IOW 2017 Day 3 – Model Village, Tapnell Farm & The Cow Co.

I woke up earlier than the day before. I decided to have a shower and whilst I was half way through shaving my legs, the fire alarm went off. This woke Hubby is a shock and he leaped out of bed to press the button. He ended up pressing it about ten times but it kept coming back on. So I decided to ring the contact numbers.

We had a real hassle trying to get hold of anybody at West Bay so I threw some clothes on a ran up to the Country Club for some assistance. They were really lovely and I felt quite guilty for being rather abrupt with them in my state of panic. A lovely man came back with me to check the alarm but couldn’t figure it out. Thankfully it had stopped and it was agreed that maintenance would come and check on it as soon as possible.

After the hectic start we made our way to Godshill to visit the The Model Village. We’d actually visited the Model Village last year and had such a brilliant time that we put it on our list of places to visit this time around. Godshill is such a beautiful village that screams character. It’s honestly just magical and there’s a very yummy tea room called Old World Tea Rooms where we had some amazing ice cream last year.

The Model Village first opened in 1952. It was made in a back garden where Mr Dams created models of Shanklin. Now days you can see many different models taking you back to the Fifties era. It is a family run business and the attention to every detail is amazing. There are sign posts explaining things as you walk around and there’s also a cool kids activity trail and a challenge to find all the teeny squirrels hiding. The girls loved that part.

The refreshment hut opens only on better weather days so take your own drink if need be. Entry is just under £5 for an adult and just under £4 for children, although under 3s are free. We had such a lovely time at the Model Village. P3 enjoyed pushing her pushchair round the paths and finding Father Christmas on top of a wind turbine. P1 said she felt like a giant wandering around and P2 was super excited about the squirrels.

If I’m honest, the Model Village only takes about an hour to look around. The entrance tickets are valid for 7 days though so you could pop back and visit at any time. Visit IOW had kindly arranged for us to have lunch at Tapnell Farm Park so once we were finished at the Model Village we headed straight there.

Tapnell Farm Park is actually a very new tourist attraction to the Isle Of Wight. It was originally a working dairy farm for over 40 years. They then ventured into the accommodation side of things with Eco Lodges which are still there to rent, a restaurant and then the farm park. You can really see the newness of the farm park as you wander around. In fact it only opened in 2016!

Admission costs £41 for a family of five in peak season. I think that’s a really good price especially after visiting. As we walked through the entrance and into the farm park we were completely blown away. It was so refreshing and clean. Much like our beloved Marsh Farm back in Essex. Everything was well kept and colourfully modern.

There are only a few animals at the farm but there’s just enough to wow the children. I adored the tiny field mice, and P3 loved looking at all the bugs and beasties. They have set times for animal encounters and the girls really wanted to take part in the Donkey Brushing. It was actually one of the donkey’s birthday that day and we even got to sing Happy Birthday and watch the staff give him an apple. It was adorable.

There are lots of different play sections at Tapnell Farm Park. After looking around the indoor animals, we headed ou to the straw bale barn where the kids were in awe. They couldn’t wait to get climbing and sliding. It’s such a great idea to use straw as play equipment. P2 loved the trikes and you can see a little clip that she filmed herself in the video below.

Somehow before we knew it it was time for our lunch at The Cow Co Bar & Restaurant. The restaurant is on the Tapnell Farm site although you have to walk through the indoor play area to access it. We had a few issues with their doors with our double pushchair which was a bit annoying as our pushchair is technically the same width as a wheelchair so I was quite concerned that disabled people may face the same problems.

The restaurant is completely cow inspired for obvious reasons that Tapnell Farm was a dairy farm. The interior has a country/western feel to it with wood everywhere. The restaurant serves beef and dairy foods but there are meat free and vegetarian options available too. There’s also a brilliant children’s menu too.

We had a warm greeting and was shown to our table. It was a bench style seat which is always good for kids. I loved how the outside seating options were similar to the fences used in cow pens. A great touch to the authentic vibe. The girls were given activity sheets and crayons although they were all entertained by the little slime aliens Hubby had bought in the Model Village shop.

Hubby and I opted for the Special menu which was a BBQ Pulled Burger with fries, and the girls opted for a mini burger and P3 had a cheese sandwich. The food came out brilliantly presented. P2 was absolutely amazed that she didn’t have a plate and her food was on some wood. The girls also loved that their drinks were in little milk bottles too. Every little detail was just magical at the restaurant and we had a brilliant meal. 

After enjoying a family meal we headed back round to the farm park. The girls were desperate to head into the indoor play zone. There’s a huge indoor soft play centre with trikes, dressing up and a toddler area too. The girls ran off and they didn’t need us for two whole hours! Hubby and I sat down watching on for such a long time and it was such a relief to have a slight break. We chatted and just enjoyed sitting down for a while.

We then went outside to see the outside animals. They have a lovely Wallaby walk where you can wander in and get really close to the wallabies. I was actually quite surprised how friendly the wallabies were and we even I was able to stroke one. They feel just like rabbits. Outside there is also big bouncy pillows, one for older children and one for smaller toddlers. There’s also a sandpit too. The girls spent a short time outside playing as we suddenly realised it was nearly closing time.

The weather had been absolutely lovely the entire day and the time at Tapnell Farm Park went so quickly. We headed back to The West Bay Club just before closing time. We had exhausted children and I was shattered too. I had been booked in to do another workout session in the evening so I tried to take some time to chill out and have a snack before that.

Of course the girls went out on their bikes outside, they demanded food continuously and we generally felt worn out by it all. I had begun to have a headache as well so the thought of me heading off for a workout session was absolutely crazy. But I did it. I put on my workout gear and my trainers and headed off for a Abs & Core Toning workout.

There was only four of us in this group. Much less than the workout I had the day before. I was super nervous about this one as I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a workout done on mats or in a gym. It turned out to be a workout done on mats and floor. The instructor seemed a little “offish” if that’s a word, she was pregnant therefore didn’t join in to show the moves. I felt a little lost in places but found myself sweating like a pig. It was hard work!

I hadn’t bothered to put the kids to bed before my workout this time. So when I got back I decided to bath them all. Having baths was becoming a bit of a routine and I loved that time watching them play and giggle. I washed P3s hair and we chatted about her day. I loved listening to how much she took in about the day out we had. It was amazing.

Of course, I filmed the entire day that we had which is below. Don’t forget to subscribe for more!!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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  1. That Topnell Farm Park looks classic. Overall, this place has taken my attention. I will visit it with my kids very soon.

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