Knockhatch Adventure Park (while social distancing)

Knockhatch Adventure Park have several outdoor playgrounds and a boating lake amongst other outdoor activities. There are also a number of large indoor adventure play areas too. You can find out more about these activities here

The park opens from 10am – 5.30pm, in line with Government advice and guidelines all indoor soft play areas are currently closed and some outdoor attractions remain closed too. Check what's currently open by visiting their FAQ page


Entry cost

Booking is essential as visitor numbers have been reduced and tickets are not available to purchase at the gate. You can do that by visiting their booking page

Prices are as follows:



How to get there

Knockhatch Adventure Park is about two hours away from South London via car. There’s parking on site which is free. You're allowed to leave the adventure park during the day (which is great if you've left something in the car) just remember to get a hand stamp.

The closest station is Polegate (you can get a direct train from Clapham Junction that takes just over an hour for tickets as low as £17 depending on the time you travel). You’ll have to take a 10 minute taxi from there. More info on how to find the adventure park can be found here

 

During Social Distancing

You’re not obliged to wear a face mask but you’re welcome to wear one. From Friday 24th July 2020 the Law requires anybody over the age of 11 to wear a face mask in the Gift Shop.

Rather than a one-way system, customers are encouraged to keep 'left' as you walk around the Park and to give way at junctions. Honestly, not many people stuck to this rule but it was spacious so it was easy to move away from the idiots among the crowd.

There’s also a new exit, traditionally everyone would exit via the gift shop - the gift shop was exit only until 3pm, then opened up properly and the entrance became the exit. Hand sanitising stations and hand washing stations are dotted around the site and screens have also been erected at till points.

Staff are not allowed to assist anybody when getting in and out of attractions by touching them or coming too close to them and many rides appeared to be cleaned in between uses. 

 

Our Verdict

There’s just so much to do and in the space of a few hours we managed to do so much so I’ve decided the best way to detail it all would be to bullet point the attractions that we used…

Attractions

Zoo Animals, Wallaby Walkthrough & Children's Farm

The first attraction as you step into Knockhatch are the petting zoo and farm sections which were what you’d pretty much expect. But what sets Knockhatch apart from the rest is the Wallaby Walkthrough (which is pretty much what it says on the tin really!). It was nice to be able to get up close and personal (on a cordoned path). There didn’t seem to be any opportunity to feed the animals though. As always, I gushed over the Guinea Pigs! Hidden towards the far right of the animal area is the Tommy Tractor Playbarn – which unfortunately seemed a bit basic, but the kids loved it, and the Tractor Tom Ride (a rotating slow moving tractor carousel). This one fell flat with the kids and it wasn’t enough to keep them entertained. There are also two Mini Digger rides nestled among the walk that cost £1 per go and last a considerable amount of time (what kid doesnt love operating their own mini digger) and Quadapillar Barrel Rides (a chain of barrels on wheels pulled by a staffed quad) which the kids loved but seemed to not last very long. All of the manned rides in this area were cleaned before and after use, except for the Mini Diggers that required individuals to clean the equipment themselves with the antibac and tissue provided.




Chair 'o' Plane Ride, Dino Safari Simulator

The Dino Simulator is new for 2020 and honestly, I didn’t know what to expect as I didn’t research it before going in. It’s basically a stimulator of a Jurassic Park-esque car ride that goes wrong when the dinos escape and attack. As far as simulators go it was exciting and entertaining for the little ones (and even the big ones that were also in the pod with us). The simulator itself consisted of three rows (the middle was kept empty for social distancing purposes but this was pretty pointless because we were all enclosed in the pod together) and guests were allowed to request that only their group went in at one time instead of sharing the pod with strangers. The Chair ‘o’ plane ride was your bog-standard swing chair carousel thingy and despite it being kind of slow the kids seemed to really enjoy it.


Rowing Boats

So… The rowing boats were……. An experience. None of our party had any experience in rowing whatsoever which made for a rather hilarious ride. Before boarding we were each given life jackets and, well, that was it really. No lessons or briefing. We were told we’d pick it up as we went along. We didn’t. It ended up being pretty fun trying to coast our way back to the dock after floating around in circles for about 10 minutes so-much-so that I’m definitely going to try again one day. All of the previously mentioned areas were very easy to social distance in.



Pirate's Cove Paddling Pool

Staff were limiting the numbers into the pool at any one time. We were told that 20 kids were allowed in for 20 minutes at a time but it seemed as if more people were being let in. The queue was loooong and there wasn’t really much shaded seating to hide away from under the sweltering sun while we waited. We changed our little ones in the queue but there were also changing rooms inside the pool area and toilets just outside - but doing it that way would deffo cut into your time in there. The paddling pool was the perfect way to cool off during the heatwave that we were having on the day. There were no issues with bigger kids splashing, the water was the perfect height for the little’uns to not drown and the bigg’uns to still splash about and the slide was a great addition. There were nice little distractions on either side of the paddling pool (a second half of the ship to the left and a single flow of water to the right of the paddling pool) to grab the kids’ attention and keep them from all trying to bundle onto the small slide. Not much social distancing going on here though. Actually, there was virtually none. Enter at your own risk i guess. 



Owl Sanctuary & Outdoor Owl Displays

At set times there are short owl displays with information about the winged-creatures as they fly about, landing on various plinths and their keepers gloved arm. We were lucky enough to have one fly overhead and even saw a seven-week-old fluffy cute owl. Make sure to double check the signs for show times and don’t worry, if you miss out the owls are still on display in the owl sanctuary.


Chestnut Wood Adventure Playground & The Dragon Castle

This has to be one of the most impressive outdoor climbing playgrounds I’ve ever seen! It was huge and an equally huge hit with the kids! It had plenty of climbing aspects, slides, zip wire and even a dragon! Honestly, I wish I was a kid again so I could’ve joined in. I think I'm going to invite my sons Dad along next time so i can limber him with the bags and run about like a kid again. Based on the play area alone I’d defiantly make another trip here. Outside of the fort there were plenty of places to sit and relax if you had kids old enough to brave the castle without you.

 




Unfortunately, due to COVID and Government guidelines all of the indoor soft play areas were closed (it's a shame because i took a peek from the window and they looked really impressive) as well as some attractions but hopefully they’ll reopen at some stage. There was also soooo much to do that we didn’t get around to doing some of the activities that are still open including the Jumping Pillows (because we forgot socks and the heat on the kids toes was too much) but it was cleaned in between every different allotted amount of kids that used it, the Wave Runner Water Slide (the kids were too short for this but it looked equal parts terrifying and fun), the Go Karts (again, they weren’t tall enough but from what I saw they’re a thrill seekers dream based n the layout and kart speed)  and the Enchanted Crazy Golf (which was in a lovely shaded area and had a lot of intricate details).

Dining

I’d advise bringing along a picnic because there’s just so much scenic space to enjoy it and there was plenty of shaded picnic space if the benches were full. Alternatively, you can grab a bite from onsite too. We had our own sarnies and fruit but I ordered very reasonably priced cheesy chips from the Burger Bar which were okay... I've placed some of the prices below. My favourite food was the candyfloss ice cream from The Waffle House. I can’t lie, I’ve never been a huge fan of ice cream but I had to have seconds because it tasted amazing. We also found the slushies perfect for the warm weather too. Here's a handy hack: order ice cream in a tub and ask for a cone stuck on top. Its sooo much easier with little ones who are prone to dropping it or wanting to put it down. I did notice that the staff were all wearing gloves to serve customers and one even changed hers after I’d paid in cash. It’s nice to see somewhere taking cleanliness seriously. Barring the disables loos near the paddling pool (which were soaking wet because somebody had clearly changed in them post-pool dip) all of the toilets were very clean, always a plus. I also spotted a water fountain to fill up your bottles by the pool.

 



Overall, we had a fab day out and were spoiled for choice when it came to things to do. All of the activities seemed so well rounded, from water sports to outdoor play and aspect of animal education. The gift shop was also cheap and cheerful too! I definitely recommend giving this place a visit and we’re most definitely going back again!




***Our tickets were gifted. 

No comments

Post a Comment