If you’re ever in the Ipswich or Norfolk area and are a fan of animals, do give Baylham House Rare Breeds farm a little visit! Every time I’m in the UK, my boyfriend and I will put a couple of days aside to visit animal sanctuaries or farms and this was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had with getting real close to the animals themselves.
Open since 1985, Baylham Farm houses animal breeds that are under threat and they also educate visitors about rare breeds.
My boyfriend’s family and I took a 1 hour car drive from Gorleston-On-Sea and got to Baylham bright and early in April 2019. It was a chilly day but still sunny which in my opinion is the best sort of weather for a day out like this. We parked the car and made a short walk into the premises of the farm.
The first thing we did when we got there and paid the entrance fee of £7.50 (such a good price!) was to pick up some animal food. The food is free for children but you can also purchase a bag yourself which we did. Since we were there around Easter time, Chris’s little niece and other children got given a free Baylham Farm quiz which I could see they all thoroughly enjoyed. The questions ranged from pretty simple to having adults help to read the animal information boards to get answers but it was all very fun!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from visiting Baylham, it is that I LOVE GOATS! I never really got the chance to pet or play with goats in such close proximity and only at the solid age of 25 did I realise what lovely animals they are!
The little bag of food we managed to get actually lasted a really long time – even after feeding this big ol’ guy who kept asking us for more and more food. I could tell he was a crowd favourite, lots of people were taking pictures of and with him because of his adorable leathery tongue that we got to touch at one point!
One of the things that impressed me the most about Baylham Farm were its wide open spaces for the animals to roam. They weren’t cooped up in a small, confined space and they all looked very happy being out in the sunshine with so much room to roam.
Even the chickens had a massive space despite being one of the smallest creatures there.
Then came the most exciting part – cuddling with baby lambs!
This was actually the thing that caused me to get adamant about coming to Baylham. There’s a little section where you queue up for a couple of minutes (depending on the crowd that day – we queued for about 10 minutes and there was a massive Easter crowd so I was relieved!) to get into a little barn where a bunch of baby lambs are and you can cuddle them! You’re given one little lamb to sit on your lap with a towel (provided) and you get to pet them for a good 5 minutes and take some pictures.
I’ve said “little” way too many times haven’t I?
So we did!
I was so happy and I didn’t want those 5 minutes to end but we had to give them back to the farm volunteers for the next few people to cuddle. The goats did seem very happy and not stressed at all which was great! I really wanted to bring one home 😔
You can actually sponsor or adopt an animal from Baylham to help with the upkeep which is amazing. I would sponsor all of them if I could afford it. Sponsorships start from £40 and adoption starts from £60 and you can find more details here!
In total, we probably spent about 2 and a half hours there, so that £7.50 entrance fee was definitely super worth it. Under 4’s go in for free. I would suggest going during special events like Easter and Christmas as they have extra activities for everyone. They’ve even got a Halloween Special for October only.
They are also a great place for you to volunteer if you love being around animals or would just like to give a helping hand. When I was there, a lot of the volunteers were young, school-aged teenagers and I thought to myself about how much I would’ve loved to have that sort of opportunity when I was their age so I definitely would advice young people to not pass this up as it is a very fulfilling volunteering experience.
Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is located at Baylham House Farm, Mill Lane, Baylham, Suffolk, IP6 8LG and they are open every Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm – even on bank holidays! Winter Opening Hours vary, according to their website they close from the 28th October 2019 till 15th February 2020 with the exception of their Farmer Christmas Visits.
They also have a lovely little gift shop where I bought a lamb plush!
What are some interesting animal sanctuaries or farms you’ve visited and loved? Do leave them in the comments below as I’m always looking for new places to see.