With extensive gardens, the house and a farm there is so much to do at Wimpole Hall and Home Farm in Cambridgeshire. Since we first visited to do a review of Wimpole Hall they have invested lots of money in a new visitor centre and car park. There is a little bit of a walk from here to the house, and a longer walk through the gardens to the farm. They do provide a buggy for people who need it. There are always lots of things going on here, particularly during the holidays, so keep an eye out on the website.
This review of Wimpole Hall has been updated whilst some social distancing measures are still in place and contains elements of both pre and post covid visits. That means some of the details I mention may not be relevant during your visit. The government guidelines are constantly changing so if you have any specific questions or needs then please double check the National Trust Website before visiting.
Wimpole Hall Review
The house was once owned by Rudyard Kipling’s daughter and houses one of the largest libraries in the National trust. In no way am I massively jealous of that library! There is also the spectacular dome sky light in the yellow drawing room. They have cushions you can lie on to get the best view. You can guess where Middle Child decided to set up camp!!
There is usually some form of children’s trail taking place in the house to keep their attention whilst you have a proper look around. This place is very special at Christmas as well. We’ve never actually managed to make it down to Wimpole Hall during their festive season, but I’ve seen some stunning photos. I’m really hoping to make it down there this year.
The bath has to be seen to be believed. Your average roll top bath it is not! There are lots of rooms below stairs open as well so you can get a real feel of what life was like for everyone in the house. All of the staff we met were engaging and really good with the kids.
When I first visited Wimpole Hall you had to pay an additional charge for the farm, even if you were an NT member which I thought was a bit of a rip off. They’ve now changed that and I’m glad they did. The farm is lovely and it has a decent range of animals; goats, sheep, cows, horses, pigs, guinea pigs and rabbits. We were in the barn for one of the pig feeding times and it was one of the noisiest things I have ever heard. They know it’s coming and start going crazy in anticipation. I swear I’ve heard that sound in a horror movie! Middle child was actually a bit scared of all the noise so we ended up going back once feeding was over.
We went during lambing season and there were so many lambs, we loved it. There is a good cafe and an adventure playground out the back as well. There’s also a milking station so you can try your hand a milking a cow if you want to. They also give children the opportunity to cuddle the rabbits and guinea pigs at certain times of the day.
Social distancing update at Home Farm
The farm has now reopened but there is a one-way system in place. They are limiting the numbers of people on site and so they’re asking you to not really linger whilst in the farm. You’re also asked not to touch any railings etc. We still got to see almost all of the animals (except some of the smaller ones) but we were in there for a significantly shorter time than before. The kids still enjoyed it, which is the most important thing. The cafe, toilets and play area were closed when. I will update this review when I get confirmation from Wimpole Hall that the Home Farm cafe and play area have reopened.
Wimpole Hall gardens review
The gardens and grounds at Wimpole Hall are massive. There’s a meadow at the front which is perfect for picnics. On one of our visits they’d cut the really long grass and just left it to turn to hay. All of the kids were playing in it, building hay dens and having a lovely time. It was hayfever central though! There is a wider parkland with lots of animals to see. There are various walks within the estate but I haven’t tried any of them yet. You can find various walking routes on their website. Click here for the Wimpole Folly and woodland belt walk (affiliate link)
The formal and informal gardens are lovely, and there’s a wonderful walled garden too. The parterre and more formal parts are quite small, but the pleasure gardens are massive. Using the current one-way system it takes a very long time to get from the house to the farm unless you’re walking quickly. The kids spotted various things along the way to keep them happy. One of the paths (the wood-chip path closest to the stable block entrance) is particularly child friendly. This is where you’ll find the stumpery along with some fairy houses, a rhododendron hide-out (complete with mirrors) and some other things.
At the time of our most recent visit and review update of Wimpole Hall there is a one-way system in place in the gardens. There are three different routes that you can take to cover certain parts of the gardens. It does mean that you miss seeing certain parts of the garden, but that will change over time as social distancing measures are relaxed.
The Walled Garden
This is the kitchen garden at Wimpole Hall and is just stunning. There’s a little orchard with apples, plums and pears outside. Inside they’re growing all kinds of stuff, including lots of flowers (which are more interesting to look at). If your kids love bugs then this is a bug haven as there are bees and butterflies everywhere. There’s also a little fishpond in the middle. I’ve seen a lot of people moan about the amount of food that’s allowed to rot on the ground, particularly apples. I have no idea why they do that, but I’m sure there’s a reason. It seems a lot of effort to go to and just let it all rot!
The adventure playground
There is an adventure playground over near the farm. It’s not huge but its got a couple of play frames. It’s inside a little wooded area so there’s lots of shade and it’s quite a nice place to sit whilst the kids are playing.
Our Wimpole Hall and Home Farm Review
Wimpole Hall is nice and it’s great to have free access to an open farm if you’re a member. The walled garden is a highlight for me as they’re so beautiful. There are certain parts of the pleasure gardens that the kids really like. It’s a nice shady walk in most of the garden so perfect for summer’s days. The size of the estate means you’ll easily be here for the entire day.
Entry – free for NT members. £32.50 family ticket for grounds and farm (Correct July 2020) House and garden family ticket was £45 in 2019. When this review of Wimpole Hall was last updated the house was closed and so they weren’t advertising the latest prices. For the latest prices please visit their website (affiliate link).
Free for Blue Peter badge holders. Each card holder must be accompanied by a full paying adult.
Parking / How to get there
Address – Arrington, Royston, Cambridgeshire, SG8 0BW
Parking – on-site. £2 all day, free for members. Charges subject to change
Toilets are available at the car park, the stables, farm and house
Picnics welcome, restaurant and cafe on site.
What else is nearby?
Anglesey Abbey and Lode Mill (reviewed here) is fairly close to Wimpole Hall and is another really family friendly National Trust Property in Cambridgeshire.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook
I sometimes use affiliate links if there is something that I genuinely think will be of interest and that I think is relevant to the post. I will always indiciate if a link is an affiliate link. I do earn a small commission for these, and that goes towards the running costs of the site. Any discounts mentioned may only be available for a short time so please double check prices before booking.