Hall Hill Farm, the award-winning attraction near Lanchester, is celebrating after being named by VisitEngland as one of its top visitor attractions in the country and was praised for offering visitors of all ages a ‘warm welcome’.
In total, 76 attractions including museums, galleries, farm attractions, and churches, have been highlighted following an in-depth annual assessment by expert judges, as part of its 2018 Attractions Accolades.
Hall Hill Farm is a family-run tourist attraction set in the beautiful rolling hills on the edge of the Durham Dales, and has been providing children and families with an educational and fun day out for over 35 years. The multi-award-winning mixed farm of 290 hectares exceeded 85,000 visitors again last year, and re-opened this month for 2019.
During the February half-term school holidays, the farm was open every day with lots of newborn arrivals to see as well as a celebration of fairy tales and dragons with a treasure hunt, crafts and puppet show to entertain children. There has already been a baby llama, chicks and some of the ever-popular pygmy kid goats born and with spring on its way there will be plenty more soon.
The boost in visitors will enable the family owners to further invest in the farm as the attraction re-opens for the 2019 tourist season, with more fun outdoor activity-based experiences planned. The attraction, which employs up to 50 people, welcomed over 85,000 visitors last year attracted by the family fun on offer and the opportunities to see and touch animals at close quarters. Visitors can bottle feed lambs, see fluffy chicks, inquisitive goats, magnificent Highland Cattle and get close to children’s favourites such as guinea pigs and rabbits.
2018 brought more national recognition with the farm being named in the top two small attractions in the whole country by VisitEngland in their Excellence Awards, and farmer Richard Darlington was named as one of the UK’s Tourism Superstars.
Ann Darlington, tourism development manager at Hall Hill Farm said: “We are absolutely thrilled with our latest award and performance in 2018. We are a very small team, at the heart of which is a family run business, which we are continuing to invest time and money to ensure we keep providing an exciting fun day out for families right across the region.
“This week has been a really busy start to the season. I would like to thank all of our staff who all work so hard at ensuring our visitors enjoy a great day out. I’d also like to thank our visitors, many of whom return time and time again for helping us to create a fun environment for everyone to enjoy at our family farm.”
Developments in recent years at Hall Hill Farm, including the crazy golf, indoor soft-play Playbarn, jumping pillow, tractor and donkey rides and new enclosures as well as innovative events such as lambing live and the very popular lamb-cam have transformed what was a working farm that opened up to visitors during lambing time, to one of the best farm attractions in the UK.
Farm parks are one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK visitor attraction’s market according to research from VisitEngland.
It also welcomes pupils from many regional schools and community groups on educational farm visits.
Hall Hill Farm will be open every weekend until the end of March, and then open daily from Saturday, March 30 right through the summer.