We’ve been frequent visitors to Knockhatch Adventure Park near Hailsham, East Sussex, for a couple of years now after a recommendation from my sister. It’s one of those places that’s a real hidden gem; in the South East we’re blessed with lots of big name attractions but they don’t always hit the spot with us. Our two children (a boy aged nearly 8 and a girl aged 5) are not big fans of theme park rides yet, and are definitely not fans of queuing, so that rules out a lot of the options.
Knockhatch has a brilliant mix of activities that are perfectly suited to the under-10s age group. There’s adventure playgrounds, go-karts, slides, jumping pillows, rowing boats, soft play and a great small farm and zoo animal area, plus loads more! We’ve visited pre and post Covid 19, so we can see where safety measures have been put in place, but none of them are restrictive or obstructive.
What To Do
The Lost World Playbarn is always first on our list, with an awesome array of slides and a assault course canopy, all within an atmospheric dinosaur setting. You’ll need to get a ticket for your 40 minute timeslot, tickets are allocated once the previous session has started.
You’ll also need a ticket for a slot at Froggies Soft Play but once you’re inside, it’s a great fun soft play with plenty of seating for adults!
The Jumping Pillows and Chair-o-Plane ride are also big hits with my two children. They’ll need to queue but it didn’t take long, even in the school holidays. There are two jumping pillows, one for under 10s and a larger one for over 10s. The Chair-o-Plane is great for little ones and siblings to go on together.
It was a bit too cold for the Pirate Cove splash pad in October but my two have loved it on previous visits. Numbers are limited and you queue for the next available slot. It’s another great option for younger children.
There are two brilliant adventure playgrounds – Chestnut Wood and Dragon Castle. There’s loads to do in both of them, with Dragon Castle aimed at older children but our 5 year old was fine (with a bit of help!).
Where To Eat
If you’re looking for lunchtime and refreshments options, there’s a lot to choose from:
The Burger Bar (opposite the Chair-o-Plane) – serving burgers, chips and drinks with plenty of covered seating in a new marquee
Dino Wraps and Jackets (next to Dino Safari) – serving a choice of wraps and jacket potatoes with fillings, plus drinks
The Jumping Pillow Hut – ice creams and drinks
Alternatively you can take your own picnic as there’s plenty of benches and grass to sit on, particularly around Dragon Castle and there’s a Picnic Barn next to the Chair-o-Plane.
Tickets need to be booked in advance, including choosing an arrival timeslot (half hourly)
You’ll need to wear a mask for the indoor activities at Knockhatch, unless you are exempt. This includes the 40 minute timed slots in the Lost World Playbarn, the Dino Safari ride, Froggies soft play and if you want to browse in the gift shop.
The refreshment venues are only open on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays, so if you’re visiting ‘off peak’ make sure you take your own.
Take plenty of spare socks if your children are going on the jumping pillows, as the rubber chippings are messy and it can be wet when you’re getting their shoes back on.
There’s plenty of hand sanitiser stations dotted around the park, plus handwashing facilities by the animal area.
You can leave and re-enter the park if you need to go to the car park, just make sure you get a hand stamp as you exit.
There’s no changing facilities at the splash pad, so either come prepared or bring plenty of towels for changing! Your timeslot includes getting changed at the end.
Some activities cost extra to your ticket price, like the Go Karts, but all the main attractions are included.
We love it at Knockhatch. There’s so much to do that you could spend a whole day there and still not do everything. Plus it’s nicely spaced out so it doesn’t feel crowded, but you don’t have to walk miles to get anywhere. There are plenty of staff members around and they’re all really helpful, and very patient!
Knockhatch Adventure Park is a great day out, it’s budget friendly and will definitely tire your kids out!
*We were gifted tickets to Knockhatch in exchange for an unbiased review.