Last December, we had the unusual situation of being child free with a tank of petrol that needed using up. Early the next day the scrap man was coming to take our trusty 10 year old Renault Scenic to car heaven. We decided to head south to County Durham through Stanley (stopping at the clearance Argos store oh the glamour!), Lanchester and ended up following a sign for Broom House farm in Witton Gilbert. We found a nice cosy spot in the tea room of this farm, had a pot of tea and a homemade cake and started to chat to the waitress. She mentioned the farm has an adventure woodland trail which runs through the spring and summer season. We picked up a flyer and put on the list of better weather activities with the girls.
Today was one of those indecisive days. We had a rough plan to go for a walk to test out the Nordic poles I have been kindly loaned for Yorkshire Three Peaks, and originally planned to walk Black Middens on the Border Rievers trail. However, the wind was icy and the weather had been so soggy we decided we couldn’t cope with two moaning girls on the very exposed Hadrians wall area! The next plan involved going to the Angel of the North to take some nice photos to use on the blog and as we were on the A1 decided to head on south to Broom House Farm.
Broom House Farm
We popped the postcode in sat nav which took us through Chester-le-Street and up to Witton Gilbert. Broom House farm is a working organic farm, with on site butchery as well as the tea shop and woodland trail. We parked up near the pig shed and paid for our entry into the trail at the cafe. A family of four ticket was £16 and the girl handed us two sheets of clues to fill in.
We headed to the start of the trail down the bank and we were very glad we had the walking boots on as the ground was very wet underfoot. Heading over a bridge and into the woodland area we saw the sign for the first clue which are large letters hidden in the trees and had to note the numbers next to them and write them against that number on the sheet. The second clue sheet involved looking for wooden fairy doors and popping down the corresponding number next to the Wind in the Willows animal found behind the door.
The first section involved knocking down targets in the coconut shy type game which the girls enjoyed. As we headed further into the wood we realised part of the path was completely underwater so retreated back to the main path.
The rest of the trail involved a kids adventure play area, a large homemade slide and a zip wire. Around half way in, I really was questioning the value for money. The zip wire was pretty small, and although the girls did enjoy it, it was for people under 12 stone so that counted me out! Abigail fitted through the obstacle course tunnels but it would have been a tight squeeze for Imogen! Definitely not one for adults to get involved in – we were essentially making sure the kids were supervised. I appreciate that it’s a small family run attraction and comparing it to National Trust Wallington’s park from a few weeks ago is a tad unfair, but I just think for us we wouldn’t make a return journey to this attraction. As readers of the blog will know we love a clue sheet but these were hard to spot so the girls so quickly given up on.
After around an hour we headed back up the hill and thought about grabbing a coffee and a scone in the tea shop. Here lay another disappointment as the tables were reserved for Sunday lunch diners. Again I appreciate this is where a business profits will lie, but it was another set back.
Abigail has a thing for piglets, stemming from endless episode of Peppa Pig, so we had a quick look in the pig sheds. They were very cute and could definitely turn people vegetarian!
Muddy boots taken off, we headed back home and I fell asleep in the car. Must have been the fresh air!!