So it was the Middle ‘Un’s birthday nearly three weeks ago. As a treat she asked to go to Knockhatch, which is an adventure playpark / petting farm over in East Sussex, near Polegate. She wouldn’t have asked, except she was prompted by her older sister who went there last summer for a friend’s birthday day out.
It was the 30th March and it was a little nippy, but we’re a hardy bunch (or TW is, at least), and so off we went. It took about an hour to get there from Worthing, which isn’t too bad, and they had a lot of parking. Tickets were £10 for the children and £8 for the adults, which seems only fair since it is an attraction for the kids and not the grown-ups. Someone very kindly gave us a twofer in the carpark, and so for me and TW, and four kids, it cost £36. The vouchers are apparently freely available on t’interwebs. There are a few attractions for which you have to pay £1 or £2 extra at entry, like Laser Quest and the “rock climbing”, but we didn’t bother with any of that. We did buy some animal feed, a beaker-full was 50p, which was well worth it when it came to feeding the animals.
When you get in, there is a barn close by with goats, sheep, llamas, donkeys, alpacas, all of whom you can feed, using the feed you just bought from the entry kiosk. I think it was The Eldest who got a bit squeamish and didn’t manage to feed any animal, but even I had a go, so it was really not that scary at all. And the attendants were very engaged in caring for the animals, and talked enthusiastically about them all, which was good to see.
Next up was a barrel ride, where a tractor pulls a load of hollowed-out barrels on wheels, the girls quite enjoyed that. Then we went into the main part of the adventure playground.
They have a “demon drop” slide, which starts vertically, and then curves out to horizontal, the girls enjoyed that too; the Middle ‘Un didn’t quite get the courage to do that, and The Youngest took her time, but by the end we had to prise her off it! There was also a little “air chair” sedate fairground ride for the younger ones, and the more nervous ones, that had a height restriction.
They even have a Runaway Train Simulator, which the children loved but left me and TW feeling nauseous. I have no spatial awareness on those things, and so I was gripping the handrails and holding on grimly, although I’ll bet that the simulator never tipped much at all; it was more the jerkiness of it which was unsettling.
After that, the main thing which occupied our kids was the Wave Runner waterslide. Basically, they went down a watery chute on a sled, and then skipped along a water-filled halfpipe, until they came out at the end onto dry land. There was a possibility that you could remain dry throughout, but it was a remote possibility at that. Although I took a change of clothes, I didn’t go on it, but the girls were mad for it.
Which was handy, because TW & I were very interested in the bird display. We saw a Red Kite and several owls and the keepers at Knockhatch were very knowledgeable and engaging, explaining about their habitat and hunting practices.
And we even got to go on the boating lake (also included in the entry price), although I did keep steering into the bank. Practice makes perfect though; if we go back I shall definitely do that again.

All in all, it’s a lovely place with few pretensions and there is enough there to keep the family entertained all day. I didn’t even mention the indoor soft play area! In fact it was so good that TW took the kids there again the following week with a friend, while I was at work. I’d thoroughly recommend it for a day out, even if it does take a while to get there.

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