Whenever we plan a day out as a family to an attraction it always rains, and last weekend was no exception. We were kindly invited to spend the day at The Big Sheep in North Devon – the all weather attraction.
I have to admit I was kind of discouraged by the rain and thought we would end up spending most of the day cooped up in soft play. When we arrived we put our wellies on and made our way to the entrance, the park is set in a woodland surrounding which is very pretty. Once we checked in with the friendly staff we were told the Easter egg hunt was still on so were on the look out for 3 mini eggs each which could be exchanged at the end for a full sized Easter egg.
We were given an information guide with a map and times of events that were on during the day. I was so impressed with the schedule as there was something happening every half an hour which is brilliant for families with small impatient children, it keeps them occupied and looking forward to the next event. We arrived just in time for the Sheep Show which was (thankfully) held in an indoor arena where the children got to meet different breeds of sheep and were able to feed them and stroke them. Amelie found some sheep’s wool and took it home to show her classmates when she goes back to school.
We had a walk to the Animal Barn, it was huge and full of little lambs, ponies, goats and the most gorgeous sheep dog puppies. Amelie and I were cooing over them whilst they slept, they were so cute we wanted to take one home. Next up we had a ride on the train, it was well covered so we were able to ride on it during the down pour. The park is lovely and you get a good look around when you are on the train, Amelie spied The Twister which is swings that go high and around.
By this point it was still raining but we made a decision not to go into soft play and try out Archery instead. I’m not really a sporty person and if it wasn’t for it raining I would have not ventured into the Archery venue but I thought why not, it is something that the rest of the family wanted to try out. The instructor was really friendly and enthusiastic, he was great at explaining everything and took the children off to one side to practice whilst Mr K and I got to grips with the bow. I really enjoyed it and I loved seeing the kiddies try something new, I think Mr K enjoyed it the most.
The children wanted to feed the lambs so we went back to the indoor arena and were able to feed the little lambs. I really liked how relaxed it was and every child was able to feed a lamb, it was organised well.
By lunch time we were all ready for a pit stop, the children ate their lunch outside as there are lots of picnic areas that are under shelter for you to stop at. We went into The Barn Café for a warm up, Mr K and I shared a cream tea and the children had soft drinks and a massive cookie. I usually am a bit put off going into cafes at attractions as they are so expensive but I have to say we were both surprised at how reasonable the prices were. There was an option for children to have a packed lunch box, the selection of food was amazing for children and really quite healthy which is rare. Our cream tea was absolutely scrumptious, the scones were massive and the tea was good – excellent value for money. I was stuffed though so needed to get back out into the park for a walk around.
Throughout the day Amelie kept saying ‘this is the BEST day ever!!’ she was having such a lovely time. The rain was drying up and the sun was making a slight appearance so we went back to the Animal Barn to go on the tractor ride, I was looking forward to this and can imagine this being a brilliant activity to do at Halloween (we may have to return for Halloween). It was a bumpy but fun ride through the woods where we saw pigs and goats. When we returned it was time for Pets Corner, the sheep dog puppies had woken up and we were able to hold them. There were lambs running riot and baby goats snuggled on laps – so cute!
The rollercoaster was up and running so we dashed over, Charlie was tall enough to ride and Amelie was squealing with excitement. I sat with Charlie he loved it but I was in hysterics watching Amelie, she was bawling her eyes out and laughing as well. Once it finished they both wanted to ride again so we hopped back on. We hadn’t even ventured up to the top of the park as we had so much to see and do where we were but we did head up to the ponies and go carts. It was nearing the end of the day so we thought we would let the children burn that last bit of energy in soft play. Mummy and daddy had a well deserved rest whilst the mini beasts ran riot for a good half an hour, I’m so glad we waited until the end of the day to visit soft play as we really got the most out of our day.
The Big Sheep really is an all weather attraction, there is so much going on during the day you will not be bored or have children moaning that they have nothing to do. We had such a brilliant time everyone enjoyed themselves. Charlie loved it so much he broke down in tears when it was time to go and even hid in soft play so he wouldn’t have to leave. I had to sweeten the blow by reminding him there was an Easter egg waiting for him before we left, the children picked their eggs and it was time to head home. Within 20 minutes or so we had two children fast asleep which never happens – signs of a fantastic day.
If you are visiting Devon or live nearby I would give The Big Sheep a visit, I’m tempted to go back for the Unicorn Weekend during the summer as the park will be beautiful in the sunshine. I think we couldn’t have picked a better day to go as we really got the most out of it and got to experience the park in the rain and shine.
Disclaimer: We were invited to attend The Big Sheep in return for an honest review.