Colin Jaggers

Colin Jaggers

 

I always thought that Knockhatch was a good name for an Adventure Park. It sounds really active and exciting!

Please pet me! Pleeeeease!

Please pet me! Pleeeeease!

Although I’d passed it many times, going along the A22 to Eastbourne, I’d never been in it. I’d always meant to, especially to try the dry ski slope.Costa cruise 343 (Medium)

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.Costa cruise 344 (Medium)

I met Colin Jaggers, the Owner/Manager and he told me the history of it.

The name Knockhatch wasn’t invented for the Park. It dates back hundreds of years. Knock means Entrance and Hatch means A Wooded Hill.Costa cruise 346 (Medium)

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.

Wallaby Walkthrough

Wallaby Walkthrough

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.

Baby rabbits & guineapigs

Baby rabbits & guineapigs

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.

Tractor & trailer slide

Tractor & trailer slide

Colin and his family, including his brother Steve and family, take a minimum wage and re-invest all the rest of their money.

We walked through the entry gate and were greeted by a selection of animals and birds who all seemed pleased to see us.Costa cruise 357 (Medium)

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.

Some sheep were so keen to be noticed and petted that they shouted, ‘Oy, what about us? Don’t ignore us!’ and climbed up to the fence.Costa cruise 361 (Medium)

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.

Soft play area

Soft play area

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.

Long Frog of Wilmington

Long Frog of Wilmington

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.

Restaurant & older soft play area

Restaurant & older soft play area

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.

Froggies Restaurant

Froggies Restaurant

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.John, up to Cruise 215 (Medium)

You buy a party with a choice of hot or cold food from the menu,

There is also the Bear’s Den Burger Bar but it’s not open all the time. And the Mineshaft Mining Co Café.John, up to Cruise 223 (Medium)

Various parts of the park are open at different times.

Entry is graded into different colours and prices.

Yellow is Winter mid-week.

Adults £1.99

Children aged 3-16 £4.99

Children r 2 years £2.99

Children under 2 years FREE

Birds of Prey demonstration

Birds of Prey demonstration

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.

Adults £3.99

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

Adult £7.99

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.

01323 442051.

WWW.KNOCKHATCH.COM

End of a long, happy day.

End of a long, happy day.

 

 

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.