Knockhatch Adventure Park; a great fun day out for the whole family!
I always thought that Knockhatch was a good name for an Adventure Park. It sounds really active and exciting!
Finally Harry’s article about playing Paintball there a few weeks ago made me decide to make the effort. So Hubby John, granddaughter Isabella and I all piled into the car and drove there.
Driving along, there is a fairly rough road through farmland and was a lot further than I’d imagined; I don’t know why! But when we reached the end, there was Knockhatch, looking much bigger than I’d imagined, in the middle of the Sussex countryside.
I met Colin Jaggers, the Owner/Manager and he told me the history of it.
He was brought up in the old farmhouse, which has the date 1419 over the fireplace.
It looks like two houses glued together as the 2nd part is Georgian. So he said you step through a doorway from one century to another.
His parents ran it as a dairy farm for 15 years, plus a B&B.
Dairy farming is a very unrewarding business in the UK and Colin’s mother Annette suddenly had the idea to turn the farm into an Adventure Park.
The dry ski slope came first, followed by Leisure Events for stag parties, etc. This included go-cart, paintball, and other games.
Gradually the Adventure Park developed, and it’s still developing.
Colin and his family, including his brother Steve and family, take a minimum wage and re-invest all the rest of their money.
All the animals are domestic or farm animals, and, despite some of the ‘heavy petting’ that they must receive from eager little hands, they absolutely love being stroked.
Shetland Ponies thrust their noses forward, calling, ‘Me! Me!’ to Isabella’s delight,until they got their hay, then they ignored us!
There are long sinks everywhere with large signs saying WASH YOUR HANDS.
You just don’t know what you’re going to find round every corner despite the clear signs.
Little Isabella, aged 15 months, had a lovely time near the sandpit and slides, running around from one small car to another, and watching all the other children.
We ate in the absolutely brilliantly-designed restaurant which is called Froggies Soft Play Area. It has some wonderful murals, including the Long Frog of Wilmington!
There are two play areas there, one for little children and one for the older ones.
Unusually, there is a lot of space between each table so that pushchairs fit in.
Isabella found it really exciting and ran around without disturbing anyone.
We ate there. Although there are good picnic areas, some sheltered, all over Knockhatch, I don’t see why people bother to pack a picnic as the restaurant is so good, with very reasonable prices.
I had a freshly-baked 10” thin crust Hawaiian Pizza for £4.90. Quite honestly, it was too much for one person and could feed a parent and child easily.
John had a jacket potato with cheese for £4.30 and Isabella, who is totally vegan, had Happy Faces potatoes with beans and a small salad. They adjusted the menu for her. It cost £3.80 and she loved the faces, pointing to the beans when she wanted a spoonful.
She couldn’t eat it all but as she loved it so much, I asked if we could take it away.
I was given it wrapped with clingfilm in a pizza box.
The menu caters for different dietary needs.
All the food was perfectly prepared and the staff all seem to enjoy their work, which makes such a difference!
There are three private function rooms off the Froggies Restaurant for children’s parties. They’re called Meercat, Owl and Racoon. They hold up to 30 children, plus the adults They’re popular after school and at weekends.
You buy a party with a choice of hot or cold food from the menu,
Various parts of the park are open at different times.
Entry is graded into different colours and prices.
Yellow is Winter mid-week.
Children aged 3-16 £4.99
Children r 2 years £2.99
Children under 2 years FREE
Green is partly open. It’s not worth paying wages to fully staff the park during off-peak times.
It’s cheaper for Mums and toddlers, so they can come regularly and meet their friends there for coffee or lunch.
Children 3-16 £6.99
Children 2 years £2.99
Children under 3 years FREE
Family (2 adulst & 2 children) £17.99
Extra child on the family ticket/concession £2.99
April-October is Orange, and full price during weekends and school holidays. All Attractions are open
Children 3-16 £9.99
Children 2 years. £3.99
Children under 3 years FREE
Family (2 adults & 2 children) £31.99
Extra child on family ticket/concession £6.99
There’s also an annual membership. At just £40pa it’s less than 50p a day!
You can find the Laser Game, the Bungee Trampoline, the Pirate’s Cove, Motorsports, a Construction Site with mini diggers, Ice Magic in the winter with a synthetic skating rink, and Ice-cream Parlour, and much mush more!
Knockhatch averages 300 people daily mid-week, and 2,000 people daily at weekends and holidays.
I asked Colin to describe Knockhatch in 12 words or less.
He replied, A nice fun day out for the whole family!
What are his plans for the future?
Answer; MORE! More animals, more rides, more of everything, without turning too Corporate.
His plans are certainly working. Isabella had a fantastic day out, and so did we!
Knockhatch Adventure Park, off the A22 Diplocks Roundabout, just West of Hailsham, East Sussex.