The Rare Breeds Centre – 24th April 2019

Today we’re off to the rare breeds centre. We had planned on going during the Easter holidays but where Daly was working nights it meant we had to be back by 3.30pm to make sure he had the car to get to work. Rachel turned up just before 10am so we could make good time to the centre. It’s over an hours drive from us so bit of a journey for us.

The Rare Breeds Centre is the other side of Ashford so we didn’t know quite where we were going. We don’t tend to head that side of Kent so it was going to be a bit of an adventure. SAT NAV it was to get to the centre. Only stupid thing the SAT NAV decided proper roads were too good for it today. I swear we only ended up on one proper road that had two proper lanes. Every other road was a stupid tiny little country lane in the middle of no where.

Going down all these tiny little roads I freaked every time a car came from the other direction. Good thing too. We were probably 15 minutes away when a massive SUV came towards me down one of these little roads and refused to move over. However his side of the road nicely blended into the grass verge and you know SUV their designed to do a little off roading. My side of the road was all broken away by the verge and massive pot roads and I’m in a little Fabia. Guess which car ended going off the road to get out the other’s way. Of course it was me. I had to dive into the verge hitting these massive potholes and when I pulled it out of the verge and came to a stop we were diagonally across the road on the wrong side of the road. I honestly thought I’d damaged the tyres. Rachel and I sat in the middle of the road for a minute to compose ourselves, I find it funny that people always think their the only ones on the road and don’t have to consider anyone else. Shame I decided we should live I guess, if I’d have actually stayed on the road rather than bailing and made the SUV move over, well it wouldn’t have and we’d have been in a head on collision. Anyway rant over about peoples rubbish driving.

We eventually arrived at the Rare Breeds Centre. Outside the centre was a field of sheep who were very noisy as we walked past them up to the main entrance. The thing was as we pulled up to park we saw that the sheep were being fed.

We made it through the entrance and the first area Bella wanted to go and explore was the Children’s Barn so in we went. The first animal we came across was a goat. Bella and Rachel were brave enough to pet it but the interest in the goat disappeared as Bella noticed the other animals in the barn.

Bella wanted to stroke the Guinea pigs first, she’s used to Rachel’s Guinea pigs and always loves seeing them. Bella and Rachel had cuddles with the Guinea pigs before Bella became interested in the rabbit.

There was a chicken strutting around the barn. Bella was a bit unsure of the chicken but she liked looking around at the other animals in the pens. She found the ducks and chickens, then moved on to the pigs in the sty. There was also a few more goats and a pair of cows. Bella wasn’t too sure on the cows.

There was also a group of chicks in a box. Bella loved the chicks. I think she was a bit upset they were in the box so she couldn’t stroke them. At the entrance to the barn behind the goat there was a horse in the stable. Bella got very excited when she realised the horse.

We made our way into the creepy crawlies building. Inside there were lots of interesting animals. First up we found a snake. We also found a few tarantulas, various lizards and even some frogs. However Bellas favourite was the Bearded Dragon.

We took a walk outside round the pens and stables. We came across the goat pens with the kids trying to feed on their mummy. But mummy was having none of it. She kept trying to get away and knocking the kids out of their way. There were also several pig pens but the pigs were all hiding inside their little houses, they obviously didn’t want to say hello today.

We made our way into the poultry section of the centre. There were a lot of different types of chicken. Bella kind of sped through the chickens, she wasn’t really interested. As well as chickens we also came across some geese and turkeys. Rachel and I were choosing which one we wanted for our Christmas dinner.

There were several stables and stys in this area. We came across a miniature horse, a shetland pony and a pair of donkeys. Bella thought the horse had lost its friend with the little wall in the middle of the stable. She thought it was suppose to be two pens and didnt realise the whole space was for the miniature horse. I had to stop and explain to her that a horse hadn’t gone. Bella loved the little grey donkey, just like her mummy. I love donkeys ever since we had a donkey living on a farm we stayed on on holiday.

By the poultry section were the birds of prey. Bella has just learnt what an owl is so she was very excited to see them in person and tell us they were owls. She kept going hoo hoo! It was so cute. As well as owls was also found a peregrine falcon and a hawk.

We ventured over to the cattle shed. Now my brain hasn’t been able to function today. Even though I saw the word cattle I still called the cows, pigs. We all enjoyed a break sitting on the hay bales in the shed. Bella still isn’t too sure of cows but she was happy to look at them.

We also headed into the lambing tunnel. Like a donut I claimed there were no lambs and that all the sheep must be pregnant which was why they were being kept away from the public in little pens. Rachel had to point out to me that in the little pens was actually the mummy sheep with her lambs. It’s not my fault my eye sight is so bad.

We continued to walk round the site. We discovered the aviary so decided to take a walk through. Bella really enjoyed this. She found the sign that told her one of the types of birds, the zebra finch, and were pointing them out to Rachel and I. They were hiding at the top of the trees. Bella’s eye sight is far better than mine so she finds things like that very easy to do.

Next to the aviary was one of the many outdoor play areas. On the map there’s at least 3 outdoor play areas if not more and they also have an indoor soft play. Bella ran off into the play ground so we decided to have a little break before going to find some lunch. First up the round about. Bella and Rachel enjoyed going round on it but bella didn’t quite understand she needed to wait until it stopped moving to get off her seat. She ended up going splat on the floor and Rachel had to quickly stop it to check she was ok.

She was fine, she jumped back up on her feet and ran off to the climbing frame. The first one she tried was a little tricky. It had a cargo net and firemans pole which is something Bella isn’t able to complete yet. Rachel however had great fun on this.

I called Bella over to another climbing frame that seemed far more appropriate for her. It had a little climbing wall to get up onto the main structure and Bella did it easily with no help. Then it was across the rope bridge and down the slide.

Bella had a little go on the bouncy rocky toys they have in parks. She needed a little help from Rachel to get on them but she knows what she’s doing once she’s on.

Last activity in the park was the swings. Rachel was pushing Bella from behind, while I stood in front taking photos. We decided it was time for food so sadly we had to drag Bella out of the park. She was not happy at all.

We visited the restaurant to have some lunch. It is outside the main bit of the centre so I was a bit concerned about going to the restaurant but I checked we were able to get back in after lunch.

The restaurant was very nice, it even has a nice under 5 outdoor play area. Sadly it was a bit too cold so I didn’t let Bella outside to play. We chose our dinners and then found a table to sit at. Our food quickly turned up.

We’d ordered Bella some Turkey dinosaurs with chips while Rachel and I had both ordered jacket potatoes. Our dinners did not last long at all. Rachel and I were starving. We literally inhaled our food. It was gone in seconds. Of course Bella took her time to eat her dinner. She even shared hers with baby.

Once we’d all finished eating we all headed back into the centre. Bella again dictated where we were going. Straight back into the Children’s Barn. This time there were different rabbits and Guinea pigs to pet so of course we had to give it a go.

The chicken this time around was much more to Bella’s taste. Rachel and Bella loved having snuggles with the Guinea pigs. Rachel wanted to take the rabbit home but it didnt listen to her instructions about hiding in her coat.

We wanted to watch the falconry display which we knew was happening at 2.30 so we set out to find the display area. Turns out it was near the outdoor play area next to the tractor rides. We discovered lots of people waiting to have a go on the tractor ride and Rachel and I discussed about giving it a go but we weren’t sure how long the ride lasted. We didnt want to go on the tractor and find out we’d missed the falconry.

Instead we decided to see what was on the rest of the site. There is a section that has staff walking around and manned areas and then there is a nature area with Woodlands, and a few more outdoor play areas and a couple of animal fields. We walked out into the unmanned area and discovered the woodland walk. There were 3 different lengthed walks. One 15 minutes, one 30 minutes and one 45 minutes. As it was 1.45 we decided to do the 30 minute walk to make sure we were able to get back for the falconry.

The woodland walk was so pretty. There were so many bluebells. It was beautiful. Bella was in the pram to start with but decided she wanted to walk through the woods. She nicely walked with Rachel and enjoyed all the bluebells.

She walked about half of the route but towards the back of the site there is an open lake and I didn’t want to chance Bella running into it. Rachel and I were taken away by how pretty it was. I even said about going up there in my wedding dress to have some photos of me taken in amongst all the bluebells.

We walked back towards the manned site through the fields. We passed at least two adventure play areas. They look so cool but where it had been cold we were scared if we crawled through a tunnel we’d end up in a puddle somewhere. Rachel told me about a tunnel maze she did that was under the ground in Cornwall. It sounded really cool but really scary at the same time. So I don’t know if she’d attempt to crawl though the wiggly tunnels.

We made it back to the falconry area and sat waiting for the display to beginning. Eventually a man turned up with an owl. He had a bit of a problem with his mic due to the wind but we could hear him ok.

First part of the display was with a European Owl. The owl flew from pillar to pillar and even over our heads to a perch behind us in the middle of the field. The owl was huge.

Next up a little Hawk. Again the man made it fly from pillar to pillar. He even took it for a walk through a field. It was something about the hawk would find a perch every time it got told it wasn’t allowed to sit on the mans arm. So it would hop from tree to tree. Although it was also quite happy to walk through the grass.

After a bit of switching from perch to perch members of the crowd were called up to give it ago. There was no way I was playing with a hawk but Rachel jumped up and gave it ago. Bella was so excited and shouted Rachel as soon as she stepped into the field.

Last activity the hawk had was to catch some prey. The man got a little boy to get up into the field and drag a squirrel (a bit of fluff on a string) across the ground and stop as soon as the hawk caught it. He told us that hawk are useless to class as a weapon as you’d have to constantly throw chicken at the target but that they work as a team to catch their prey.

Once the display was finished we decided to call it a day. We had seen everything we wanted to at the site so we thought we’d visit the shop and then head to find a Costa. I was picking up Daly from work so we still had two hours to kill.

Bella chose a postcard in the shop and I also let her get a snow globe. I collect them so I’m happy for Bella to get the little plastic ones.

We walked back to the car, loaded up and then set off to find Costa. I had put Costa in to the SAT NAV but hadn’t had any luck. However the Costa app told me where the nearest Costas were for us and I was able to put that in the SAT NAV as a stop on our way home.

We made it to a Costa that only took us 4 minutes off our route. It was inside a Tescos but that’s better than those stupid Costa Express machines. Rachel ordered a hot chocolate and a chocolate muffin, I had a latte and a tea cake and Bella had her gingerbread man. We went and found a table to sit at and enjoyed our cakes.

While we were eating our cakes we also looked at the various different leaflets I had picked up in the restaurant. I’d picked them up to give us an idea for things to do on our Wednesdays out. Rachel and I discussed Pautons Park as it claims to be the UKs biggest theme park while Bella lead on the floor and looked at the leaflet.

We finished our cakes and drinks and had a little look round Tesco’s before we headed off to pick up Daly. I love Tescos summer rompers. Bella had one last year that was so soft so I decided to get her another one for this year. This years design is cherries which is so cute. As well as a romper I also bought Bella some sandals as the weather has been so nice recently and she’s grown out of hers.

After our little shopping trip we decided we should probably pick Daly. At least this time we were on proper roads with two sides. Not stupid little country lanes. We found Daly and headed home to drop Rachel off. Daly and I went to pick up Joe from work. He had been in Birmingham for the day and we were picking up his girlfriend from darts tonight so it didnt really bother us. Bella slept the whole way to Joe’s work but woke up when we went to Sainsbury’s.

In Sainsbury’s Bella chose some more seeds to plant in our garden. I want to do a little flower patch with her. She already has Sweet Peas and Teddy Bear sunflowers so was looking for some other bits to go with them. We grabbed the seed packets and then made our way home via McDonalds for some dinner.

After a very busy day it was great to be home to chill. It’s a shame the Rare Breeds Centre is so far away otherwise I’d get yearly membership to take Bella more often. We loved it we just wish it was easier to get to.

Anyways night all and let’s see what adventures tomorrow holds for us.

Love CiCi x

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