This weekend, we managed to tick something else off our South Devon bucket list. We’ve been past the Rare Breeds Farm in Totnes countless times on the train to London, the vintage-style platform of the South Devon Railway looking like a gateway to another world. Having finally made it there on foot I can confirm that those first impressions really are quite accurate.
From the first steps beyond the station car park into the woodland path you feel like you’re onto something special, a sensation made even stronger once the bridge across the river comes into view.
I think Arthur could happily have stayed right there, watching the mainline trains speed past mere metres away, but little did he know the other treats in store.
To get to the farm you have to walk along the steam railway platform. Everything is beautifully maintained, and we were lucky enough to arrive just as a special service was pulling in. Arthur was captivated by the comings and goings, eagerly ‘choo choo’ing as Leigh explained the mechanics of the steam engine to him. Once again we could have ended our trip right there and they both would have been very happy.
We managed to tear ourselves away, and headed over the tracks to the little farm itself. After picking up some feed in the cafe we went through the gates – and immediately came face to face with a row of owls.
I’m not sure Arthur believed they were real at first, but then we found a very little owl called Flitwick just waiting to be stroked.
After a gentle stroke of Flitwick’s feathers we continued further on, coming across some very lively red squirrels. I’m not sure Arthur knew quite what to make of them!
And then we found the goats. I don’t think Arthur’s met goats before, and these ones were very friendly. One of my favourite moments of the afternoon was him giggling ‘Fingers! Fingers!’ as they greeted him enthusiastically through the fence. He even had a go at feeding them, and when we ventured inside was quick to make himself at home.
There were some beautiful sheep too, though Arthur was happy to let Daddy take the lead on feeding those.
After meeting all the larger animals we came across the guinea pigs, and Arthur sat himself down for a little cuddle. He thought it was a ‘baby dog’ at first, and got very confused when we said it was a sort of pig…
All in all it is a very special place, and we will most definitely be back. It’s just a shame we discovered it so late in the season! Though that did give us the excuse for a bit of frolicking in the autumn leaves – the perfect end to a perfect afternoon.