Willowbrook Farm is officially now one of my top finds during the lockdown. I haven’t had a mummy day with just my youngest since it all began and on Sunday we decided to escape just the two of us for a little trip out.
Willowbrook Farm is not far from me on the edge of the quaint and sleepy village of Hampton Gay just north of Oxford. Only open on weekends, this is very much a working farm that puts their animals first, ethically reared and sustainable farming. I had originally dropped them a message to ask if they were open on May bank holiday Monday but they replied to say it was only weekends as it would upset the rhythm for the animals.
It’s not really a farm park attraction as you’d imagine, a whole lot less commercialised with a rustic charm and amazing grounds to explore.
We had a friendly welcome at the cafe/shop when we arrived and as it was a baking hot day they recommended exploring the woods. We picked up a little laminated map and set of to explore some trails.
Passing through the farmyard area first, my little one was really excited to see chicks, ducklings and a couple of sleepy goats. We then passed through a field with a friendly horse and had a good look at the the sheep in the next field.
Out into the wider fields, you can climb right up a slope to a bench and viewpoint at the top. There were a couple of kids at the top running and rolling down the hill and squealing with delight. There’s something about Willowbrook Farm that makes you feel as if you’ve been invited by the family that owns it to explore and have innocent relaxed fun.
Through a gate and over a little rickety bridge we ventured into the woodlands. They’ve got quite a different feel after the wide open space.
A mix of tall pine trees and much cooler and darker, there was a definite magical feel to the place. The wow in the woods is the two tree houses which my 7 and 9 year old will go crazy when they see when I take them. Made from logs, old doors and boards and high enough to give you a wobble if you’re scared of heights. One of them had a wooden bed and the other had the inside of a piano which made an eerie sounds when twanged.
Dotted around are logs with ropes to traverse, a great double chair swing and even a handmade little ones swing.
We loved the fairy house too and wooden horse with view out to the fields beyond.
Leading back from the woodland we followed the medieval track back to to the animals.
Willbrook Farm Facilities
There’s a farm shop selling meat and local produce as well as a cafe which will be selling fresh handmade roti wraps (meat of veg curry) and a choice of salads, using as much homegrown as possible. They’ll also be including more cakes, biscuits and mango ice cream too. I can’t wait to go back!
Outside there are plenty of picnic tables right by the cafe or around the corner with a view of the gorgeous farmhouse.
Keeping with the environmentally responsible ethos throughout are eco toilets.
Willowbrook Farm Parking & Pricing
There’s a small car park at the farm.
The Animal Menagerie, Old & New Woodland play area, Orchard walk and educational Farm Trails are open only on weekends. Admission to these areas is £12 for adults, £8 for children aged 5+ and under 5’s go free. I think it’s a real bargain as you pay once and that will cover you for a year. They have quite a small car park so ask that you book online in advance.
Check their facebook page for updates on exact timings when they’re open at the weekend before visiting.
Willowbrook Farm Camping
There’s a campsite too at Willowbrook Farm which would make a fantastic weekend camping trip with the family in Oxfordshire.