There are lots of things to do at the Rare Breeds Centre, a farm specialising in rare breed farm animals. There are plenty of animals you would expect to see, but with a twist: shire horses, miniature ponies, fluffy chickens, long horned goats, etc. There is a children’s barn where children can stroke the animals. Other areas include Creepy Crawly World, a butterfly tunnel, bird of prey displays and pig racing.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
A great place to go with children of all ages. We spent the day with our two and four-year-olds and they loved the baby chicks, the Silkie chickens, the friendly goats and the miniature ponies. Rolo the Owl was enchanting with his large orange eyes. The great range of animals and the tractor ride were a massive hit and the friendly staff really engaged the children. The playgrounds and woodland walks were well thought out and when it started raining we had plenty of options. You could easily spend most of the day here.
Address: Rare Breeds Centre, Highlands Farm, Woodchurch, Ashford, Kent, TN26 3RJ.
Playground: Yes – there are two playgrounds; one large one is for younger children and has a small refreshments kiosk and toilets next to it. Then there is a larger obstacle course type of playground for children aged three or four and over.
Cafe: Yes, the Granary Restaurant – a cafe with tea, coffee, cakes, sandwiches, etc.
Toilets: Yes, accessible with baby changing facilities.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: Yes, it’s really easy to get around with a pushchair and they have tried really hard to make it wheelchair-friendly. Many of the main paths are paved, although, as expected on a farm, there are a few gravel/stony paths.
Parking: Plenty of free parking on site.
Nearest Station: (taken from their website) Unfortunately the Rare Breeds Centre is not well served by public transport or taxi. The nearest major train station is Ashford International.
Bus: Bus 2A operated by Stagecoach runs from Ashford International to Tenterden and stops next to the Rare Breeds Centre. Updated bus timetables can be found at: www.stagecoachbus.com/eastkent
*(There is a station at Hamstreet and trains from Ashford and from Rye stop there. But they are infrequent. Most taxi services operate from Ashford.)
Phone: 01233 861 493.
Email: [email protected].
As well as the two large outdoor play areas, the Rare Breeds Centre has an indoor playbarn and the Mysterious Marsh, a woodland obstacle course. It has plenty of picnic areas and a restaurant, as well as a function room for conferences, weddings, parties, etc. The Centre has a strong social conscience, with their Rainbow Nursery offering life skills for adults with learning disabilities. The produce and plants grown here are sold in the farm shop.
Review by Clare Newman.