Wimpole Home Farm, Estate and Gardens

Meadow

This has rare breed animals and is a nice day out with the kids. See the pigs, goats, Shire horses, Shetland ponies, donkeys, rabbits, geese, cattle and sheep around the farm. You can also look around the Estate and Gardens which are impressive. Wimpole Hall has a rich history. It is a complex house with an impressive architectural pedigree.

Built by Sir John Soane in 1794 for the 3rd Earl of Hardwicke, who was passionately interested in farming and agricultural improvement. The Home Farm and gardens have been producing vegetables, meat and eggs throughout the estates history and still do today. Best seen in summer. The gardens are Victorian, but much has now been modified.

The park, landscaped by Bridgeman, Brown and Repton, has lovely views, a Gothic folly and serpentine lakes. The garden has thousands of daffodils in April and colourful parterres in July and August. Note that buggies can’t be taken into the main house. There are hip-carrying infant seats for loan, a children’s guide and quiz/trail. It has a picnic area, cafe and children’s play area.

The original building (1640-70) was almost certainly designed by its owner, Sir Thomas Chicheley. It was extended in 1713-21 by James Gibbs and decorated by Sir James Thornhill. Many others redecorated and added to it’s grand halls and rooms. With kids it is probably the open spaces and home farm animals that they will most enjoy. It’s not too far out of Cambridge so it makes a relaxed trip out. It also have a shop and a cafe. It is 8 miles south west of Cambridge.

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