Hatton Country World in Warwickshire was the next stop on our 50 Counties Challenge. I did start writing a traditional review post, but there were so many activities, so many things to do big and small, and so many things we enjoyed that it made sense to do a list instead, so without further ado, this is our list of 20 things we loved about Hatton Park:
1. Getting there was easy, it was well sign-posted and my Apple maps sat nav actually got me to the front door (but of course they don’t have a door as such, being an adventure park but you know what I mean). If you read my recent post about Abbotsbury Swannery you will know that this is pretty rare, getting lost is usually part of any good British day out.
2. Slides, slides and more slides. When I saw the picture of the slides Hatton have in their indoor play structure, I practically ran inside, grabbed my 3 year old and plopped him on my lap. He definitely “needed” mummy to go on the slides with him, and I was completely self-less, of course. They were a lot of fun! Note: your child will need to be fully clothed to go on the slides to prevent friction burns, so don’t forget to pack socks, and long sleeved tops and trousers or leggings. They will not be allowed on the near vertical slide with uncovered legs and arms. Though they do have cardigans, leggings and socks that you can rent, which is a nice touch, and prevents upset children, the kind lady even went off and brought them back to our table – good service. They also had a fun outdoor twisty slide.
3. Sheep racing – this was the one thing I was most looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. The sheep are so cute, they have teddy bear sheep strapped to their backs – Nate totally loved that because his favourite bedtime comfort toy is ewan the sheep. It was very exciting and Nate got thoroughly into it.
4. Bouncy castles – I was amazed by how many different types of bouncy castles they had, for different ages. They had a standard bouncy castle, then they had one aimed at older children with a climbing pyramid in the middle. I have to say I felt nervous watching my 3 year old climb up that, but was also quietly proud. Finally they had a bouncy castle slide, I think Nate enjoyed this one most of all.
5. Trampolines – again they had several trampolines dotted around the park, and they given age restrictions, which I think is good so that younger children don’t get trampled on and older children get to jump freely without reprisals.
6. Guinea Pig Village – oh my this was so cute. There was a village of houses and even a canal and lock where hundreds of guinea pigs lived, it was so sweet, and such a clever idea.
7. Reptile house – it had an array of spiders, snakes, lizards, turtles and they even had allotted times where children could interact, hold and stroke some of the reptiles.
8. JCB zone – I have actually encountered quite a few similar ‘digger zones’ at various places and have to say this is the best I have seen. They are usually very unloved areas, which broken diggers and no children. This one was very busy, had tunnels, ramps and a petrol station. If only my three year old could pedal, we definitely need to work on that.
9. Falconry – I personally loved see all the birds, falcons, hawks and the owls, there were a multitude of different owls with funny faces. I found them quite mesmerising. Nate did not like the ones that were out of their cages. Unfortunately we had just missed the falconry show.
10. Park – there were several pieces of play equipment dotted around, from slides, swings and roundabouts, to this rather whimsical pretend cow that you could milk.
11. Sandpits (including one with diggers) – we had a little respite as Nate played in the big sandpit for about 20 minutes, and even made “new friends” which two girls around his age. The sandpits had buckets, spades and other paraphernalia to play with, and there was a sandpit with diggers in.
12. Tractor rides – the tractor rides were approximately every 30 minutes, and would have been fun, but there was simply too much to fit in, which is a lovely problem to have. They also had donkey rides, but since they cost extra, I am not listing it as one of the things I loved.
13. Selection of food – as I said before we go on days out very regularly and Hatton had, probably the best selection of food, especially for children, that I think I have ever seen at similar venues. The main food area is in with the soft play, which is perfect when you have an antsy toddler or 3 year old who takes two bites then wants to go and play, at least you can eat your lunch whilst watching them play, I loved that. Going back to the food, they had these little pots which are simply perfect for fussy toddlers, it had chunks of cheese, fruit, sausages etc each in a little pot, a wonderful selection. The cakes were amazing too, and delicious, the only downside was the price of the cakes were a bit expensive.
14. Condiments! – I am aware this is a strange thing to love, but really look at this selection of free condiments, in a world where your local KFC now charges you 10p a satchet of sauce, it is so nice to have not just sauces but milk and butter and all the little extras that you are normally charged for, included. It was a nice touch.
15. Shops – they actually have a whole shopping village, full of little boutiques that I love to wander around dreamily. Whilst my boys queued up for icecream, which incidentally took way too long (30 minutes!) and is something Hatton could look at (the icecream stand near to the peacocks). I was actually able to do a spot of shopping, I found a birthday present, and treated hubby and me to some special belgian chocolates, and little man chose something too.
16. Covered seating areas – living in Britain and our random weather patterns, it is great to have these covered seating areas, individual family booths they were, which, because it was so intensely hot that day, we really needed for some respite from the sun, perfect for random showers too.
17. Panning for gold – Nate loved this as he is a big fan of water play, and he would have stayed there longer and got himself completely soaked, if we didn’t want to take part in the pirates treasure hunt. Alas we are none the richer, but it was fun.
18. Llamas (and other farm animals) – it’s not completely commonplace to see Llama’s though I definitely see them more than when I was growing up. They are funny looking and when they have their big hair, they kind of remind me of surfer dudes! These ones were shaved though, but still cute.
19. 1 day old piglets – I know I mentioned the farm animals already but the one day old piglets were so darn cute, they kinda needed their own number.
20. Soft (indoor) play – I already mentioned the slides but the indoor play area was more than just amazing slides. They had three sections, one for everyone (that included the slides), one for 4 and under and then a baby sensory zone. I do love it when they have special zones for younger children and babies, because older children do not always realise how rough they play. The younger areas were closer to the food, meaning parents could keep a special eye on the toddlers.
21. Laser combat – my little one was not old enough, as it is for 6 years and upwards, however, it looked a lot of fun, and we will definitely going back in a few years so that he can try this.
22. Beautiful scenery – Hatton is in the middle of a large farm so it is naturally beautiful, not cultivated or manicured just English countryside at its best.
*This is a sponsored post, we were given free tickets in return for an honest review, all views are honest and are my own.