Reviewed by Claire Turner
On Easter Monday we decided to visit Jimmy’s Farm in Ipswich. It’s around a 50 minute drive from where we live and we had our satnav set for when we left the main road but it wasn’t really needed as it was very clearly signposted. The entrance is down a very bumpy track and there was a man in a high-vis jacket directing the cars – we were directed to the far end of the car park to find there wasn’t any spaces but did see a lot of cars in an overflow carpark so we drove over there, there wasn’t anyone telling you where to park so we nipped on the end of the last row (a few cars parked behind us making a new row but once out of their cars someone appeared and asked them to move their cars to the opposite end!). We followed where everyone was heading to and then found the signposts! We tried to follow the signs to the toilets but it was tricky as there was a broken door against a wall and a small queue of men and women, this was the queue for the toilets. I stood in the queue and a lady told us there used to be a separate men’s toilet so my husband headed to where she pointed – he found a Portaloo but it was out of order so he joined our queue too! Doesn’t seem very good considering how busy it was!
We collected our wristbands and asked for a map and some animal food, the map was in quite a big book so not small enough to pop in your pocket but there was lots to read in it although we soon discovered you didn’t really need the map as it didn’t show you where to go. The entry into where the animals were was very cheap compared to other farms we’ve visited (£4.50 for adults and £3.50 for children over 2, under 2’s are free). We were very impressed with how much there was there (although hardly any animals you could feed the food too – good job the emu’s were hungry) sheep, cows, pigs (including woolly ones and lots of baby piglets), reindeer, emu’s, rhea’s and goats – unfortunately the butterfly house was closed (was due to open the beginning of March according to the website). I can’t tell you much about the pigs as there weren’t any signs up anywhere we could see telling us about them. There was a lovely hobbit house and a small fishing lake. There was a man there teaching the children how to fish – however, being a very busy day there was always a very long queue by him!
There was plenty there to keep the children amused – giant sandpits filled with slides and rockers, a wooden play area, zip wire, climbing pyramids, wooden tractor to climb in and more!!
Around 12 o’clock we decided to head to the picnic area and have some lunch – we looked into the restaurant but there was already a 2 hour wait so we went to the field kitchen, my husband took my son to the benches and I queued up – it took 40 minutes to get to the front and place my order (there was one person serving and he was also making the drinks so this is why we were all queuing so long). I questioned the chips and how they were made and cooked as my son has a few allergies and they appeared very knowledgeable and found out the answers to all my questions. We had one burger in a bun and one sausage in a bun (both brioche buns), 2 portions of chips and 2 hot drinks which all came to £14 which we felt was very reasonable and was VERY tasty. After we had eaten we went back into the farm park and our son took us back to the giant sandpit and then on to see the tiny piglets again. As it was so busy we couldn’t get close enough to feed the baby lambs but we did get to see them being bottle fed by some of the children and adults. We also found rabbits and guinea pigs and a very beautiful peacock.
After a few hours we were all quite cold so decided to head to the farm shop and the toy shop. My son needed a nappy change and the only place to do this seemed to be the restaurant – as the restaurant was packed it was difficult to get in and ask where the toilets were, when we found them there were 4 adults and their babies in front of us queuing already. It did seem a bit silly that the baby changing was in the restaurant and nothing near the farm park itself.
The toy shop was more sweet shop but my son did find a lovely wooden robot to buy. The farm shop was lovely – all fresh produce and an Adnams brewery section too. We had some sausages to collect and the butcher was very grumpy and at one point swore and shouted! Good job my husband had taken my son outside. He also didn’t/couldn’t answer my questions about if any of the sausages were dairyfree! We made our way back to the car & drove out of the overflow carpark into the main carpark and followed the exit signs (this just took us back to where we had come from as the sign to the exit appeared to be in the wrong place). Satnav got us home ok.
We’ve not yet tried all the sausages we came home with but the ones we have had all been very tasty. All in all we had a very lovely day out and we will most definitely return. I would give Jimmy’s Farm 4 out of 5 – if the toilets are sorted and the signs corrected (and a happier butcher was there) it would have got 5!!!
If you are planning a visit and want to eat in the restaurant you can now book a table from their website.
Also from the Jimmy’s Farm website you can purchase a wide variety of meats for delivery fresh from the farm.
Admission: £4.50 adults, £3.50 children and £15 family (2 adults, 2 children).
For more information visit www.jimmysfarm.com.
Jimmy’s Farm, Pannington Hall Lane, Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP9 2AR | 01473 604206