Estimated time to read: 10 minutes
I visited Snugburys and The Ice Cream Farm and a stunning hidden gem called Backford Belles Jersey Ice Cream I don’t think I’ll be able to choose between the ice cream, but they are all very different places to visit! I’ve tasted the treats on offer, visited the venues and now here’s the verdict. You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! (I’ve always wanted to say that…)
So let’s start with Snugburys and the Sadler family who have been making ice cream since 1986 and with over 200,000 people visiting and eating every year they must be doing something right! The Sadler’s are ice cream specialists to a tee – they care all about the taste and texture of the ice cream, they believe they are only as good as their last flavour, which in my book means they are pretty darn good! They are always striving for more exciting and enticing flavours, as if Death by Chocolate wasn’t enough – not kidding here, that is an actual flavour and it’s not far from the truth.
Pop into the ice cream shop and choose from over 40 flavours you can pick up a bucket to take home and enjoy in your own time, and with mugs, jam, cookies and honeycomb there is plenty to ponder! Or with vouchers available you can give someone a present without having to share your ice cream! A renovation in 2011 the shop is looking lovely and inviting with such friendly and welcoming staff and scenery.
With over 40 flavours it would be so hard to chose what you are going to have, so naturally I tried as many as I can to give you a good review, its my job! So from the mouth watering White Mountain to the delicious Crème Brulee, my verdict is that you must simply try them all. No matter the cost, or pain, or weather – just copious amounts of ice cream. It makes everything better. My all time favourite was the Honeycomb Ice Cream, which is plain ice cream loaded with, inch thick, square rocks of honeycomb. It tasted even better than it sounded, if that’s at all possible. The Crème Brulee ice cream was delicious, this intriguing ice cream came about as it is the families favourite dessert made by Gran Sadler. After much testing and tasting they finally cracked it, with sweet custard ice cream and pieces of hard caramel topping, according the Sadler’s this ice cream is giving their Gran a run for her money! And Death by Chocolate? It really is perfectly named, delicious and a perfect balance of chocolate and ice cream.
Snugburys offer an amazing ‘lite’ range, this is lower fat ice cream which is also suitable for diabetics. Developed with no added sugar this natural ice cream is the ‘cutting edge’ healthier option with no artificial sweeteners and less than 6% fat this is a health fanatics dream. It is just as creamy as the non-lite ice cream with its natural sweeteners and whey protein mix, it is a healthy and great quality ice cream.
In any weather the scenary surrounding Snugburys is outstanding, you can sit near the paddocks and pet the very friendly pigs and goats (a pig actually came running over to say hello, it could have been the ice cream on offer though) and enjoy the gorgeous fields around or take a seat in the old yard, under the copper beech tree, and enjoy the weather. Take a lovely farm walk that loops and follows the Llangollen canal, the walk takes around 20 minutes at a nice stroll and with ice cream in hand you will slip away into relaxation. Just before the farm walk you will spot the latest Snugburys Sculpture, in previous years they have made Big Ben, the London Eye, a Meerkat and even a Darlek, all out of hay! The sculptures always attract a lot of attention and are amazing to see. This year the wonderful sculpture is made out of steal and is a huge Cowboy! It really is something to see, and in line with this theme Snugburys are offering a 3 scooped ice scream cone with a cowboy hat (made with a rolo!) with funds going to their selected charity – there is no reason not have this special treat.
Snugburys oozes homemade ice cream charm, with super friendly staff you are made to feel part of the family. The stunning views and walks surrounding the farm only add to the already outstanding location, a personal touch and absolutely delicious ice cream to top it all off.
The Ice Cream Farm have also been making ice cream since 1986, open seven days a week, 10am to 5pm there is always time for ice cream. They pride themselves on being a family tourist attraction with plenty of play zones for all ages, a shopping and reading area, a lovely restaurant for something a bit more substantial than ice cream and of course their space-ship looking, purpose built ice cream parlour with over 50 flavours to choose from! With over 500,000 visitors a year it is the most visited ‘free to enter’ attraction of its kind in the North West region, and this was one of the main reasons why they have recently had a £4 million stunning renovation.
This manic playground is fun for kids of all ages, even the big ones – I loved the Strawberry Falls Adventure Golf! Surrounded by a strawberry river, giant cakes and ice cream cones it’s like being in Candy Crush Saga! The whole playground is amazing and something out of the Wreck it Ralph film – brilliant fun for all the kids. The Fell family have heavily invested in the Ice Cream Farm over the years to entertain the hundreds of thousands of families that visit each year. The new attractions add fun and adventure, such as the Honeycomb Center which is believed to be Europe’s largest indoor sand and water play area (bring extra clothing and towels for messy children!), you can enjoy the ice cream themed coloured sand at Scoop and jump in the specially adapted construction JCB diggers! Drop into see the lovely farm animals at Fudge Farm and learn what they eat and get up to, the Fun Factory is a huge indoor play area with a melting ice cream slide, a crazy firing ball pit and a separate toddler and baby area, so something for all here! If you have the hard to please kind, tweens or teens, then don’t fret and take them over to the Loft, they will be amazed with its ‘edgy’ graffiti look and mood lighting they can geek out and enjoy the Saga Rally games. Or feel like Lewis Hamilton on the brilliant Driving Motion Simulator, something that formula one drivers use themselves! There is also a pool table and air hockey on offer, great music from the juke box and a lovely sitting area for the parents to relax if they don’t want to join in.
The famous big blue building that housed the original parlour has been transformed into a lovely restaurant area called The Pantry, with the vibrant colour scheme and amazing wall art you can indulge in a light bite and refreshing drink. After all the fun and running around of the day you can sit and relax with a brand new menu including salads and Panini’s to chips and jacket potatoes, and with the Ice Cream Farm’s no picnic policy this is a welcome treat when running low on fuel.
And then on to the obvious reason you go to the Ice Cream Farm, apart from all the fun attractions, is what? Well it’s the ice cream of course! So enter The Ice Cream Parlour and stand slack-jawed at what is considered to be the world’s largest purpose built ice cream parlour. This 1000 square foot parlour houses all 50 flavours including the award winning ones. You can choose between ice cream and a delicious selection of sorbet, but for me, its all about the ice cream, from sticky toffee pudding, double chocolate to Ferrero Roche and bubble-gum flavour. This delectable ice cream is smooth and creamy, you can choose the cone that you want – from a gluten free waffle cone to a classic wafer one. Once you have your cone chosen and you’ve spent, at least, 15 minutes trying to decide a flavour and have that down you can choose topping! Go for a classic 99 with a chocolate flake or put a cool twist on it with fudge finger! Whatever you choose you can sit in the plush new seating and savour the ice cream at a place where children’s fun and lovely ice cream are in equal measure! This is an extremely popular family destination and in peak season a top tip would be to arrive early, but there is always plenty of parking available in the over flow car parks across the road. The Ice Cream Farm is brilliant fun for all the family and a great day out for the children!
Now the hidden gem of ice cream farms, Backford Belles Jersey Ice Cream. Based on a working farm this is a stunning little parlour is surrounded by a lovely family and friendly farm animals. You can visit Brooster the Rooster and the adorable Jersey calves around the farm, children can play on the swing and climbing set or the lovely little tractors. Get lost and find your way in the amazing Maize Maze, this was a great delight for me, I’d never been in a maze before and loved every second of it! With plenty for the children to do there are some stunning seating areas for the adults to sit back and relax.
With over 20 fabulous flavours Backford Belles has a delicious selection to please all. The herd that provides the milk, the Jersey cows, produce a higher fat milk which in turn creates a richer and creamier ice cream. They are kept separate from the rest of the farm animals so that their milk is used only for the homemade ice cream.
Having farmed on the land since the late 1950’s, Backford Belles has only been making ice cream since 2009 and has grown a lot in a short space of time! Starting with only 10 flavours they soon became known in their local community and clients started asking for more, different, flavours and the family obliged! Something they are still continuing to this day, if you have an idea for a flavour you can pitch it to them on the website and they will try their best to make it! They have also won quite a few awards for the rich, thick ice cream. Starting with family favourites like Belgian chocolate and rum and raisin they quickly branched out to snickie and eccles cakes flavours. All are delicious by the way. Honeycomb again was my favourite here, so rich and creamy it blew me away! Backford Belles also branch out and create special flavours for special occasions, they created a Christmas Pudding and a Bucks Fizz flavour last year and Sticky Toffee Apple for Halloween – I have heard rumours of a Blood and Bones flavour this Halloween, I will be paying them a visit to find out!
This is a wonderful place to visit with friendly and welcoming staff, also offering great tubs to take home – they last a long time in the car without melting too! The ice cream is just divine here.
Let me put my sorting hat on…so if you are looking for fun, adventure and mayhem The Ice Cream Farm is the right place for you. If you are all about relaxation and stunning scenary, off Snugburys you go. However if you are looking for something off the beaten path, but with lots of character and friendly faces it’s the Backford Belles for you!
They all have amazing ice cream and I couldn’t possibly chose between them, why don’t you try all three and let me know if you can
Happy adventuring ladies and gents!