Visiting Jarrow Hall Museum & Farm with a Toddler

I normally take every Wednesday off work and go out with my brother and 2-year-old nephew for the day somewhere. Evan is starting nursery in January so we're keen to pack as much fun into our days as we can before days out like this are going to be restricted to school holidays. I posted in my North East Days Out Facebook group asking for recommendations and although WWT Washington came out top (we'll be visiting there soon), a couple of people recommended Jarrow Hall as being perfect for toddlers. Jarrow Hall is closer and cheaper than WWT Washington so we decided to give it a go.

Jarrow Hall is also featured in my post 'What to do when it rains in North East England.' 

We parked our car in the dedicated free car park across the road. It wasn't busy but there's no path leading out of the car park so you need to walk on the road part of the junction which isn't ideal for kids so you'll need to keep your eyes open. A few people had mentioned that there's a fantastic play park next door to Jarrow Hall and you can see it to the right as you cross the road from the car park. We were delighted to have this park to ourselves and it's somewhere I will definitely re-visit with H, H and J in the summer. There is loads of grass, picnic tables, a Viking ship, swings, slides, monkey bars, obstacle courses and more. It's a really lovely park with something for all ages including a teeny tiny climbing frame and slide for babies.

After a decent play in the park, we walked through the gates into Jarrow Hall. I have vague memories of visiting Bede's World around 6 years ago but have to say, it seems much improved now. The grounds are beautiful, there's a lot to do and the staff and volunteers and really very helpful.

Entry is a bargain at £5 per adult and £3 per child (aged 5-15). Under 5s are free. The staff did try and encourage us to buy an annual pass (£15 for adults, £10 for children) which I think would be perfect if you live in South Tyneside. We were trying to have a cheap day out so didn't invest this time but I may in the future. You can buy animal feed for £1 per bag - I'd probably avoid buying the bird feed if you have toddlers with you, Evan couldn't really see over the fences to feed to ducks and didn't understand the need to scatter the seed for the chickens into their coop. The sheep and goat feed is definitely worth purchasing though - you get a big bag so one between a family will be sufficient.

We had a quick walk through the Anglo-Saxon museum first. This part was the least favourite part of our visit as Evan really wasn't too fussed. Older children will get more from it though and I know Harry would really enjoy this exhibition. There is quite a lot to see and learn and I think if you're interested in the Anglo-Saxons you could spend 30 minutes-1 hour in this section.

After a whistle-stop tour of the museum, we headed upstairs to the first floor. This room is a toddler's paradise with a decent dressing up box (including swords and shields), a giant chalkboard, a snuggly story corner, puppets and soft toys to play with, a mini softplay and tables and chairs for grown-ups. We were advised at the admission desk that you're welcome to bring a packed lunch to enjoy in this area too.

The next part of our adventure took us outside where you can wander through a replica Anglo-Saxon village. The houses and buildings are all accessible and some are furnished. There's a natural play area to enjoy but the best part for us had to be the rare-breed animals. Jarrow Hall is a no-kill farm and we loved saying hello to the pigs, cattle, chickens and sheep.

The outdoor section was a lot bigger than I remember and there is plenty of space for little legs to run around. I imagine if it's rainy it may get a little muddy so rain suits and wellies would be recommended if the weather was bad. Thankfully it was nice and dry for our visit.

All of this fresh air left us starving! I'd heard good things about the on-site Hive Coffee Company which is free to visit without paying an entrance fee. The building is beautiful with a bright and airy indoor space plus lots of tables outside with an enclosed grass area for kids to run around. Like Jarrow Hall, it's also dog-friendly. Their online menu impressed us and I love that they offer seasonal produce from their herb garden, healthy and Vegan options plus snacks for kids that won't break the bank (£1.75 for a half bagel with mashed banana and peanut butter for example). 

Mark ordered the pulled pork flatbread which was on the specials board and loved it. I went for the triple cheese toasty and madras chickpeas and have to say I wasn't overly impressed - the chickpeas had zero flavour to them and the cheese toasty was not as expected - it was like two slices of bread had brushed past a grill and been stuffed with grated cheese. Not the oozy cheese-fest I expected. The service was also very slow for a cafe that was around 1/8 full and had 5 members of staff working. My bee pollen, honey and almond cake was also very dry which was disappointing. This wouldn't put me off visiting again though, I think I just made a bad choice when ordering and I do love the ethos and vibe of the place - next time I think I'd try a flatbread or a bowl of homemade soup which looked scrummy. If you don't fancy anything to eat, I'd certainly recommend a cup of coffee in the gardens. It's a lovely place.

After lunch, we had a potter through the herb garden which was very pretty indeed. We easily could have popped back to the park, farm or play area but to be honest we were all knackered so decided to head home. We spent around 3 hours at Jarrow Hall but it's the kind of place you could easily stretch to a full day out.

Jarrow Hall is open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-4pm. They are normally closed on Mondays but do open every day during South Tyneside school holidays and Bank Holiday Mondays. They are completely closed in December and January. Check here for opening times and prices.

I love that Jarrow Hall is dog-friendly. Check out their FAQs for info. There's also a comprehensive events programme to check out with events ranging from meet the animals to dragon storytelling, farm clubs, crafts, guided tours and more. See here for details (scroll to the bottom for a calendar of events).

We were all really impressed with Jarrow Hall and feel that it offered incredible value for money. There is lots to do, both indoors and outdoors making it a good option for both sunny and rainy days.

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Visiting Jarrow Hall Museum & Farm with a Toddler



  1. Oh wow it looks really lovely! I don't really know much about it (despite my husband volunteering to do some of the clearing up before it reopened!) - we'll try and plan a visit for later in the Summer!

  2. I've family in South Tyneside some of whom live in Jarrow and I don't think they've been here so will definitely share your post with them!

  3. Jarrow Hall Museum is indeed a great place for kids! This is such an amazing adventure! Love the photos.

  4. This sounds like a nice place to spend some time outdoors as well as finding out about cool stuff from the past. I think my two would be a little young for the Anglo Saxon section too, but they're almost there!

  5. If ever you go up to the lakes, I highly recommend "old hall farm" I think you and your family would love it. It's only a small place, not far from Ulverston. They've got working horses, they show you how to Milk, and some absolutely amazing machinery including steam rollers.

    I love your blog! :)


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