Aldenham Country Park is just down the A1 from Hitchin and has lots to offer to entertain the whole family.
We started our day at Aldenham Park Farm, a small working farm with lots of opportunities to get hands on with the animals. All the usual suspects were there – sheep, cows, goats, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and more. What was unusual in my recent farm experience is how close you could get.
We arrived in time to stroke the guinea pigs and rabbits (firm favourites of my two daughters). There are animal petting sessions on throughout the day – check times before visiting.
We then visited the other animals who were more than happy to relieve us of our bags of food – clearly labelled for specific animals (1 for £3 or 3 for £5). The most popular with us were the alpacas (“They are so tickly”).
The farm takes you on an attractive trail past the animals via a few hay bales for jumping and under some nicely shaded areas – great for hot days.
After an hour or so, we left the farm to visit the adjacent playground and woodland play area. These don’t have an additional charge and do not require farm entry to use.
The woodland play area was a particular favourite and would be suitable for older children too – we saw several teenagers challenging themselves to make it round the course! As a bonus we also got a visit from Winnie the Pooh who makes regular appearances through the day.
Now it was lunchtime. There is lots of picnic space – both in the sun and undercover as well as open areas where you can lay down a blanket. Feeling lazy, we decided to sample the cafe instead.
The grownups had a delicious roasted vegetable frittata and the children had a generous portion of chicken nuggets, chips and peas. Food was reasonably priced and freshly made with both inside and outside eating areas.
After lunch we were raring to go again! Next to the cafe is the SEND pavilion. For families with children with SEND there are special sessions from 9-11am every day for them only (£6 per child).
Other children can use the outside area for £3 per child (the indoor space and patio area remain for SEND families only).
Initially I wasn’t sure it was worth the additional cost – especially as the woodland play area was so good. After losing my children to harmonious play in this gated adventure play area for at least 45 minutes, however, I was convinced!
We lured the children away with promises of ice cream and went in search of Winnie the Pooh and his friends in 100 Aker Wood. This trail – perfect even for little legs – was very sweet and we loved playing Pooh sticks from Pooh Bridge.
Finally the promised ice cream from the Kiosk next to the farm, one last play in the woodland play area and then home. We didn’t get time to check out the indoor play area inside the farm – too much outdoor fun today – but it’s great to have that as a rainy day option.
Overall a fantastic day out with a range of activities to suit all ages (we even spotted a group of adults with a picnic heading to 100 Aker Wood!). Can’t wait to return!
- Aldenham Country Park is open 364 days a year from 9am. Exit barrier open until 9pm.
- Farm open 9am – 5pm.
- Farm Kitchen offers food and refreshments. Hot food available until 3pm, closes at 4pm.
- Kiosk next to farm sells drinks, ice creams and light refreshments.
- Picnic areas also available.
- Dogs are welcome on a lead.
- Parking: £4 (booked in advance), £4.50 on the day
- Farm entry: £5 adults, £4.50 children, Under 2s Free including petting sessions, bouncy castle and indoor play area
- SEND Pavillion: £6 including indoor area and adventure play
- SEND Adventure Play Area: £3 per child (2 hour session from 11am)
Playground and woodland play area, 100 Aker Wood and other nature trails are FREE
Additional costs also apply for bags of feed, egg collecting, pony rides, adventure golf.
- Address: Aldenham Country Park, Aldenham Road, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WS6 3BA
- Telephone: 020 8953 9602
- Web: www.aldenhamcountrypark.co.uk
- Facebook: facebook.com/aldenhamcountrypark
- Wheelchair and pushchair friendly
- Baby changing facilities
- Multi sensory indoor SEND Pavilion and Adventure Playground for children and adults with special educational needs