After three months of purely virtual visits, our world is slowly opening up and allowing us to go places again. After a weekend of serious cabin fever, Ryan and I looked around for somewhere local to which was (a) open and (b) we could safely visit. Prior to Lockdown, we had been planning a trip to Cogges Manor Farm in Witney, so we were thrilled to find out that it is open again, for season ticket holders.

After becoming season ticket holders, we booked an afternoon off, and on Wednesday we set off somewhere for the first time since March. The sunny weather had finally disappeared and been replaced with much-needed rain, but we were lucky it held off for an hour or so while we looked round.

Once you’re through the socially-distant entrance, you receive a warm welcome from the goats!


It’s not that they’ve been starved of human attention – it’s entirely cupboard love. You can buy flower pots of chopped vegetables for them to snack on, and they go nuts for carrot sticks!

There’s a one-way system in place, and the next stop is the main farmyard, which is home to some more animals:


No idea why the chickens were choosing to stare at the wall, but chickens can be odd sometimes!

There’s a picnic spot in the orchard, and then some larger paddocks for sheep, goats and ponies.


Ryan and I have been loving seeing wild animals during Lockdown – bunnies, squirrels, ducks, and even a deer – but they do tend to run away when they see you. It was nice to see some friendlier animal faces!

Cogges also boasts a lovely walled kitchen garden (behind the manor house, which you may have seen on screen, as it has been on Downton Abbey and some other things, apparently.) During the Lockdown it has been maintained by a socially-distanced crew of volunteers, who are doing a wonderful job.

Globe artichokes
Opium poppy

So if you’re looking for a safely socially-distant place you can go to, to get out of the house for a little while, check out Cogges. The goats would love to see you!