Since the lockdown of 2021 eased, and I am parent to an inquisitive chunk of a baby, we are spending a lot of time at family farm parks. On our route home from our holiday in Norfolk, we realised we would be passing another such attraction, but this one a dog-friendly location, and you know how much I love being able to take Ted with us on our trips. We had to take a pit stop at Jimmy’s Farm, just a few miles from Ipswich.
We arrived late morning (a little later than expected due to a ridiculous diversion) and walked towards the entrance to the farm. Like Barleylands in Essex, you pass a collection of shops and eateries, including the main café, before reaching the ticket booth, which I always find quite charming. The ‘village’ area was clean, and well tended, with large trees shading benches from the blazing June heat. My only niggle was that the pathways were covered with gravel, which made it difficult to manoeuvre the pushchair Chunks was parked in. After a quick pitstop at the toilets, we showed our tickets, and grabbed a bag of animal feed too.
Jimmy’s Farm had implemented a one way system due to Covid. The sounds of animal calls, and the group of six year old school kids screaming, was harmonised by Ted’s growls at any animal Chunkz went near. We stopped at the tapir enclosure, hoping to see the new baby but weren’t in luck. It was too hot and they wanted to sit indoors. Dan told me to turn around to see the sheep that I’d managed to miss. Chunkz giggled watching me feed one, who was bullied out the way by another.
I could hear Ted’s growling in the distance getting louder. What was he angry at? The llama! I pushed the baby up the hill to see them, but kept my distance because I didn’t fancy being spat on, or having the baby spat on either for that matter. We followed the route round to see the donkeys and ponies, then past a playgym that would be better suited to junior age children, not a six month old. Then we passed the brand, new monkey enclosure. They were all hiding from the heat, but I did spot one in a tree. Zebra on the other side were grazing in a field.
We then looped back to the turkeys, emus, wallabies and reptile house. Emus are slightly intimidating, considering the loss of the Great Emu War in Australia. Yes, that’s a real thing. But we were fine.
Back in the main part of Jimmy’s Farm, we had a break in a gazebo next to the play park. Again our baby was a but too young for it but she would have had an amazing time if she were just a couple of years older. There were snacks in a kiosk, climbing apparatus, a bouncy pillow, and I think there was a sandpit too.
Although Ted was fine around the animals, Dan decided to take him out to sit in the shade. I on the other hand, decided to take the baby through the forest walk, not really expecting it to be a literal forest. I imagined they would have built a pathway through, but no, I was lugging a pushchair over puddles and roots. At least we saw a few models of dinosaurs.
My mood really took a turn at this point – it was hot. I was hungry. I was struggling with a pushchair that had no business being in a forest, and I then had to shove it through gravel to get back through the exit. Despite the rather annoying end to the afternoon, I really enjoyed it. I do think Jimmy’s Farm near Ipswich is one of the better family farms in East Anglia.