Family fun day out - come rain or shine at Chipping's Bowland Wild Boar Park
SItuated in the heart of the Forest of Bowland - a short distance from the picturesque village of Chipping, there is so much to see and do at this family-run gem of a place.
My children and I, accompanied by friends, had an opportunity to recently visit the fun-filled attraction. And we were so impressed that it's definitely a destination we'll be returning to very soon!
On arrival, we were greeted by friendly and efficient staff who directed us to the free on site spacious car park. As soon as I parked, my children (aged 6 and 9), spilled out and ran towards the extensive play area which has slides, swings and a zip wire, plus a Traverse climbing wall. My friend's children (aged 9 and 11), were impressed with the Meerkat enclosure and immediately headed towards there. Gradually moving on through the spacious 62-acre park, we came across the wild boars and continued to stroll around at our own pace. And there's no need to worry about getting lost as all guests receive a complimentary activity pack and map on arrival.
During the four hours we were there, we enjoyed a variety of activities to keep us busy, but the best was feeding animals such as llamas, sheep, goats, alpacas and deer. Animal feed can be bought for just £1 a bag and it's a bargain as it keeps the children entertained for a long time.
And if you visit on a day when rain is forecast then there are plenty of indoor activities on offer too at the barn and education centre where the children were so excited to hold chicks. I struggled to get my daughter away from the kinetic sand mud kitchen, which she absolutely loved playing with for hours, while the boys had a laugh playing the new addictive basketball hopper game. Plus, there are plenty of mini tractors, a Connect 4 game and colouring activities to keep the infants entertained.
At lunchtime we were absolutely spoilt for choice. Although there are plenty of picnic tables and people are welcome to bring their own picnics, the park has a very reasonably-priced cafe selling everything from home-made sandwiches, chips, jacket potatoes and plenty more delicious items on its extensive menu. Visitors can now also tuck in at a brand-new burger bar selling local produce. And for afters, mouth-watering treats can be bought from the ice cream parlour.
A visit to Bowland Wild Boar Park really is a must and it caters for not only youngsters, but adults too. I could have easily spent a full day there and it's fantastic value for money. Riding in a barrel was the highlight of the day for the children and a special shout out to Big Hat Dave who entertained the youngsters. Once admission is paid, everything is free apart from a small charge for a barrel and tractor ride.
The McDonald family own the park, they purchased it in April 2019 and it originally opened in 1999. They have been impressed with the increasing number of people who have visited the park since the pandemic.
A spokesman said: "We have been really pleased with the number of visitors this year, but it's hard to make a comparison to previous years as 2020 was lockdown and we opened in July and 2019 was our first season owning the park. We have made many improvements and added extra attractions since then and we've seen a good increase in visitors from our first year."
The park exceeded our expectations and we had an amazing time. We will certainly return again in the future. The site is now open weekends only and will be open the October half term. It closes for the winter on October 31st and reopens during February half-term.