Many of the places that we visit on the Isle of Wight are those that have been around since I was little and visited them with my parents but Tapnell Farm Park is one of the Island’s newest attractions. Tapnell Farm Park has been open since 2016 and was a former dairy farm, it is now home to a variety of animals, lots of fun things for children to do and a cafe. The first area you come to as you walk around is the animal barn; in here you will find all sorts of animals from insects and mice to guinea pigs, ferrets and goats. There is a daily planner on the wall highlighting some of the things going on during the day such as Donkey Brushing and Meerkat Mayhem.
The guinea pig village is particularly impressive, it has little houses, huts, nests and tubes with fences separating them. The Hatchery also caught our eye; this shows eggs being incubated and moves on to newborn chicks being kept warm and then slightly older chicks in the nursery. We also got the opportunity to hold one of the chicks which the children really enjoyed.
Outside there are more animals like alpacas, pigs and sheep where you will also see stunning views that stretch for miles over the countryside and near the jumping pillows you will find the Wallaby Walkabout which lets you see the wallabies close up as they often come and sit close to the path that you walk along. The Meerkat Enclosure is also in this area where you can see them over their fence or through the windows along the bottom.
The Straw Bale Adventure Barn is a huge hit with the children and it is packed with things to do; you can ride around on the Pedal Go Karts, these impressed us because there were different types of karts so the older ones can ride around on their own or there were tandem karts and twin karts allowing you to sit next to your child. There are two big zip wires, a climbing wall, trampolines and a hay bale playground you can jump off and climb over. A small kiosk serves drinks and snacks for parents watching their children play and there are plenty of picnic tables outside if you have your own food. Back out in the open is a new Sledge Slide which three people can race down at a time and is for adults and children!
There is plenty for younger children too with a Toddler Zone which is next to Imagination Play and Soft Play in the Play Barn. Outside are Jumping Pillows; there is one for older children and one for the younger ones, it’s nice to see that this has been thought about as it is often the case where older children make it unsafe for younger ones to play so having them separated is a welcome change. The colourful Adventure Trail made with brightly painted tyres and wooden logs to walk around is great fun and opposite are swings for babies and children.
As you walk around there are plenty of places to stop and wash your hands and they are always well stocked with soap and paper towels, the toilet facilities are quite central so you are never far away and there is separate baby changing. The indoor animal barn was the cleanest and well maintained that I have seen in a small animal farm. All bedding was fresh and clean which was really nice to see and the number of hand washing areas emphasised the importance of hygiene.
There is so much to do here for both younger and older children, the mix of animals and play equipment/things to do is perfect and we spent quite a few hours there. Tapnell Farm Park have done a really good job of creating a fantastic family attraction which is now firmly on our list of ‘must-do’ days out when we visit the Isle of Wight.
Tapnell Farm Park is open all year round but has seasonal opening times so take a look at their website for current opening times and prices. You can also find out what else they have to offer as there are often special event days – head over to Tapnell Farm Park website.