As you all know, I have a small penchant for all things Harry Potter/wizardry/fantastical/make-believe. So, discovering Hobbledown was only a stone’s throw away, was a fist-in-the-air ‘Hell yeh!’ moment.
Okay, so I may be exaggerating my reaction slightly for the purposes of artistic licence – but this ‘Mystical’ Farm Park in Hobbledown in Surrey, is a brilliant day out for all the family. And, because I purchased a very reasonably priced annual pass, I’ve more than made use of its facilities. Monkey adores coming here.
Even if you don’t live nearby, I would still recommend a journey out here, particularly in the summer months, as this a great place for toddlers and children to explore, play and have fun.
What’s it all about then?
This adventure attraction is based on a fantasy tale written by A J Kecojevic. The Hobblers are mystical creatures who take care of the animals at Hobbledown. You’ll see plenty of them walking about (bless the staff who dress up in the gear) and the animals have special Pontenesian names. The pigs, for instance, are called Snufflers, sheep; Grimwollys and the meerkats: Horizogs.
The Rumpletump who has grown up at Hobbledown is a special favourite of Monkey’s – and he still can’t quite understand why he isn’t allowed to climb up on his back and take him for a ride!
Hobbledown is home to over 100 animals, has an outdoor play zone with big slides, tunnels, sand pits, water features in summer, towers, aerial walkways and bouncy areas to name but a few. For the brave and older Hobblings, there’s an aerial adventure course, too. D hasn’t even played on half of this stuff as yet, because he’s still too young.
What we have made use of, is Hobbledown’s Indoor Play Barn, which has been a godsend during the terrible weather. It’s huge, has plenty of seating for adults, is also attached to the cafe/restaurant and, has wi-fi. So when your little monkeys are old enough to wander into the fold on their own, you can sit back, sip a coffee, stuff a cake (if the kids don’t get their first!), relax and surf on the interweb.
I, unfortunately, have not had the pleasure of sitting on the sidelines as yet. I’ve been stuck inside the tunnels, alongside other poor parents, on numerous occasions, because Monkey hasn’t wanted to enter the play zone without me.
I recall one time a harassed dad tapping me on my shoulder as I was trying to shimmy down a slide, so gracefully as my skinny jeans were riding down my backside…
Worried dad: “Do you know how to get out of here?”
Me: “Yes, just go through that tunnel, down through to the left and over there.’
Worried dad: ‘Thank god for that! I thought I was going to be stuck in here forever!’
I sympathised with the poor man. When the indoor barn gets rammed (which inevitably it does on a Saturday afternoon) it can be a scary place… BUT, as with all these sorts of play areas, you just have to suck it up and dive in!
On the other side of the barn, is a maze of wooden tunnels, climbing areas, and cannons in which green softballs can be aimed at unsuspecting groups of boys and girls and parents. Monkey makes it his mission to pick up as many of these green balls as possible and throw them at me.
Other useful stuff
- Hobbledown’s Hobnosh restaurant provides healthy hot meals and snacks for kids, as well as picnic-style lunches, wraps, coffee, tea and cakes.
- Toilets and baby-changing facilities
- Onsite car park
- Petting corner for kids during the weekends and school holidays
- Organised birthday parties.
- During the Christmas season, Santa and the elves visit Hobbledown and you can buy tickets to go and visit him. We took D last year, and it was the first time he’d ever met Father Christmas. Although monkey was a little shy, it was very well organised, within a decorated yurt – and he received candy canes and a little present. He still walks past the yurt now and asks where Santa is!
If you live nearby, it pays to buy an annual pass, as, in the long run, it works out much cheaper. Child tickets from £13.50 for kids at peak times and adults from £12.60.