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“Could be fabulous” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dick Whittington Farm Park

Dick Whittington Farm Park
Ranked #9 of 10 things to do in Longhope
Attraction details
Hereford
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Could be fabulous”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2012

This farm park has the potential to be absolutely fabulous. During our visit we couldn't decide if it was in decline or if it was in the process of being improved (we were informed that improvements were going to be made but weren't sure if this was a ruse).

The entry fee is reasonable for the experience but the farm could justify a 25% increase if everything was perfect.

There is a fabulous indoor play are which is very spacious. However, other customers had eaten in there and there was food on the floor and dirty dishes on the tables. The toilets were very tired and could do with being checked on a regular basis. The cafe was very quiet and the ice cream fridge was virtually empty. Not much on sale in the shop, which as a parent I was glad of but think that the owners are probably missing a trick or two.

Lots of different animals to see and feed but the fencing and animal accommodation was a little run down and tatty. The reptile area and the room where you could meet the pets need a lick of paint and some brightening up. The go kart track had two electric karts (one of which was very slow) and two peddle karts yet the track could easily accommodate more.

Staff were very laid back and didn't seem to be giving it 100%.

In its current condition we wouldn't return but I do hope that the improvements the owner mentions further down this site are implemented as then the farm park will be fabulous.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank KizzySherrard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ludlow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fin's farm day out ,”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2012

everyone was helpful, fantastic facilities for both wet and dry days #9even though they are going through refurbishment), will be revisiting again

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“farm park”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2012

great value for money for the smaller children to enjoy it hosts a in door play area for those wet days on the hole a nice friendly place to visit

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Diane A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
“Taking far too long to do the changes”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2012

We visited the farm park last week with friends. Still lots to do! Broken toilet seat. Very quick and easy to sort out. Toilets need to be checked and cleaned regularly with lots of children using them. Just simple changes would make the park so much nicer to visit. Also they have changed the go-karts. They have made the course much bigger but have taken away most of the karts. There were 3 electric karts which you have to put a £1 in to use or one manual kart. No where near enough for a busy day. We visit every summer holidays and are promised big changes but it all seems to be happening far too slowly. The kids love the indoor play area but please make it more enjoyable for your adult guests.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank 933mark_l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Has Potential if Owners Cared”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2012

I am local to the area. This was my second visit to the park. First visit was last summer, although the play area was grubby and the toilets discusting we had a very good time.
This visit however was a challenge. I understand that improvments are being undertaken, and there is evidence of this, however I think these should have been done through off peak times and not in the summer holidays. The 'sandy park' was shocking, it is evident that work had been carried out and not completed. In reality it was a H&S nightmare of an area, half sandy and half gravel and dirty green puddles. Large metal fencing was surrounding some play equipment to stop the children playing on it, the surround of the play area looks like a railway sleeper fence which is falling down.
We went to play on the go carts ( which I have seen in the owners posts are the pride and joy of hte park) there was one pedal Go cart and 2 electric ones that you had to put £1 to use. There was a very long wait and some very upset children who wanted to go on the Go carts. The seat of the pedal go cart lifted off and when my friend put £1 in an electric go cart it didnt work.
We went to reception to report it, they did not seem to really care but did refund. I spoke to the 2 young girls on the desk and said I was very unhappy at the quality of the facilities, lack of Go carts, dirty toilets, dirty play frame, the poultry were housed in small runs and over stocked. She just shrugged her shoulders and said I could speak to the manager later if I wanted, I asked if it would help at all, and she replied, No not really.
Children and adults have to pay £6.50 each, this price is the same if you just use the play frame or the park as well. Which I think is unfair when adults are not using the play facilities.
Animals for the main were ok, apart from the poultry in very small accomodation, baby goats in a small stable with 3 other female goats, who were fighting. Ponies with over grown hooves and some of the birds showing signs of mental stress and a general lack on environmental enrichment for all the animals.
There is a sign on the Wallaby enclosure stating that the common name for a Wallaby in Australia is Kangaroo! last time I looked they were different species.
Yes there is a nature trail and pond, however the environment around is full of weeds and not pleasing to the eye at all and the paths are not particulary buggy or toddler friendly.
The area around the main building had weeds everywhere, the toilets are very dirty and the play frame is very very dirty. The picnic area inside is filthy with stained falling apart chairs and tables. Everything is sticky and dirty including the cafe area.

Staff do not seem to care or have pride in their work and have no customer skills at all.
There is not a safety gate system from the inside play area to outside, whilst we were busy with children in the toilets, my sisters toddler walked past the front desk un accompanied out into the farm area. We were frantically looking for him they were unconcerned that a child was missing.

Overall the park has got worse in the past 12 months, very dirty and in need of a deep clean, which I would have thought whould have been a priority considering all the signs warning the public about E coli & Salmonella, children could easily not be washing their hands after touching the animals and they using the play equipment.
It is a shame, they have a decent play area and really good potential, they need to decide what they are. Are they a farm park? In which case they need to organise their animals more effectively and get their information right, rather than randon facts about whales and the such around the park, correct information on the species housed would be appropiate. Are they a play barn? In which case they need to clean up the play frames, get the go carts functioning properly and the out door play areas set up. Not sure on what Dick Whittington has to do with it all, apart from spending time in Longhope! Out doors needs to be weeded and tended with care.

I dont like writing reviews like this, However the kids did enjoy thier visit and spent much of their time wanting to be in the play barn after the disaster with the Go carts. There are much better value places in the Forest of Dean to visit , so I will be frequenting them rather that the farm park.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Kirsty J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris T, Owner at Dick Whittington Farm Park, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Ours is a small family-run business. We are also a working farm which has had to put up with the difficulties caused by an extremely wet Summer.

Whilst it is nice to be compared with large corporate-funded attractions, the reality is that the development works we are undertaking have to be paid out of our hard labour, particularly in a climate where the Banks simply are not prepared to lend on any sort of project.

The very wet weather this year has meant that we have been unable to finish off our lake project, the new aviary centre, the extension of the karting course and sandpit area and the new toilet project. However, we put notices up to explain to our visitors about the development project delays and, as a result, have kept our prices to their Winter level.

Our aim continues to be the entertainment and education of children with our target market of families with youngsters. We have over 300 animals at the Park, a massive indoor Play Barn, one of the largest karting courses in the area and, weather permitting, we hold daily animal encounter sessions and tractor and trailer rides during the holidays.

Our Members encourage us not to become a plastic exhibition centre/museum. They accept the rough and tumble of the countryside and tell us it adds to the character of the visit.

We continue to welcome constructive comment. This Summer we have received a larger than usual level of e-mails and letters praising our efforts during what is proving to be a very challenging year.

We know of no other visitor attraction in the Forest of Dean that offers 12,000 sq.ft. of indoor facilities. Our own market research has identified that our entry prices are well below other farm parks.

A visitor on 7th August e-mailed to say they wanted to express their thanks for an outstanding day. Many other e-mails have praised the friendliness of our staff.

The allegation of weeds in the paddock is, in fact, growth hiding baby deer and nesting birds. Leaflets are available on our Reception telling all our visitors about the many attractions we offer plus information on all of our animals. By the way, we do not have any whales!

Finally, our karting course is undergoing a transition from pedal karts to electric go-karts. This has been done after a prolonged period of market research. The electric go-karts are proving very popular despite an occasional technical blip.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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