Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is an award-winning attraction and one of West Wales’ most popular attractions.
It’s been nearly two years since we last visited and there have been some great improvements and additions to the attraction such as its two new black rhinos, which added to our excitement to our visit to Pembrokeshire. Folly Farm continues to expand and reinvest and every year we visit with the girls there is something new to experience.
On arrival we were directed into the parking areas by helpful stewards, and to remember where we parked the areas are named after animals. It was a short walk to the entrance to Folly Farm with lots of information on signs along the way and the awards the park has won such as Best Day out in Wales.
We could see some of the new improvements with a large new visitor entrance and a brilliant new shop. The centre piece of this store was a giant carousel full of cuddly toys and a great selection of gifts and souvenirs including clothes, stationary and books.
The park is split into different sections to explore; the farm, the zoo, adventure parks and funfair, there is really something for all the family at Folly Farm. The guide maps of the park are very informative and are very good at helping to plan your day as you arrive.
The zoo area at Folly Farm I would rate as one of the very best in the UK with over 90 different species of animals to see including camels, lions, rhino, penguins, meerkats and more.
Folly Farm also offers pre-bookable zoo animal experiences, and we had arranged a giraffe feeding experience at an additional cost of £39 per person. You can read our review here as there is lots to say and it truly was amazing and definitely worth booking in advance for.
On route to the giraffe enclosure we stopped off to look at the lions known as “the Pride of Pembrokeshire”, where Hugo is the only male lion, his lioness Luna and their four female cubs Zahra, Ebele, Alika and Sola live.
We instantly spotted one of the lions sitting proudly on one of the rocks in their award-winning enclosure, which offers numerous vantage points to view these amazing animals. The girls were transfixed by the lions as they wandered around their reserve and were constantly asking questions which showed that they were really enjoying their day out.
There was a really informative area inside their enclosure which provided us with lots of educational information on lions and their behaviour which helped answer many of the girl’s questions.
We really enjoyed Penguin Coast, home to a large group of Humboldt penguins, an endangered species from South America. After feeding the penguins in Dubai, they hold a special place in our hearts and we enjoyed watching them in their enclosure. As there was lots of low fencing with large glass screens it meant that we could get really close to them as they relaxed on their pebble beach.
The underwater viewing gallery was fascinating and great fun as the penguins followed my daughter’s fingers, and Holly was convinced she could talk to them as they followed her every move.
What was so pleasing to hear was that the zoo has such a successful breeding programme with over 11 penguin chicks being born in their first two breeding seasons, which is testament to the planning of the enclosure which is designed to be very like the penguins’ natural home.
Opposite the penguins is a lovely flamingo enclosure. The zoo has done well to keep in with creating a natural environment for all the animals and also making you feel you are very close in proximity to them.
Folly Farm is home to three Rothschild hybrid male giraffes called Taharqa, Rian and Sillan and it’s the only place to see giraffes in Wales.
We made our way to Giraffe Heights for our 10:30am zoo keeper experience (you can read about our experience here). As we approached it felt like we were in Africa not Pembrokeshire, with the faint drumming of African music in the background as we watched the giraffes, zebras and antelopes in their enclosure.
We walked across the impressive walkway which extends right into the enclosure so we could stand at head height with these beautiful animals. The walkway provides stunning views of the enclosure where we spent time watching the giraffes and zebras exploring their surroundings.
The Kifaru (Rhino in Swahili )reserve is a new area of the zoo home to two Eastern black rhino. The amazing theming of this new attraction really does give you the impression that you have been transported into a reserve in South Africa. In the UK only seven zoos have the critically endangered Eastern black rhino, so we were really excited to have the chance to view them at Folly Farm.
As you walk around the enclosure you have an amazing view of these wonderful animals rolling in the mud and charging backwards and forwards in their paddocks. The indoor viewing area looks into their bedrooms so we could watch them as they relaxed indoors.
There were lots of other animals to see including tapirs, snakes, wallaby’s, sloths, squirrel monkeys etc.
Alongside every enclosure were information boards featuring pictures and key facts about the animals which was suitable and engaging for all ages.
My daughter loves the meerkats and they are always a family favourite along with the lemurs, who have their own private island to live on.
There are a number of daily talks with the zoo keepers to learn more about your favourite animals. At Folly Farm interactive we got really close to snakes, spiders, sloths, fruit bats and macaws. An area that can easily be missed is toward the back of this exhibit where kids can hunt for fossils and complete their own passport by earning animal prints as they complete each activity.
Themed Adventure Play
What we love about Folly Farm is along with a world class zoo and farm area there are so many other great activities to keep children entertained whatever the weather, with a great choice of indoor and outdoor play areas.
The outdoor pirate adventure play park featured two life size pirate ships (with another currently under construction) and was great fun for the girls as they climbed up ropes, sped down the slides and walked across the netted rope walks.
Destruction playground was a huge sandpit area and kept the girls entertained with sand diggers and large wooden play equipment.
When my husband seen Follystone racetrack a formula 2 go-kart track he thought he was the next Lewis Hamilton as we sped around the course. This again was a token ride and we needed four tokens per go-kart but the girls thought it was brilliant.
If you don’t fancy the racetrack there are two pedal tractor tracks one for toddlers and another for slightly older children with farm inspired John Deere pedal tractors.
We have recently returned from London where we took a trip on the London Eye, but at Folly Farm they have their very own version, the Pembrokeshire Wheel.
At the top of the 25 metre wheel the views of Folly Farm and Pembrokeshire are stunning. It was a beautiful day when we visited so we could literally see for miles around toward the seaside town of Tenby in the distance. There was a charge of two tokens (£1) to ride the wheel but its well worth the cost for the views from the top.
The enormous indoor play area Carousel Woods is an enormous wooden play zone themed like an enchanted wood complete with tubes, slides, climbing nets and rope walks.
The girls loved it in here and it was difficult to coax them away as they were having such a great time, but it was nice just to sit and relax with a cup of tea from the Carousel Café while they played.
From the top of Carousel Woods the girls caught a glimpse of the Vintage Victorian Funfair which is located just around the corner from the indoor play area. Not only is Folly Farm an amazing zoo and farm it also has the largest indoor traditional funfair in Europe and it is really impressive.
There was a huge collection of rides and stalls for all ages which have been beautifully restored and you could see the girls eyes light up in amazement as they spotted their favourite rides.
These included the Golden Gallopers carousel, chair-o-planes, dodgems, the Lakin Skid, Royal Coronation Speedway and a Rock ‘n Roll Waltzer and many more.
Our favourites were the jets, a space inspired plane ride circling high in the air, the chair-o-planes and the Lakin skid. I’m surprised my youngest went on this ride as it was so fast but she thought it was amazing.
We did have to pay a little extra for the rides via a token system which were 50 pence each and the rides took either one or two tokens per person, which I thought was really good value.
This is an area of Folly Farm that has greatly improved and now offers a fantastic selection of dining options offering local ice creams from the delicious Cowpots of Narberth, burgers and chips at the burger bar to the brand new Cwtch Coffee. This is the brand new coffee shop serving a delicious range of cakes and is a lovely area to relax.
As there are plenty of great picnic spots around Folly Farm you could even take your own picnic to the park.
The Jolly Barn and farm area is one of our favourite as you can get up close and the girls had a wonderful sensory experience through touching and feeding some of the farm favourites such as sheep, goats, horses and pigs.
In this giant barn is nearly every farm animal you can think of from chickens and ferrets to mice, you can even milk a cow, or at least their life size plastic models.
There were lots of supervised educational activities throughout the day to learn more about your favourite animals and the girls really enjoyed many of the meet and greets with the farm animals. The girls got to smooth a sheep and milk a goat and for their efforts they were given a souvenir badge to show that they had done well. It’s these little touches that make all the difference as they felt so pleased that they had been rewarded for their efforts.
After these hands on experiences it was reassuring to know that there was hand washing facilities located in the barn area. As well as the animals, there is also great farm-themed play equipment to play on. The girls loved climbing on board the tractor and combine harvester.
As we were leaving the barn, Holly spotted a sign for Follywood, so we made our way through the underpass in Jolly Barn to the land train located over the road from the main bit of the park. We caught the last train of the day at 3pm, which was a giant tractor and trailer that took us on a tour of more amazing animals such as llamas, alpaca, deer and Percy’s Piggery.
The land train is free to board and operates from 11am until 3pm daily on the hour. At peak times the train runs every 20 minutes. We thought it was a nice way to end the day.
If you are visiting Pembrokeshire, a visit to Folly Farm should definitely be on your list. There is so much for families to do here whatever the weather, from a world class zoo to a brilliant farm combined with so many other attractions to keep a family entertained. It ticks all the boxes for a fantastic day out.
Pricing & Location
Entrance is £13.95 per adult and £11.95 per child over age 3, age 2 is £4.95. You can check up to date pricing on the Folly Farm website and if you book online in advance you can save 10%. If you collect Tesco Clubcard points you can also exchange these for tickets for Folly Farm. Children under the age of 2 they have free admission and parking is also free.
Folly Farm can be very busy during school holidays and it is advisable to arrive early, but there are lots of parking spaces and it is well organised by parking attendants.