Berkeley’s Cattle Country Adventure Park is one of those places that we visit year after year. Cattle Country has a good mixture of indoor and outdoor activities which cater for the needs of a range of children’s ages. 2014 has seen some changes with the brand new beach barn and the interactive park map. We visited on the last weekend that the ice skating rink was open (until next autumn) and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was free.
Indoor Activities at Cattle Country
Ice Skating Rink
The ice skating rink was a nice change, and due to the fact it was not actually ice made it easier for all six of us to take to the “ice” at once. Due to the time of year there was no-one else so we had it completely to ourselves.
The boots were provided and there was a lady supervising behind a desk. There were lots of benches to sit down and change your shoes, but she did not take your shoes so not sure how chaotic this would have been if it were busier.
The floor was like a kind of wax and you could not move about by what I’d call skating. However, as I say it was free, there were penguins to hold onto and I think it gave the children more confidence. It was still possible to slip over, but a lot less likely.
Indoor Play Barns at Cattle Country
There are 2 play barns with slides, soft play, and climbing apparatus. The barn nearest to the entrance has a “death slide” which is possibly the most famous thing about Cattle Country. It is accessible through the shop or opposite the restaurant. The slides have someone supervising them at the bottom but not the top. Last year my four year old son went down the “death slide” face first and burnt it – let’s say he was not brave enough to go on it again this year.
The second barn is slightly less adventurous, this time with the bottom of the slide having a lot of balls at the bottom. There are also two tube slides – one of which is very dark inside and reminded me of the waterslide at Butlins (very scary for me as I got stuck!).
The Beach Barn
New for 2104 is the new beach barn.
This is an undercover sand area, which has deck chairs for the parents to sit on. It is opposite the undercover picnic area, which I think is a good job as I cannot see there being enough deck chairs for the parents in high season.
It has been well decorate, with pictures of a beach scene on the walls.
There were a nice selection of buckets/spades, and play equipment for the children.
Other Indoor Activities at Cattle Country
Other indoor activities available during our visit were the Arts and Crafts and Meet the Guinea Pig – but we did not see either as they were at certain times.
Outdoor Activities at Cattle Country
One of my boy’s favourite outdoor parts of Cattle Country is the play Berkeley Castle.
They love nothing better than to run around, play tag, and hide from one another. Also around the area are many climbing frames, slides, trampolines, a high zip wire, tyres, and swings. There is also an outdoor pool but this was not open due to the season.
Photos and Bouncy Pillows
I had not previously noticed the put your head in the hole photo opportunity next to the bouncing pillows.
The pillows are split into two age groups, the under fours and the over fours. As you can see from my photo they are very bouncy and fun for all ages.
Train and animals
There are animals dotted about but to really see the majority it is best to get the train, or walk down to where it goes. There is a charge for the train. We did not go on the train because it took too long to arrive.
The Climbing Net
Everyone was allowed on the climbing net but under 18s have to have an adult present to say that they can go on. I was really impressed with how high my 6 year old got (yeah I was chicken and stayed on the ground taking photos). When we had originally gone on the climbing net (see I have tried it once) there was a charge, but it is all free now. I was super proud that my oldest son, husband and 10 year old all managed to get up and over (through the hole).
The Willow Maze
An easier part of the day was finding our way through the willow maze into the centre. It really is simple and the boys have done it so many times before that it was more like a race.
Again another activity included in the price is the canoe boats. Someone over 18 years old needs to be in the boat, with no more than 4 people in the boat at one time. Each person then has an oar each and you just get to go around until you are called back over. I felt either really unfit or that this was great exercise for my arms!
The children are always happy to return to Cattle Country every year. When we asked them if they wanted a season ticket though they said that if they came too often then it would be boring. As a family of 6 entry cost us less than £50 (we booked online and had no vouchers which are usually available), and we consider this pretty good value for money for a day out. We took a picnic and there are plenty of areas provided to eat, alternatively there is a restaurant.
There could be somewhere to put recycling, but we just took ours home with us. We were disappointed that there were no ice-creams for sale, as the weather was particularly sunny, but guess they did not anticipate that for the time of year. We liked the new beach barn for our younger children, but I’m not so sure how well it will cope with the high season. You do generally need to exit via the shop, which could make this more difficult for some parents to leave without spending more money.
Other Farm Parks to visit
Gloucestershire – Dick Whittington Farm park
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