How to find us
The Ark Open Farm is well situated on the A21 between Newtownards and Bangor.
From Bangor, continue past Conlig and take the slip road on the left and the farm will be on your left with parking available to your right.
From Newtownards, head for Bangor and you will see the brown Tourist Board sign for The Ark Open Farm just before the Somme Heritage Centre. Carefully cross the southbound carriageway and follow the road until you see the car park on your left and the farm on your right.
If you would rather take public transport, there are handy bus stops nearby within short walking distance.
From Bangor you can take the number 6 bus for Newtownards and it will drop you off opposite the Somme Heritage Centre and a short 5 minute walk from the farm.
From Newtownards the number 6 bus for Bangor will drop you off at the Somme Heritage Centre. Carefully cross the road and the farm is a short 5 minute walk.
We are not taking party bookings at present. Government guidelines do not allow gatherings from different households and whilst the farm is large, meeting, eating and departing would be more difficult under current restrictions. Group bookings will be on a “case by case” situation, and will only be taken if we feel we can operate them at a safe level.
Memberships will be available when we open, this may change subject to availability.
Yes, pre booking is essential. If you arrive at the farm without pre-booking you are likely to be turned away if the time slots are already fully booked.
With initial capacity at 40% of normal summer levels, increased staff, increased cleaning and continued animal care and retention of our staff, the costs for the business have risen hugely whilst income has fallen drastically. Therefore, we will not be reducing admission prices. This also ensures that our customers will have more flexibility with their visits due to limited capacity. We would recommend you have a good look at available activities and decide on value to you and your family. A family membership is good value and only requires five visits before it pays for itself. (Memberships are charged on an annual basis).
Required distancing will be in operation on all activities. Increased sanitisation and contact point cleaning will be in operation. Equipment will be regularly sprayed with disinfectant throughout the day. If you suffer from sensitive skin or are in an “at risk” category, we recommend you bring and use gloves for personal use.
Yes, the shop is open but as this is a small area, we will limit entry and ask that you are respectful of others waiting to shop and ask that gifts are not handled unless being purchased.
- Some indoor animal houses will remain closed until further notice along with our indoor children’s play area.
- Outdoor play areas, including our jumping pillow will reopen on 10th July with restrictions and additional safety measures in place. Please be aware that in our first week of opening play areas must be kept closed (3rd – 9th July inclusive) due to government restrictions.
- Pony grooming and pony rides will also be unavailable.
- All our wonderful animals will be waiting to welcome you back, including lots of babies born during the lockdown period.
- We’re delighted to announce that now your admission ticket includes free tractor trailer rides and our quad barrel rides are now only £1 per barrel!
- Animal handling and animal feeding sessions
- Our amazing Jurassic Ark and the Fairytale Forest will be open, as well as an extended trail through the farm.
- As you are unable to handle the animals, we’ve also developed various animal talks and feeding times so you can learn more about our clan of furry, feathered and scaley friends.
- We’ve also developed an exciting treasure trail for the kids through the Fairytale Forest with a nice treat upon completion.
- From the 10th July we will also be permitted to reopen our outdoor play areas including the jumping pillow! Additional safety measures will be in place and time on the pillow will be limited.
- The cottage café will be open serving lovely food and homemade treats. Please note the menu will be limited in the short term and due to government advice, the number of available tables will be reduced.
- Numerous, socially distanced, picnic areas have been set up throughout the farm. Please note that we do have limited indoor picnic facilities.
We have looked at all available information and have not implemented a face mask restriction. You are welcome to bring along and wear your own facemasks if you wish.
- All staff have received additional, COVID -19 specific training.
- Staff have been offered a range of PPE to ensure their protection.
- All staff will be health-monitored.
- Hatch service and food collection will be in place.
- Limited seating will be in place in the café with some additional indoor seating in our party room.
- Cutlery and condiments will be handed with your meal/ snack and will not be available for self-service.
- No individual menus will be available, the menu will be available on boards to read.
- More takeaway packaging will be used to limit surface contact.
- Picnic tables will still be available and will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Please do not rearrange any tables as they have been placed at safe distances.
- Regular in-depth cleaning to take place across the site.
- Customers encouraged to dispose of packaging to reduce risk to staff.
- We’ve put in place a pre booking system with timeslots to allow us to manage numbers visiting the farm. During our first week of opening numbers will be very heavily reduced, this is to allow us to tweak and update any procedures quickly and ensure our team are happy and confident. After the first week we will increase numbers gradually and only to a point where we are confident all government guidance is still manageable.
- Increased cleaning is in operation and all contact points will be priority.
- Additional Hand sanitiser points have been erected around the site as well as additional hand washing sinks. Please note that your group MUST wash their hands with soap and water after being in animal areas as hand sanitiser does not kill all germs carried by animals.
- The indoor tractor shed will remain closed initially however outdoor play areas will reopen from 10th July with additional safety measures in place.
- Catering safety changes have been put in operation.
- A one-way system is also in place as well as lots of new signage to help remind everyone of health and safety guidance.
- Card payments encouraged.
This really depends on your group; some families stay for a 1 -2 hours whilst others stay all day! We’ve got plenty of space for you to explore, play, meet the animals, relax, and have some tasty food. As COVID restrictions are lifted we won’t be able to offer some of our normal activities but have added some additional activities such as the woodland trail and animal talks.
We’re open from Monday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm. We’re delighted to have extended our opening hours on a Sunday due to popular demand. Please note that last admission to the farm, as lockdown is eased, will be 3pm.
Remember, pre-booking your tickets will be essential.
We are open 7 days a week. We close for a few days at Christmas and New Year. Check our Facebook page around those times for the most up to date information
Yes, we will always do our very best to cater for you during your visit. Please speak to a member of staff to inform them of any allergies when ordering food
No, we don’t have a closed season; we stay open all year round
We are open from 10:00AM until 5:00PM every day of the week!
The last admission is at 4:00PM. Please see the opening times and other information on Plan Your Visit
Yes, baby changing facilities are available next to the Male and Female toilets
Yes, we have a few lovely picnic sites for those nice days of the year. Please note no picnic food can be consumed in our Cottage Cafe
Unfortunately we have had to close our gates temporarily due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
We hope to be open again soon.
Please follow us on our social channels to stay up to date!