The Hobbledown website looked incredible and so The Young Londoner team came along to discover the imaginative adventure that is Hobbledown. This Epsom based adventure farm is the perfect family day out, especially on a sunny day as most of the fun to be had is outdoors (even more so during Covid times when the indoor play barn remains closed).
You can find high-ropes to climb (book these in advance via the Hobbledown App) which are very similar to GoApe (but unfortunately children have to be over 1metre 30cm so we didn’t get to try them out despite booking). It looked very fun for the children that we saw experiencing this and it ends with a zipline back to the ground.
The zorbs (which are included in the cost of entry) where incredibly fun and kept our four year olds entertained for a while. One of the adults may have even got in the zorb too (although coming out was quite a struggle). Zorbs can be booked via the app and don’t always operate.
We enjoyed the dual zipline on repeat both at the beginning of our visit and right before we left. Also had a go at archery, running around the maze and generally basking in the warm spring weather and enjoying the smell of freshly cut grass, the flowering trees and the joy of simply being outside.
Children can enjoy learning about the array of animals housed in the spacious well-maintained grounds. On our visit we saw camels, tortoises, goats, sheep, coatis, meerkats, wallabys, pigs and large rabbits as well as otters and lamas. You can walk through some of the enclosures and really get close to the animals like the Lemurs and Lorikets as well as the goats and the giant rabbits. Hobbledown offer zookeeper experiences for children aged 6 and above where you can learn all about animal care, feeding and playing. We will be booking this in when the kids are a little older.
The highlight for us were the outdoor play areas where children of all ages will find something to keep them occupied.
Hobbledown Village takes adventure play to the next level with wire walkways and underground tunnels (although these are not advised for under 5’s as they are quite dark and scary.) It was exhilarating to watch my recently turned 4 year old make his way through the wire frames, climb the rope structures and make his way to the top of the village.
Fern’s Castle was another firm favourite where the kids engaged their imaginations and morphed into dragon slayers and ran around the castle’s myriad of levels (like a maze inside) and features walkways, different levels to explore and plenty of slides and climbing frames.
The water and sand play (Mining Village) comes complete with villager houses that are stocked with tools and cooking pots and pans to keep children busy) was perfect as we could sit and watch the boys as they played with the water, barricading areas, cooking and mending things. There are towers to climb and various slides and pulleys to transport sand and water from place to place.
Between the play areas you can find giant bouncing pillows, three of them and one is filled with water and is most likely the closest the kid is going to get to bouncing on jelly. During our visit these were not bookable in advance and we had to queue for a short while. There is also a time limit to ensure nobody is queueing for too long.
Hobbledown has also inspired a book where you can find many of the characters that roam the site come to life (and place some more context around your day out.)
For lunch options we decided to visit Hobnosh which is the onsite restaurant. This has plenty of outdoor seating and a small play area to keep little people entertained whilst waiting for the food (or waiting for the adults to finish eating). We were very impressed with the quality of the food, it was wholesome and fresh. One of the kids had the tomato pasta (which was a very generous portion) and the other enjoyed the chicken nuggets with chips. The adults had a salad and loaded fries with halloumi and pomegranate. They also have children’s lunch boxes. All the food needs to be ordered via the app and can then be collected from the restaurant or brought to your outdoor table.
If you wanted to have a picnic there are plenty of tables throughout Hobbledown where you can take a seat and supervise the children as they play.
We were really impressed by how well managed and thought-out the site is. From the measures in place to ensure social-distancing to the cleanliness of the toilets and the wooden bin containers throughout the site. Our only little tip would be to have a map of the site on arrival. The kids were entertained, well-fed and active for the whole day. Our trip was absolutely brilliant and well worth the £18 ticket price. Parking on site is free – the area is mostly accessible although some of the play equipment is not.
For more information and booking visit the Hobbledown website.