Wimpole has a special place in our hearts. It is one of the locations we have been visiting very often and each time we created new memories. It was one of the first places we took Lily when we moved out of Sheffield, we went many times when I was pregnant with Bella or even when Lily turned 2 we did a picnic party at Wimpole while having both sides of family on that day.
But for us it is not only a sentimental thing about Wimpole. First of all, Wimpole means to us a great day out. It can be enjoyable by adults as well as it has beautiful house, grounds and garden. You can’t just go wrong with it.
There are two car parks just next to the entrance (we have never found them full, but it can get pretty busy during half terms and weekends). At the entrance there is a small stable yard with cafe, shop, second hand bookshop and ticket office where you will be supplied with the map. The ground house is on the left hand side, so if you fancy a tour it is definitely worth to see. It offers superb paintings, ceilings, bath house, Baroque chapel, library and fun basement including butlers’ rooms.
If you head across the grounds, there will be many signs for the home farm. There is a special adventurous path for a bit older kids which is great fun, but I wouldn’t recommend it with buggy. Moreover if you feel a bit more lazy (or fancy additional fun venture), there are several tractor rides that will take you straight to the Home Farm. At the farmyard, you will find plenty of animals to see, including pigs, sheep, ducks, goose, cows, bunnies, etc. Through the day there are several talks given by staff, like milking the cow, so check the timetable. Our favourite time is 11 o’clock when our kids become young farmers and can feed the pigs and piglets. Very entertaining but as well very noisy. Check out the chalkboards as you arrive, but here you have typical timetable of the day:
- 11.00am – Pig feeding in the Piggery
- 12.00am – Meet the Rabbit in the Cart Shed
- 12.30pm – Meet the Shire outside the Great Barn
- 14.00pm – Pig Feeding in the Piggery
- 15.00pm – Donkey Grooming in the Cart Shed
- 16.00pm – Pig Feeding in the Piggery
Worth to see the shire horses as it is a rare breed which actually categorised as ‘at risk’. At Wimpole staff are working towards keeping this magnificent breed alive as there are less than 1,500 breeding females left in the world.
The whole area is provided with hygienic hand wash spots and signs are placed everywhere to remind your kids to wash their hands, especially after touching the animals. There are several toilets and baby changing facilities. It might be worth as well to wear the boots as the farmyard can get muddy sometimes.
Next to the farm, there is a small play area with Kidbine Harvester and many little tractors to ride which are extremely popular by all kids. The café at Home Farm has lots of chairs, highchairs and tables inside and outside. You can bring your own food if you want to and have a picnic there or pick another spot in the grounds. The food provided at the café is quite expensive, but very yummy and including selection of baked potatoes, sausage rolls, soups and children menu as well. If your children still have some energy, you can walk around 5 mins to the woodland play area. There are loads of different walks and cycle paths as well (without paying to get into the estate). If you walk out behind the house, there is a lake and a beautiful old ruin tower. One of my favourites is the stunning walled garden. Apparently in June time you can spot over the 100,000 bulbs flowers. I’m a bit garden fanatic and I do like to pop there every time we go (usually while the girls nap). However there is a little pond with fishes which can be additional attraction for the kids. As the estate belongs to National Trust and we are members, farm and sightseeing is free. I presume it can be an expensive visit if you are not. Tickets to the Home Farm, garden and woodland play area cost around 10£ per adult and 5£ per child (under 5’s go free), this excludes house tour. Keep in mind that you can easily spend all day here and your kids will have fantastic time exploring many activities Wimpole offers to them.
Have a look as well at some events organised through the year at Wimpole: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wimpole-estate/whats-on