My fiance had last weekend off work so we decided to go out for the day on the Saturday. We visited two farms in order to pick berries, eat ice cream and see the animals. As we had never visited these farms before we were eager to fit both into one day as they both worked out at about 20 minutes from our house either side.
To begin with we went to the Canalside Farm Shop to pick berries as well as have a look around the farm shop there and grab a bite to eat at the cafe. When we arrived we couldn’t work out how to get to the berry picking area so asked a kind gentleman outside who took us right to it and grabbed us some punnets. But what we didn’t know at the time was that this man was genuinely the owner/farmer of the whole place.
You can pick the following at the Canalside Farm Shop at different times of the year:
Firstly, we picked raspberries as they were the first few rows we came across. They weren’t too difficult to pick but I did end up getting a splinter from one of the stalks which Mike soon sorted out for me. It was just finding the right balance between being light handed to ensure that you didn’t crush them, but with enough force to pull it off the stalk. We filled the pot up as much as we could, as we were informed that you pay per weight instead of a standard price across the board, so we didn’t want to pick loads then they would be super expensive.
Next we filled up our punnet of strawberries, unfortunately as we were walking back to pay the handle snapped a few of them fell out on to the dirt so we grabbed a couple more from to add it. There were so many large juicy looking strawberries that filling up the pot did not take much doing. I found that these were much easier to pick than the raspberries as you just pulled them from the stalk instead of having to pull the stalk from the center of the berry out.
After we finished picking the berries we made our way to the checkout and was pleasantly surprised how affordable they were compared to supermarkets. They came to just under £5 for the both of them which is not too bad at all considering you get the choice of berries you want and they are much more fresh than the ones in supermarkets.
We then put the berries into the car and went to grab a bit to eat from the Cafe there. We both had gone for the sausage bap with ketchup as a light snack and as we already had water in the car we did not opt for a drink. The setting of this Cafe is beautiful, we sat outside on the decking and watched the canal boats go by. It was so peaceful and we could of both stayed there for ages.
On our way back home we decided to visit the Red Lion Farm, as we had to drive past our house to get there we dropped the berries off there and headed on our way. I had always seen the sign for this farm but never thought to go and have a look round. They make their own ice cream there which I was so intrigued by as I had not had it before.
Out of the ice creams available I chose a scoop of honeycomb and a scoop of toffee popcorn. I had expected this ice cream to only taste like the flavours, however there were chunks of honeycomb and popcorn in them which blew my mind. I love honeycomb so this was amazing and popcorn was a bonus! Although it did taste a bit odd coming across popcorn within my ice cream, but none the less it was super tasty and I would recommend this place to anyone!
Once we had finished them and cleaned out hands up we had a walk around the farm to have a look at the animals. Mike made friends with the goats that wouldn’t leave him alone – they were just craving his attention. There were also a patch of field where horses and donkeys were, one donkey was enjoying rolling around in the grass which looked so cute to watch.
As well as this, there was another area where there were birds and sheep. There was one particular duck that stood out as it looked so hilarious, it had a super crazy hairdo and had a ‘cool dude’ look on his face to go with it – so much attitude! Also in the far corner there was the conservation area for owls, however as we had spent the last of our change on the ice creams we did not have enough to go and visit them. But they can normally be found in the market square in Stafford town or at the wildlife event at the castle where we have seen them in action before. If you haven’t seen these owls before it is definitely worth a visit.
Overall, both of these farms are worth visiting if you are looking for a day out on a budget and we would most definitely be visiting both of these places again in the future.