This week we visited the very lovely ponies, horses and donkeys at the Miniature Pony Centre on B3212 between Moretonhampstead and Postbridge. This is a great place for children to interact with the animals and there is so much to see and do.
We arrived just in time to catch the first pony rides of the day, a very popular activity with my two girls at the moment and they were delighted to be riding again. They also both received a rosette when they were done, a very nice touch.
The outdoor play areas here are really spacious, they are suitable for all ages and have lots of different obstacles and slides for them to enjoy. My eldest had a great time on the climbing wall and ride on tractors. There are also trampolines and several indoor play areas. The pony and horse theme runs all the way through the attraction with beautiful rocking horses and large bouncy soft play horses to play with.
I also noticed they had a nice sized party room for birthdays, something I may be using soon! The food was yummy, we didn’t have to wait long for our food to arrive although they were clearly quite busy. The cafè is equipped with high chairs and some great outdoor seating with stunning views over the pony field. There are also lots of birds and to see and hear whilst having your lunch, and a useful sign telling you about all the different species. I myself love birds but I am not particularly good at telling the smaller ones apart, so the descriptive sign was very helpful. We had a pleasant lunchtime listening to the lovely tweeting of the many small birds.
After lunch we went along to the stable talk, we were informed of the talk by one of the staff ringing a bell. Another great idea, with young children you can easily be distracted and we found the bell to be a very handy reminder of the events going on that day. During the stable talk we listened to lots of facts about the animals on the farm including the very lovely larger horses. We as a family were totally blown away by these incredible animals. I have never seen such enormous horses, among them was Buster the Shire Horse and the endangered Suffolk Punch Harris. This is a very rare chance to see these magnificent animals as there are only around 20 breeding pairs left of the Suffolk Punch. There is also the chance to sponsor the heavy horses if you wish, something I will no doubt be looking into. We were extremely taken with the lovely Harris and it would be a huge loss to see them disappear.
There are some great opportunities to appreciate the animals. We enjoyed grooming and relaxing in the paddock with the ponies. The great open paddock field with large trees is a great space to enjoy the miniature ponies company. There are clear rules as you go in to remind the children how to behave around animals, and hand sanitation for the way out. We spent nearly an hour in the paddock petting and sitting with the ponies, and for the photographers out there, this is a great chance to get some lovely shots.
Finally we had a we very peaceful walk around the pretty lake and enjoyed seeing all the ducks on the pond. It’s a short stroll just beyond the lower play park and it will only take a little while to walk around, here you can enjoy the sound of the water feature and plentiful wildlife. We found this to be a nice little wind down for the children before we headed back to our car.
There is an open day at the centre on the 17th of June. You can go and enjoy the park on the 17th with free entry. There is lots of entertainment planned including a bouncy castle and barbecue. We will certainly be going back for this event, we had a really lovely time and another big thank you to Dartmoor Accommodation for arranging our day out. We are lucky enough to be just down the road from this one and we look forward to our next visit.
A great day full of memories.