Last summer we took a trip to Hobbledown Farm - it had been on my personal bucket list for a while, ever since I saw photos of their Hobbit-like setting.
Based in Epsom, Surrey (not too far from our home) Hobbledown is described as a unique farm park adventure – and it most certainly doesn’t disappoint. When you enter there are lockers available for £1 (returnable), where you can leave your picnics and heavy bags - perfect for us families lugging loads of stuff about!
First we headed for the exotic animals. There are otters, meerkats, racoon dogs and muntjac deer. Near the play area are rhea, alpaca and llamas and the Wallaby and Mara Walk-through, where you can enter through a secured gate and stroll through the enclosure amongst the peacocks, wallabies and mara. All the enclosures are rustic and quirky and very spacious.
The kids sped off ahead once the play area was in sight – it really is spectacular and it caters for all ages. The Crystallite Mine is aimed at younger children it’s a sandy area with a slide, and lots of tunnels, buckets on pulleys, caves and water features – here you need to dig for the bright green crystallite stones. The stones can be exchanged in the gift shop for a lollipop.
Finley particularly enjoyed this area, along with the amazing huge Jumping Pillows! There are two huge air filled bouncy pillows, again suitable for all ages.
The large wooden play structures and climbing towers look amazing, there are wire caged tunnels to crawl through leading to tube slides and a section of high climbing towers. To use the Aerial Adventure course you must be 130cm or over, Shannon was a little too short but she was happy enough to play elsewhere, but Keira (she's 9) really enjoyed it. You are attached with safety gear and have to meander around the walkways in the sky before descending down a zip wire. Both my girls climbed the tall Tree Top Towers, attached to a safety winch, and once they reached the top it’s time to let go and slide down the rope – awesome fun.
Next we headed to the Field of Confusion where you can have a go at zorbing, children must be over 100cm to do this, and they are allowed to go on in pairs – with around five zorbs in the arena at a time. Zorbs are like huge inflatable hamster wheels – they had an enormous amount of fun on these! Here you will also find the Willow Maze.
Heading onwards passing fields of sheep we reached the Henfold Birds of Prey, they were sat on posts under beautiful bohemian parasols (I really want one) here we met Dave the Barn Owl, who was having his lunch.
Farm animals at Hobbledown include sheep; pigs; Shetland ponies; donkeys and pygmy goats.
There are” Nicpic” areas dotted around with large rustic benches and plenty of recycling bins so if you’ve brought a picnic along you are welcome to sit where you like. We chose to sit by the large Teepee, which the Hobblers use to tell stories to the children at various times of the day.
The yurt is used for face painting costing £3 per child.
Heading back towards the entrance you will find the Hobblings Play Village, there’s an outdoor wooden structure, with sand and tunnels for the children to play in, it kind of reminded me of The Crystal Maze inside all the rooms were wonky!
Again all the children had great fun in here. Tucked around the corner are Bundles Barn and Snufflers Retreat, where you can take a peek at some more farm animals including rabbits and guinea pigs. Head indoors and you’ll find Hobnosh where you can order wraps, soups and salads and a selection of hot food, there were lots of tables to sit at if you had ordered from the restaurant.
The indoor play barn is split into two areas – a large soft play area with climbing platforms, tunnels, slides, a light up dance floor and a sensory area for the toddlers with bubble tubes and colourful lights. The second area has a large wooden fortress with air cannons shooting soft balls, and tunnels saying “Beware of the Skibblers” it really is so well put together. During busy times you may be allocated a time slot on arrival to use the indoor playbarn.
The shop has a large range of gifts varying in price - from lollipops, treasure stones and marbles to fairy wings, swords and potion bottles. Don’t forget to hand in your crystallite stones in exchange for a lollipop!
You are welcome to stay at Hobbledown all day if you choose to – as it is a children’s adventure farm for the enjoyment of families, adult only parties will not be permitted. Hobbledown is a strict no smoking area – it smells and the animals and children don’t like it!
We really had a fabulous day out, all the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we would highly recommend Hobbledown to other families.
Hobbledown, Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8PT
For another great local farm check out Navigating Baby's review of Godstone Farm.