Hobbledown Adventure Farm in Surrey, along with other farms, zoos and outdoor attractions, re-opened following government guidelines when lockdown restrictions were lifted on 12 April. We visited shortly after their re-opening in late April and again in early June during the half-term break.
Both kids, Miss A (3.5) and Little T (7.5) had such a great time at Hobbledown, especially at the play castles, mining village and indoor playbarn. In this post, I’ll share our experiences, what to expect when visiting Hobbledown Adventure Farm and why I’d recommend it for a family day out in Surrey.
Day Out at Hobbledown Adventure Farm Surrey
Hobbledown are limiting numbers, following government guidelines, and bookings are required online in advance at https://www.hobbledown.com/book. You will be asked to choose from one of 5 timeslots for when you would like to arrive. Ticket costs vary slightly depending on the start time; tickets for the afternoon time slots tend to be less expensive.
I would recommend booking a morning time slot to enjoy the play areas when it’s a lot less busy. For both visits, I booked the first time slots available – 0830 and 0900, and each time we were among the first people to enter the farm park. When I visited with Miss A during term time, it was only us and a handful of other families for the first hour, and it didn’t start to get a bit busy until around lunchtime. You’ll find hand sanitiser dispensers all over Hobbledown farm park along with hand washing stations upon leaving the animal walk-through enclosures.
Tip: Take a photo of the map at the entrance to save on your phone while you explore the farm park
Hobbledown features an award-winning adventure playground, children’s farm and zoo. There are a number of play areas and animal walk-throughs across this 50 acre farm park. We spent the majority of the time at the adventure playground and saw some of the animals along the way, but there were several we missed along the outer edges, including the camels and zebras. Next time we’ll walk around to see all the animals before heading to the playground, since there’s so much there to keep the kids busy for most of the visit.
The Mining Village
This imaginative role playing area is perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers, with so much to enjoy and explore. There’s a kitchen, a tool shed, a little shop, pulleys to transport sand and a climbing tower.
Keep an eye out for pieces of crystallite – kids will enjoy looking out for these little green stones in the sand. Collect some to bring back to the shop to exchange for a lollipop. It’s a fun idea and nearly 1.5 million pieces of Crystallite have been found by Hobbledown guests since they opened in 2012.
There were loads of the green pebbles scattered about the sandy area first thing in the morning, and the smaller pieces are all over the place mixed in the sand.
The Hobbledown Mining Village is such a fun area for young children. You’ll also find a slide and a small tunnel area, plus there’s water play here too during the summer months.
This spot with the small huts is another great area for toddlers and pre-schoolers to play.
The last time I was at Hobbledown was with Little T when he was 2 years old, and I remember he absolutely loved the jumping pillows. There are three jumping pillows around the playground area, which are suitable for all ages.
Miss A’s favourite was this water pillow! She had a blast running around this one that wobbles as you move around it.
Our last stop was at this jumping pillow on the other side of Fern’s Castle. During busy times, you might need to book a session through the Hobbledown mobile app to avoid queues forming at the jumping pillows.
The play castles at Hobbledown Adventure Farm are outstanding with loads to explore. They are definitely a highlight for a day out at Hobbledown. Fern’s Castle is the newest addition to the playground, recently opened in 2020 and features tunnels, towers and slides.
Tip: Register for the Hobbledown app ahead of your visit. This will allow you to order food and drink and book sessions for activities when required.
Other activities in the Hobbledown Adventure Farm playground to look out for are a High Ropes Course and Zorbing. Both may require booking a session during you visit so do check the Hobbledown app if you’re interested. You’ll be asked to register with your email address and create a password, then to enter in your mobile number for an authorization code to complete the registration process. It’s a quick process, and the web app is useful for seeing which activities are open and/or require booking a session for the day you’re visiting, plus placing an orders at the Hobnosh restaurant during your visit (see Food and Drink below).
Farm and Zoo Animals
There are over 200 animals to see at the Hobbledown farm and zoo. There are several walk through enclosures where you can see up close some animals such as lemurs, rabbits, goats and wallabies.
The feed dispensers have been closed during Covid. Feeding the goats and other animals might be allowed later on in the year when more restrictions are lifted.
The adorable otters were relaxing in the sun when we passed by.
And the meerkats are always a pleasure to see!
There are more animal experiences and shows coming up later in spring and summer, including opportunities to meet the ponies.
Located near the entrance, the Courtyard is an area in front of the Hobnosh restaurant and the indoor play barn. You’ll find plenty of picnic seating, including a covered area, and a multi-level play village that is great fun for young children.
It’s a great spot to take it easy and have a lunch or snack break during your visit. The toilets, which were clean and tidy when we visited, are just around the corner. And as an added bonus, there’s an enclosure with prairie dogs that are adorable to watch.
Hobbledown Adventure Farm also have a 14,000 sq ft indoor playbarn which re-opened on 17 May in line with government guidance. We visited during May half-term and booked an indoor play session to escape the midday sun. To maintain social distancing, capacity is restricted for the indoor playbarn and you will need to book the session for your group through the Hobbledown app.
The indoor playbarn is suitable for all ages and features a multi-story themed play castle, a soft play climbing frames with slides, and vertical trampolines. There’s a gated toddler area for under 3’s with rockers, sensory play area with lights and mirrors and a dedicated mini play-frame.
Each session at the Hobbledown Indoor Playbarn will last 45 minutes during the weekends and school holidays and 1 hour at other times.
Food and Drink
There are plenty of picnic tables all around Hobbledown Adventure Farm. I usually aim to bring our own picnic lunches, but it always a welcome plus when there are plenty of options for food and drink at the place we’re visiting. There is a small café, right before you head into the Courtyard and restaurant area, for hot and cold beverages and lunch box items.
For £5.99, you can fill up a lunch box with a juice, sandwich (ham or cheese), a piece of fruit and a snack (raisins or Babybel). Masks are required for ages 11+ inside the café. You can also just buy individual items. For this visit, I had already packed some food with us and stopped by the Hobbledown Café for a few additional lunch items.
The Hobnosh restaurant serves hot and cold food. To avoid congestion, you can virtually queue and order your food and drinks online through the Hobbledown app. I’d recommend creating your account and registering before visiting so you’re ready to place an order when you’re at Hobbledown. It’s a quick process, and the web app is also useful for seeing which activities are open and/or require booking a session for the day you’re visiting.
I’ve included below a menu from the Hobnosh at Hobbledown. The hot food items are mainly loaded fries with a variety of toppings to choose from including smashed avocado, chorizo, chicken nuggets and fish goujons. Other menu items include avocado on toast, side salads and a bacon brioche bun. In addition to loaded fries or lunch box options, kids can choose from mac ‘n cheese or tomato pasta.
Day Out at Hobbledown Farm
Miss A is 3.5 years old and had a blast on our day out at Hobbledown. We spent the majority of our time there – 5 hours – at the playground, with short stops on the way and back seeing the goats, rabbits, otters, meerkats and wallabies. There are plenty more animals to see a bit further out from the play area, and actually next visit I will aim to head out to see the rest of the animals before going to the playground since once we were there, it was tough to convince her to leave. Highlights for Miss A were the Mining Village and the Jumping Pillows. It was ideal visiting first thing in the morning when we nearly had the place to ourselves. There was no issue at all with social distancing visiting in the morning during term time.
Hobbledown offers a unique experience compared to other nearby children’s farms with its imaginative play castles and role play villages and the story and characters behind them all. There are a wide variety of animals throughout the 50 acres on the farm park including several that you see up close in walk-through enclosures, such as rabbits, goats, lemurs and wallabies. The main draw is the several play areas (mostly recommended for ages 2-13) including an indoor playbarn and fun activities such as the High Ropes course and Zorbing. There are plenty of things to do, animals to see and places to explore for children and I can highly recommend visiting Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park Surrey for a fun day out for the whole family.
Have you visited Hobbledown? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.
Hobbledown Adventure Farm Surrey
Address: Hobbledown Children’s Farm, Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PT
Tickets: Book your tickets and choose a timeslot in advance through the Hobbledown website. Ticket prices start from £15 per person.
PIN FOR LATER – Hobbledown Adventure Farm Surrey
Do you have any questions about visiting Hobbledown Adventure Farm Surrey? Let me know in the comments below.