5 May 2011
The Big Sheep is a visitor attraction in Devon based around a sheep farm. I deliberately say visitor attraction as this is not like any of the children's farms that I've been to. That's not meant to say that this is either a bad thing or that other farm based attractions are not as good as this, it's just that they are very different days out.
We visited whilst on holiday at John Fowler's in Ilfracombe.
The Big Sheep has all kinds of attractions with a sheep theme applied throughout. The main activities includes an opportunity to meet and feed sheep, a sheep show, sheep races, Baa-tenders Best and duck trials. Spot the odd one out.
The Baa-tenders Best is the only one that's not actually sheep related. As the duck trials are a way of training young sheepdogs when they are too young to chase after the real thing and the rest all involve real sheep. The Baa-tenders Best is a real ale from the Big Sheep brewery.
Then there are some other activities that really don't have anything to do with sheep, such as the swing ride, go-karts (additional charge), and bouncy pillows.
On event that was surprisingly good was the Big Sheep, Sheep Show. Imagine a fashion show, but with sheep. Actually maybe that's not such a good way of imagining it. The sheep show is a fun way of showing some of the different types of sheep that are around (and there I was thinking they were just sheep). It was the presenter that made the sheep show so good as he was a good entertainer and made it funny and educational; you've really got to see it to appreciate it.
There was also an opportunity to bottle feed the lambs, which is always fun. As a tip if you are around for the later feeding then that is much quieter than the lunchtime feeding, although we left before the later feeding.
The duck trials were particularly good fun for the kids. Rather than staying sat in the stands volunteers were asked to stand around the obstacles and so were at the centre of the action - literally.
There was also a short train ride and tractor trailer ride and lots more activities.
We visited at Easter when there was a mini Easter egg hunt which the kids enjoyed. Find 3 mini eggs and swap for a full size Easter egg (one large egg per child).
Some of the animal events are indoors, and there is a great indoors soft play / slide area. The rest of the activities are outdoors. There is enough indoors for a wet day, but more on offer when it's dry.
The indoor play area included some very big fun slides for the older kids (although my 3 year old still managed some of the big slides - with a little help from me).
There was so many different activities on that it's difficult to fit into one day. We had a great day, but didn't get around everything.
Teenagers and adults are catered for as well with laser battlefield and a high-ropes course next door (separate charges apply).
One final thing which I mentioned briefly is the sheep races. This is one of the things that The Big Sheep is best known for. It was late in the afternoon, but we had wanted to get back early so left just before the race.
A great day out. It won't be spoiled by bad weather, but I'd recommend visiting on a dry day if possible.