuine and extensive knowledge.

We did the tractor tour of the estate and picked up useful snippets about land use, Capability Brown and restoration plans.

Catering could have been a bit better. The tea room was old fashioned and I suspect they don't have the kitchens required to deliver better. The lady serving was on her own and coped well. It did take over 30mins for our sandwiches to arrive. The shop is a bit tacky but they probably know their market and pitch the gifts for children and families.

I anticipated spending the morning there, not the whole day. Loved every minute.

Thank Saker1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Our family had a fantastic day at this attraction. From the time we entered to the time we left, we had a great time. There is ample free parking close to the entrance. The lady at reception was very cheerful and welcoming. The entrance price is very reasonable - the cost for us (two adults, one 4 year old and one 10 month old) was £22. Having been tucked up for a lot more than that for much less of a day elsewhere, I consider that to be good value for what we experienced. There are three birds of prey flying displays throughout the day - one at 10.45am, another at 12pm and a final one at 2pm. In between that, they put on a tractor ride which has a huge trailer, so there is plenty of room for lots of people to board. The chap who gives the displays is obviously a great expert, giving a very informative and entertaining talk, keeping things interesting throughout. Two of the displays were 45 mins long, the other was 30 minutes. It's worth seeing all of them as different birds are flown at each display. We saw a vulture, a Harris Hawk, lots of owls, falcons, red kites and a bald eagle.

I have never seen such a great bird of prey display anywhere else. The falconer has the birds come and sit right next to you on the bench and in one case, had an owl sitting on one audience member's hat. There is plenty of opportunity to get close photo opportunities. There is some audience participation - the falconer had my wife running along with a bunny on a string while a Harris Hawk swooped on it - excellent fun.

The way it is organised provides that you can spend the day there. When the displays have finished, there are other small animals to see and a big play barn at the top with a large modern soft play area, skittles, peddle cars and bikes, table tennis, etc. We took our own picnic, so I'm not sure how good the cafe is, but we did get a couple of ice creams from there which were reasonably priced. The tractor ride was a trip around the estate and the driver gave an informative talk about Appuldurcombe, it's history and the surroundings.

I gather you can take a walking tour of the estate, but we were quite worn out and it was a bit blustery by the time we'd watched all the displays and been to the play barn, so we didn't see that.

I can't speak highly enough about the falconry centre - well worth going and I would definitely return in future.

Thank Skellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Although the house is not really worth visiting on it's own, the falconry centre is a huge draw. The day is planned around displays, with time in between to visit the tiny café, walk around and see the birds, visit the farm animals and do a trailer trip around the park (free). It's excellent value for money. We watched the Owls in the woodlands display in the morning and the falconry display in the afternoon. The handler was very entertaining - both hilarious and knowledgeable - and the number and placement of bird posts on which for them to land whilst flying in the display, excellent. There is a good cross section of birds - falcons, hawks, owls and vultures as well as a bald headed eagle. The afternoon display was over 45mins and very entertaining.

Thank Lorraine147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 14, 2013

We (family of 2 adults plus 2 yr old) visited May 2013. Admittedly it was a cold, wet day, however as the leaflet advertised this place to be an "all weather attraction" we thought we were making a decent choice. Wrong. After being fleeced for £8 per adult entry, all we saw was an old house with no roof, a semi-decent falconry display with informative guide and a FREEZING cold play barn. Also note that the website says you can pay to just see the falconry and play and not the house, however this was not the case and we were told we had to pay the all-in price, despite not really being interested in the house/ruins.

The other reviews rave about this place but personally it did not work for us. The play barn was so cold that although it is undercover, my toddler was freezing cold and had to wear two coats which did not aid the climb up to slides! Also one half of the barn is concrete floor (where the ride-on toys are) so one minute you have shoes off to be in the play-frame and the next minute you need shoes on again because the concrete is so cold to walk on. Some rubber mats/flooring are needed in this area for toddlers to land on when they fall off the ride-ons. and to stop feet from actually freezing!

They also advertise small animal encounters but this was not even up on the board - we did see a few bunnies etc but at no point was there an invitation to pet them, or anyone even around to ask about it! The tractor/trailer ride only runs once a day (1.30 when we visited) so if your toddler has a lunchtime nap, it's not possible to join in with this either. All in all, worth about £3 entry for the falconry and I've seen better ( and warmer) play areas which are free at pubs etc.

Having said all this, it may be a bit better on a sunny day? But certainly don't be taken in by the claim of being an "all weather" attraction!

2  Thank safarinewcomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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