Cheaper Days Out With Children In Warwickshire
In our plight to have a Summer with my children like the ones I had when I was younger I’ve been trawling the local vicinity to find places that we can go to that cost minimal pennies. So far I have shared some info on Ryton Pools Country Park which you can read here and Chesterton Windmill which you can read here and I am also about to write about our visit to Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Coventry Transport Museum which are also both free entry.
This week we booked a tour of The Guide Dogs Breeding Centre in Leamington. Last year I arranged a group visit of The Guide Dogs Training Centre in Leamington with 20 families from our Facebook group Mum Knows Best Warwickshire. We had a great day being shown how the Guide Dogs are trained and doing a blind folded walk with a real guide dog. We raised lots of money for the training centre on our visit and everyone had a great time. Though i’ve been to the training centre with the children a couple of times, I realised we have never been to the Breeding Centre which is just around the corner from our home in Leamington, so we booked on to an existing tour and I took the children for a morning out. The children are 10, 8 and four.
We arrived slightly early for our tour time at 10:30 and found plenty of parking spaces on site. We were shown into a meeting room where we met some of the trained guide dogs and their handlers who were to join us on our walk round. Tours last approx 2 hours.
We watched a film on The Guide Dogs and listened to real stories from people whose lives have been changed by the fantastic work of the guide dogs charity. Then we split off into groups of 6-10 people and each group had a tour guide and dog to accompany us.
Our guide talked to us and gave us some facts about the charity, including the fact that:
It costs around £50,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout its working life.
We were shown another film of a guide dog working within the community and we were then led to one of the viewing areas where we were able to see lots of puppies through the glass, there were some stunning Labradors, Retrievers and some gorgeous German Shepherds who were just so cute!! We were lucky to arrive at feeding time so got a brilliant view of the 6 week pups bounding over for their breakfast. The children were glued to the glass!
Worth mentioning here that at no point during the tour do you get to hold or stroke the puppies. The breeding centre understandably has strict infection controls for the welfare of the animals.
After another short video and lots of petting of the gorgeous Labrador who accompanied us we found another viewing window with even more of the stunning pups, including those below who were just days old!
We then took the Sensory Tunnel experience to get a brief insight into living with sight loss, and learn how people with sight loss get about. The children were given a blindfold and encouraged to feel the walls and listen to the sounds inside the tunnel. They really enjoyed this experience, and the older two particularly took a lot from that hands on experience. We were also shown a specialist walking stick and the various harnesses and how they work.
Here’s some pics of the children at the sensory tunnel.
After the tour we re-grouped in the meeting room where we were greeted with home made CAKE, tea, coffee and squash for the children. All donations greatly received for these and we were more than happy to contribute! It was all so tasty! There is also envelopes available for donations to the charity & the option to Gift-Aid your donation, we decided to donate an amount per person as I thought that was reasonable for the amount of time we were there! We really did fill a whole morning. The little shop is then opened and you can buy little toy puppies and pencils etc etc.
We had such a lovely morning at the breeding centre and were made to feel so welcome. The children loved hearing all about the puppies and the work that this amazing charity do. We would recommend a tour, it’s so nice to combine a day out knowing that you are also helping a charity. I would suggest the tour is most suitable for children 3/4+ who will be able to sit and listen for longer periods of time as there are a number of videos to watch on the way round.
Guide Dogs rely on donations from the public to keep their life changing services running. In 2016, less than 1% of their income came from government funding.
- Monday from 2.00pm – 4.00pm
- Tuesday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
- Wednesday from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
- Wednesday 10:30 – 12:30. School holidays only
- Saturday tours from 10am-12pm over summer.
Please contact us for dates.
Book a tour
To book a tour please email NBCvisitors@guidedogs.org.uk or phone 0345 1430216.
For more information on The Guide Dogs and the wonderful work they do, and how you can get involved you can visit their website here
To read more blogs on Free / Cheap Days Out With Children in Warwickshire please click on the pictures below.