Fairytale Farm is the UK’s first visitor attraction that is open to all, but where disabled children come first in our design and layout. A truly inclusive experience, where everything is accessible and everybody is welcome.
Nick and Nicola Laister, whose eldest daughter Olivia has cerebral palsy, had always wanted to visit an attraction that catered equally to children with and without disabilities. Like a large proportion of families with a severely disabled child, Nick and Nicola had children who were not disabled too.
Although there are several centres for disabled children, these tended to be somewhat institutional, always requiring advance booking and they don’t really provide for the children who are not disabled, leaving them largely on the sidelines. On the other hand, most mainstream visitor attractions (theme parks, zoos, farm parks) do their best to accommodate disabled children but are generally not fully accessible, leaving the disabled child on the sidelines.
Nick and Nicola noted that there was no provision in this middle ground – an attraction that the whole family can enjoy together, whether disabled or not disabled, where no pre-booking was required. Nobody seemed to be filling this huge gap in the market. Noting that there were very few rural facilities for disabled children and their families, and that much of the countryside is effectively out of bounds, they decided to build an inclusive farm-based attraction which would be the first of its kind in the UK.
Nick and Nicola decided to create a visitor attraction that everybody could visit – whether disabled or not – but where disabled children and their families would not be left on the sidelines. Their vision was to create the sort of attraction that they would have liked to have visited with their own children, which Olivia could have enjoyed alongside her brothers and sister.
Nick’s experience as a planning and development advisor to a large number of visitor attractions around the UK meant that he had an insight into the attractions industry and could use his professional experience, as well as his experiences with his own family, to create something truly unique.
The new concept would be simple: just turn up and have fun – everything is accessible and everybody is welcome!
Fairytale Farm is divided into six main zones: Huff and Puff for adventure play; Enchanted Walk for our fairytale sensory experience; Alfie and Friends, where you can meet our amazing animals and see our brand new duck pond; Jack’s Yard, where you can visit Mouse Town, see our Snow White Garden, marvel at Jack’s amazing beanstalk and milk Daisy the Cow, play in our sandpit, enjoy our Café; our brand new Wilderness Walk area, where you can meander through a range of wildlife habitats and experience our mini world of seasonal senses along the way; and the gradually developing Fairy Dell area, with our all-new Weather Fairy to meet.