One of our days out over the Easter holidays was to the Rural Life Centre. It’s literally 5 mins in the car from where we live, towards Tilford just outside Farnham. My last post about the Rural Life Centre was nearly three years ago now, though I’m pretty sure we’ve been there since.
It’s described as a museum in the countryside, set in over 10 acres of field, woodlands and buildings. There’s plenty to see and do there, and spacious areas for the children to run off some energy.
There are various activities on throughout the year. Car boot sales monthly on Sundays, a family friendly music festival in August, car shows, bus rallies. The list goes on and their event page of the website is worth taking a look at.
We went on a Thursday which was one of their activity days, only on throughout the holidays. We’d not been on an activity day before but I’d heard about it and thought the children would enjoy it.
Parking is free but was a little bit muddy on the day we went!
Adult tickets are £9 and children 4 and over are £6 in the summer season, annual passes are also available. It’s also worth noting that it is only open from Wednesday to Sunday if you are planning to go.
As soon as we were inside Charley spotted a chap turning wood and we were all allowed a go. It was quite hard to do but the children enjoyed getting the wood shavings. Then he gave us a wooden spinning top that we had to pass back and forth on two sheets of ply board, we weren’t very good at this but it was fun anyway.
Next it was off to milk the cow! Fortunately it’s only water that comes out and it’s pretty difficult, the children didn’t have much patience for it, but at least had a go.
Next stop was the rocket making stall. The lovely ladies guided us through how to make the rocket, where to put the tape etc and then we were ready to go to the rocket launcher area. A man fills a plastic bottle up with air, the rocket gets put onto a tube attached to the plastic bottle, the children jump on the bottle and WHOOSH up goes the rocket!
The children really could have spent all day doing this. So simple but lots of fun.
By this time our friends had arrived so we headed into one of the exhibition sheds with them. This particular one had a giant dolls house that the children took turns going into. Only two were allowed in at a time and it was obviously good inside as none came out that easily!
Round the other side of the dolls house there was a puzzle, coin rubbings and more wooden spinning toys. The children (well the older girls) also didn’t want to leave this bit either!
There were also lots of different shop fronts to look at such as an old butchers, pharmacy and a war shop.
Outside this exhibition shed was a tin war shed with an old wooden bucket toilet that really appealed to Bodhi as he is apparently at the age where he just wants to say poo all the time! So I was keen to move on from here, fortunately the children spotted the playground and we headed in there!
The slide has to be one of the slowest I’ve ever seen but is quite high. The merry-go-round that has cars, rockets etc to sit in, is another popular choice with the children. There’s also the usual see-saw and swings. A bit unusual is a milk float with a steering wheel and pedals that children enjoy playing on. It must be a good playground because it’s always difficult to get the children to move on, even though there is so much else to see.
For lunch we went to on-site cafe providing hot and cold food, The Old Kiln Cafe. Unfortunately there was no seating left inside so we had to eat outside but a hot chocolate and cheese toastie soon warmed me up.
After lunch we wandered slowly to the train, stopping to play on more ride on toys.
It’s a main attraction for smaller children. It costs £1 per person and runs around the perimeter of the museum so you can see what else is going on. We love the train ride, it’s always a highlight of the day.
On the activity day there were also a couple of classes in the old school room, with old wooden desks but our children weren’t keen on going! Shame because it looked really interesting.
The children had another go on the rocket blaster and playground before we had to leave.
It’s such a lovely space to visit with lots of open areas for the children to run about, lots of exhibits and new things to try, and the volunteers are all really lovely & happy to have a chat with you all, especially the children.
It’s a really relaxed day out, I’m sure we’ll try and go back soon.
What are your favourite local places to visit?