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Jul 16th 2018 Back to latest news

A Day at the Farm vs a Day at the Beach
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Choosing between the Farm and the Beach this Summer?

It’s hard to fathom that we are heading towards the end of the school year. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that a new generation were standing at the school gates for the first time. In their uniforms that were just that little bit too big!

Of course the end of the school year means the summer holidays and 6 weeks of unbridled fun, sunshine, midnight feasts and days out with the family.

Being a kid is pretty great!

Being a parent, guardian or carer is a little bit more of a challenge. Gone are the days of kids being out from dawn until dusk. It now falls to us to keep the little blossoms entertained, fed and watered for the 6 weeks without a major incident or trip to A&E.

For many, the summer holidays means one thing – the beach! We are so lucky to live near some of the country’s most pristine coastline!

In fact we often get asked if we get much custom when the sun is shining. It’s a fair question, the beach is pretty great after all.

Not that we’re biased but the farm is a pretty great way to spend a summer’s day too! But rather than take our word for it, we thought an honest comparison was the best way to settle things.

Sun

Of course, what’s the summer holidays without the sun? More to the point, what’s the beach without the sun? Well, pretty chilly considering you’re half naked for most of the time you’re there!

However, experts are predicting the hottest summer on record so for those looking for a killer tan, you’re in luck. For young families, scorching hot days on a busy beach aren’t that brilliant.

Parental awareness about sunburn seems to frequently be in the media but what about dehydration and sunstroke? These are a real risk to the very young and the lack of shade can make a day at the beach rather stressful for parents, guardians and carers. It’s best to be sun safe and always take lots of water and hats too.

At the farm, you can have all the fun in the sun you want, along with tractor rides, farm animals and a race track to tear around. We provide sheltered activities too and a family friendly restaurant stocked to the gills with cold drinks.

Plus, if we’re unfortunate to have a sudden Summer downpour, you just nip to the car for the coats and wellies (come on, we know you packed them) and you can carry on regardless.

Sea

The sea is beautiful and the views along the Dorset coastline are a tough act to follow. There’s nothing quite like having a little paddle,  running from the waves or skimming stones over a calm tide. The sea and beaches around the Poole and Bournemouth area are excellent! The RNLI do a fantastic job with their safe swim zones, flags and lifeguard patrols.

Being so popular, the area does happen to attract tens of thousands of people to the beaches each Summer. Which can make ‘being beside the seaside’ a little harder than you’d think some days. The parking? Consider it a life lesson in patience and perseverance!

At the farm, the scenery is a little different. We may not have ocean views (ours are more trees and fields) but they do change throughout the year and are always beautiful.

There’s also no danger of someone pitching up with a massive parasol and spoiling your view.

Parking is a little easier too (and free!), plus you still get be knee deep in nature without the risk of slipping on some seaweed! Although stowing away some wellies in the car is still a great idea if the great British weather is somewhat ‘variable’!

Sand

Love the sand but hate it on your clothes/skin/lunch? There’s no denying it – there’s lots of sand at the beach! It’s great for building sandcastles and burying adults!

(Parent/Guardian Top Tip: Take some talc with you! Rub it on your skin to help remove the sand before putting on your shoes)

The good news for farm goers is that we have some sand too, complete with climbing frames, swings, buckets on chains and a Splash Zone!

Splash Zone beach fun at Farmer Palmer's Farm Park Dorset

No plastic bucket and spade required, although they are still most welcome (we even sell them in the gift shop and kiosk!).

If your little ones get bored of the sand (as if!) then there’s always a tractor ride, bouncy castle, slide and pedal go karts to keep everyone entertained.

Food

If you want ice cream or a soft drink, the beach is the place. It’s also a cracking place for a picnic. Great views, great sun (hopefully) and there’s nothing quite like the sun between your toes as you bite into your sandwich (you might even find a bit it there too!).

At the farm you could eat your sandwich in the Sand Play area, but why not enjoy your picnic in one of the designated areas either by the duck pond or in the cool tractor barn. There are lots of bins provided for your recycling.

Or, if you fancy letting someone else do all the work, why not enjoy the freshly made offerings from the Hen House Restaurant and grab a delicious meal? Or ice cream? Or both!

Facilities

Anyone with a young family will know the ‘challenge’ of trying to find a toilet, on short notice, on a baking hot day, on a packed beach! We’re sure you all have stories of your little ones trying to use the sea as a loo!

Assuming you don’t have to wait in line for the public loos – much to the mortification of your children – you’re lucky if those loos haven’t been left in a bit of a mess. This isn’t a criticism of the council, they do the best they can but there’s no denying things are not only busy but often dirty and a little . . . fragrant. Not what you want for your children. Especially if they’re still in nappies.

We provide full – regularly cleaned – facilities, including disabled toilets and baby changing too. Plus we have banks of sinks for washing your hands after you’ve handled animals, or if there’s some mucky paws after ice cream.

Animals

The beach boasts lots of wonderful wildlife if you know where to look and for those among us keen to climb over rocks and such, it’s nature’s bounty! For the majority the animals on ‘show’ are limited to seagulls. Lots and lots of seagulls.

Yes you may spot a seagull or seven at the farm park but we also have ducks, sheep, goats, pigs, ponies, guinea pigs, geese, chickens, deer . . . you get the picture.

There’s an opportunity to interact with the animals regularly throughout the day – try feeding a lamb or having some one to one time with guinea pig.

Boy in bright coloured tshirt holding a guinea pig on his lap at Farmer Palmer's

We – and other farms like us – may not have the sea or miles of gorgeous sandy beach to explore but we think we more than make up for it as an alternative summer, family day out. We also have a highly trained and knowledgeable team ready to answer your questions and help you with any problems you may have.

So if you want a great day out in the sun, where feeling the sand between your toes is just the start, why not bring the whole family to the farm?