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Plan Your Visit2020-06-26T21:13:50+01:00
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How to find us

By Car

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.

By Bus

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.

FAQs

Are you planning events for those with additional support needs?2020-10-09T20:13:23+01:00

Every year at Christmas we’ve run ‘Quiet Night’ events designed for those who have additional support needs. This year is no different as these nights are extremely important to us and a lovely experience for all involved. The event will run exactly as described however numbers will be reduced heavily to allow for a quieter and more sensory experience. Our wonderful staff will be on hand and will aim to meet specific needs where possible. Book Here
We have two ‘Quiet Nights’ on Thursday 3rd Dec and Thursday 10th Dec with timeslots available to book from 3:30pm to 7pm.

What happens if we are late?2020-10-09T20:12:33+01:00

Given the current situation we won’t be to wait until you arrive and won’t be able to change your timeslot as we have to manage the movement of people safely through the experience. If you do arrive late you will miss out parts of the experience and we regret that refunds cannot be given due to late arrival.

Can we book more than 6 people?2020-10-09T20:12:13+01:00

Yes, if you are part of a larger family you can book more than 6 spaces to visit the farm. When you are booking please add 6 tickets to your basket then, before making payment add the additional tickets to your basket, then proceed to checkout. Please note, we may get in touch to double check the make up of your group if you do book for more than 6 people.

Will Santa be coming down the chimney this year?2020-10-09T20:11:39+01:00

Unfortunately, not this year as we don’t want folk to gather in one area. However, this year your group will get your own time with Santa in his grotto!

Will we be able to get up close to Santa?2020-10-09T20:11:16+01:00

Following the current government guidelines everyone must remain at least 1 metre away from Santa at all times. We ask that everyone, over the age of 12 years, wears a face covering. Santa himself will be wearing a face covering. You’re welcome to take pictures, and we will set up photo opportunities with Santa but these will be socially distanced.

Can I book an event / birthday party?2020-06-26T20:58:50+01:00

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.

Will you be taking new memberships when you re-open?2020-06-26T20:57:44+01:00

Memberships will be available when we open, this may change subject to availability.

Can I book in advance?2020-06-26T20:57:02+01:00

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.

Will admission prices remain the same for non-members?2020-06-26T20:56:22+01:00

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).

How will all the other activities operate?2020-06-26T20:53:57+01:00

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. 

Is the retail shop open?2020-06-26T20:53:31+01:00

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. 

What areas and activities are unavailable?2020-08-10T10:12:15+01:00
  • Some indoor animal houses will remain closed until further notice along with our indoor children’s play area. 
  • Pony grooming and pony rides will also be unavailable.
What areas and activities are available?2020-08-10T10:12:56+01:00
  • All our wonderful animals will be waiting to welcome you back, including lots of babies born during the lockdown period.
  • FREE tractor trailer rides
  • Quad barrel rides are now only £1 per barrel! 
  • Animal handling and information sessions
  • Animal feed is available to purchase
  • Our amazing Jurassic Ark and the Fairytale Forest will be open, as well as an extended trail through the farm.
  • We’ve also developed an exciting treasure trail for the kids through the Fairytale Forest with a nice treat upon completion. 
  • 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. 
Do I need to wear a face mask?2020-08-10T10:14:58+01:00

As per the latest government guidelines, from Monday 10th August face coverings are required in all indoor areas of the farm. These include admissions and the gift shop, animal handling sessions, and the cafe when not seated at a table.

We have not implemented a face mask restriction in the outdoor areas of the farm. You are welcome to bring along and wear your own face coverings if you wish.

What precautions are the staff taking?2020-06-26T20:50:59+01:00
  • 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.
What precautions are you taking at food service points?2020-06-26T20:50:29+01:00
  • 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.
What additional precautions are you taking to ensure my visit is as safe as possible?2020-08-10T10:16:22+01:00
  • We’ve put in place a pre booking system with timeslots to allow us to manage numbers visiting the farm. 
  •  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 are open 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. 
How long will we spend at the farm?2020-06-26T20:49:29+01:00

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. 

What are your opening times?2020-06-26T20:46:32+01:00

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. 

Which days are you open?2020-06-26T21:12:21+01:00

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

Can you cater for someone with food allergies?2020-06-26T21:12:21+01:00

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

Do you close over the winter?2020-06-26T21:12:21+01:00

No, we don’t have a closed season; we stay open all year round

What time does the farm open?2020-06-26T21:12:21+01:00

We are open from 10:00AM until 5:00PM every day of the week!

What time is the last admission?2020-08-10T10:16:51+01:00

The last admission is at 3:00PM. Please see the opening times and other information on Plan Your Visit

Do you have baby changing facilities?2020-06-26T21:12:21+01:00

Yes, baby changing facilities are available next to the Male and Female toilets

Can we bring our own picnic?2019-03-22T12:41:49+00:00

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

Can I bring my dog?2019-01-20T22:01:21+00:00

Sorry, for the safety of our animals, we don’t allow dogs. If you have a guide dog or assistance dog please contact us.

Opening Times

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!

Our Prices

Under 3s go FREE!

Children

£700

Family

£2850

Adults

£750

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