Last weekend my family and I did something really exciting, we bought our first real Christmas tree! Now the boys are of an age where they will not destroy or pull the tree over, we thought it was time to get one. So when we were invited to Cotley Farm in Whimple, East Devon, how could we say no?
Cotley Farm has been on my radar for a few years, it’s the place to go if you want a good quality Christmas tree. It also has the added bonus of a wooden lodge full of festive treats and real life reindeers.
There was good signage to the farm (we easily found it using our sat nav), when we arrived it was very busy (we went the busiest weekend for the farm) but there was plenty of parking and it certainly didn’t feel too busy as everything was spaced out. There was a little site map at the entrance to easily navigate around the farm.
We first headed into the Christmas Cabin, it was a quaint wooden lodge full of decorations, local food, drinks and treats.
Everything was displayed beautifully, there were lots of lovely things on offer to help decorate your chosen tree plus plenty of gift ideas.
The boys were desperate to see the reindeers, so they jumped in to sleigh ‘Cotley 1’ to get to the barn.
The boys were convinced that the reindeers were Dancer and Prancer! The reindeers were all cosy in their barn, they have a busy evening on the 24th December apparently. Inside the barn were also piglets and sheep (with the sweetest little lambs). They also have calfs in a separate barn, so the cuteness factor was sky high.
The reindeer lodge was so festive, it was decorated beautifully.
Before we chose our favourite tree, we (as in me) was enticed by this sign…
This was such a lovely touch, i didn’t feel like we were just buying a Christmas tree, it was a full-on festive experience. The mulled wine was delicious and warming, even the mince pies were warm, Cotley Farm certainly know how to spoil their visitors.
It was now time to go pick our tree, the tree farm was full of families looking for that perfect tree, and there were so many to choose from. They have a variety of sizes and types of fir, so whatever space you have or budget there is something for everyone. A full list and prices can be found here. We went for a 6-7ft Nordmann tree. The staff were working so hard, we did not have to wait long at all, and they were very patient. I think we were quite relaxed about choosing our tree, but some visitors were very particular about what they wanted. Again the staff went with the flow and helped everyone get the tree that they wanted.
The boys fully embraced the tree picking, if you watch my little video at the end you will see my littlest boy jumping around with so much excitement when he was shown the tree. This has created a lovely memory of Christmas for me, so much better than going to a store and picking a tree.
Lester, who owns the farm and helped us pick our tree let the boys pull the tree through the netting machine, they loved that they prepared our tree for home.
We loaded our tree on the car and then ventured in to see the baby reindeer (so cute) and the nativity scene in the final barn.
Once home, we put up our beautiful tree. I didn’t realise how much i would love having a real tree but i can not stop looking at it.
We got straight into decorating our tree, we decided not to go too crazy with the decorations, we wanted to see as much of the tree as possible.
Here it is, our Cotley Farm Christmas tree, we love it!
If you are not in the Christmas spirit, you certainly will be after visiting Cotley farm. A lot of thought and care has gone into making visitors have a christmas experience when they visit. It’s not just about buying a tree but bringing the family together and making the day rememorable. I can see why Cotley Farm is a place families return to year after year, it becomes a place that is part of family traditions at Christmas, one of which will be ours too. I am already looking forward to going again next year. If you would like to see more of our day at Cotley Farm, i have put a little video together to share my experience with you.
I was invited to review Cotley Farm in return for a discount on a Christmas tree. We had planned to buy our tree from Cotley Farm this year, so this is my honest opinion of the farm as a first time visitor.