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“A good old fashioned day out.”

Smithills Open Farm
Ranked #1 of 51 things to do in Bolton
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A good old fashioned day out.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

I visited smithills farm today for the first time and can highly recommend it. I thought it was terrific value for money - what can you get today for £6 .My grandchildren who range from under 2 to 9years old all said what a great time they had. Lots of animals to see, feed and pet, lots of other activities and the Easter egg hunt rounded the day off nicely. The staff we met were all friendly and knowledgable, well done Smithills.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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682 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“defo a place to visits with the kids”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

it is very educational and staff are very good with the children. also good for schools and nurseries to visit all round an excellent day out

Helpful?
Thank lime27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Brilliant day out!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I came to smithills today with our 11 month old son. We all really enjoyed the day, in particular the petting corner and the tractor ride. Can understand why people have said its pricey, but we thought it was good value for money for a great day out. Just take a packed lunch like we did. We drove from st Helen's as we heard good reviews about smithills and it was well worth the journey. Staff are very knowledgeable and helpful, the animals are well looked after. Well be reccomending to everyone we know and we will be back again.

Helpful?
Thank Nicola_L_kil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
97 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“A nice farm for kids but expensive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

Visited the farm today with daughter, 8 year old grandson and 23 month old twin grandsons.
Admission is free for under 2's but it still cost £7.00 for my daughter, £5.50 for me (concession) and £6.00 for 8 year old grandson.......add on food for animals @50p per bag plus £1.00 each for ride on donkeys and £1.00 each for tractor ride. We had taken a picnic lunch, otherwise food was quite expensive in cafe - so it would have finished up a very expensive family day out.
There are quite a few activities for the kids to do and the animals are all clearly well looked after - very well cared for and looked very healthy. The grandchildren loved the feeding of the lambs and getting up close to some of the animals. Times are displayed for certain events throughout the day. Some of the equipment / rides were damaged / broken which was disappointing at the- beginning of the season. There are bouncy castles, adventure playground, which looks new. The indoor toddler area was dirty and sparse - the one outside was alright. Not enough staff in cafe and food expensive so we were glad we'd taken lunch. ( daughter queued for ages just to get two drinks so take a flask!)
The website gives the sat nav as BL1 7NS however we found ourselves on an estate in a cul de sac so had to ask a passer by for directions. It was a freezing cold day today, and the boys did enjoy it, however if / when it gets busy in summer I think it would mean that some children would not get to have a go at what they want to.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank junejohnson8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivybridge, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great idea, needs work”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

I visited Smithills Hall Farm last year with my son, and he had a lovely day out. There are a wide range of activities for lots of age groups, Jack loved the donkeys especially. There was also a bouncy castle and a sandpit which were excellent distractions by the time Mummy needed a sit down! The staff were very attentive, and we enjoyed the talks and displays we visited. I think my son's respect levels for me shot up about twenty points when Mummy was brave enough to hold a massive boa constrictor!

There were a couple of points which let it down however; the first being the restaurant/cafe, which was extremely crowded and cramped with a limited menu. The food we had was lovely, but the setting definitely needed some work. There were also groups of cluster flies in the dining area. I live on a farm so I know how hard it is to get rid of those blighters, but even so, it's not great for a food setting.

I didn't think anything of it at the time, but there was no hot water and soap provided in the "petting zoo" areas, only alcohol gel. Now, ten days after my visit I was unwell, and I won't go into detail, but it was a notifiable disease (cryptosporidium) and my local council environmental health department contacted me. They specifically asked if I'd visited a similar attraction near my home in Devon in the last month; I said no, but said I'd visited this attraction. They then asked if there were adequate hand-washing facilities and I told them about the alcohol gel. I was then told that alcohol gel alone is not sufficient to protect against this and other organisms, and the council would be contacting Bolton Metro Council.

I'm hoping then that there is no hot water and soap provided; it's possible that I simply visited on a day when the taps weren't working, but please be aware and wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with the animals.

I would definitely visit again though, I think this has the potential to be a great asset for Bolton and I really hope it continues to do well.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Katherine T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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