You know it’s funny, earlier on in this year we decided to make a dramatic lifestyle change. We decided to focus on what truly makes us happy as a family and do our utmost to make that happen, that would be travel and to see some of the most amazing things our world has to offer. I’m babbling, but my point is we still have to work hard here in the UK to enable us to afford such an incredible lifestyle. So to make life a little easier here we make sure we find some of the best things to do and see at every opportunity, this includes one of our favourite local (Liphook, UK) places to visit nearby, by a long way! It’s hard to find amazing places to visit with children without it being overpriced and overcrowded, so I kinda just want to keep this place all to ourselves!! BUT, here I go, spilling the beans, and if you don’t go here i’ll be offended! 😀
From the moment you pull up in to the car park you are taken back in time, with the original entrance, which actually almost looks pretty derelict but I love that its not been touched and has its original features. The history of this place is fascinating, So in 1951, the Hollycomb estate was purchased by the late John Baldock and his family and it is through them that the steam collection began. Mr Baldock had a love of steam power from very early on in his life and after the Second the World War he noticed many engines were being scrapped, to which he started to save, although they had no value! Also saving traditional fairground rides before they all disappeared, many that he was able to save are unique and the only ones to survive! One tractor which has been there for over 50 years, how amazing is that! I just love the history behind it, if you get a chance speak to some of the volunteers that work there each weekend, some of which have been there since the original society that actually ran the museum for many years.
So lets talk about price, it’s one of the best value for money I think we’ve ever come across, £16 for Adult and £12 for Children (3-15). Which for a single visit could work out pretty prices, but it’s actually an annual ticket, which is just so amazing, we’ve visited this place for just an hour or two before and not felt the need to spend the whole day there because it’s cost so much. They also do discounted tickets for families of 4 & 5.
Our favourite part is the traditional fairground as the kids just adore this which i’ll talk more about in a bit, but it is full of other fulfilled steam collections. Including two steam railways that go throughout the day, one mini garden railway and also a quarry railway which gives you the most stunning views over the South Downs and Sussex Weald.
There’s also a fantastic steam farm that is great for educational for older children, perfect for our home ed once the children get a little older, here you’ll find a collection of machinery that is used to prepare feed stuffs for animals.
BUT, for us, its the traditional fairground that steals all our hearts. As you walk towards the fairground you’re taken right back to the Victorian or Edwardian scene with the sound of the fair organs vie with each other, the smell of the steam engines puffing away as children and adults are having the time of their lives on each ride.
Indiana and Stu’s favourite has to be the carousel, which is called the Golden Gallopers, just because it’s a ride we can all be on, all dance, laugh and enjoy the moment all together. I LOVE the old ferris wheel, I love how its so peaceful – you know that picture perfect moment of a family at christmas opening there presents through the window, it kinda feels like that, you get to sit back, relax and just take it all in.
Phoenix’s pick would 100% be the Juvenile Roundabout, which he would literally go on all day if we let him! We already have so many fond memories here and we can just see our children bringing their children too, which we love.
So their opening days have even more history behind it too! “Mr Baldock felt encouraged to open his growing collection to the public but this took four years of struggling to achieve. It was possible to open the collection to the public for 28 days in the year without planning consent and that was how it all started, but the need to open on more days meant trying to get planning approval on a more formal basis which was rejected. At last, the right to open for a restricted number of days was won, which in fact covered most Sundays and Bank Holidays in the season.” –
So what you need to know is that it is open from Easter weekend, then Sundays & Bank Holidays until 14th October. Throughout their season they hold some fantastic events, they bring in some of the best steam collections, enabling everyone to interact and enjoy all things steam!
Okay so if you haven’t got the message about how I feel about this place then, yeah, I love it and totally encourage everyone to visit, especially during their evening openings during September – October. I’d personally recommend children from about 1 ish perfect for here, for the children’s rides they need to be able to hold themselves up and sit strong, but there is also many rides and the railway that you can have them on your lap so I wouldn’t not take younger children either 🙂
SO, here is the huge news, that I’ve been so excited to share with you all. Hollycombe are giving away an annual ticket to ONE lucky family (2 Adults and 2 Children). All you have to do is;
Go on to my Instagram
Find THIS image
Check out the details and enter, entries ‘only’ on Instagram will be accepted.
Please please please visit here, check out their site, and make an effort to visit here, like all the time, every weekend !! 😀 PS. when you go there, i’d love to see your pictures so tag me in your photos on insta 🙂
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