Newest Review: ... there is a lot there...at the same time there isn't a lot there, if you see what I mean. Most of the attractions are quite small and don... more
Wouldn't it be better to do one thing well, than lots badly?
The Hop Farm Family Park (Kent)
Member Name: tongueoftruth
The Hop Farm Family Park (Kent)
Date: 24/08/10, updated on 20/03/12 (244 review reads)
Advantages: Nice play areas and farm petting area, albeit small
Disadvantages: Very expensive for what's there, parts looking shabby
A local family attraction in Kent, this farm park with attitude not only opens up to family visitors every day, it also holds special events including its own music festival in the summer!
Located in Paddock Wood, Kent, it took us about 30 minutes to drive there from the M25, and there is lots of free parking. Apparently the number 6 bus stops at the gates as well.
Open 10am - 5pm February till December
These are the on the gate prices but there are discounts for booking online before you go
Child (3-14) £12.50
Family 2+2 £46.50
Family 2+3 £59.00
It looks all quite full and exciting from their map, and while there is a lot there...at the same time there isn't a lot there, if you see what I mean. Most of the attractions are quite small and don't take a lot of time. Don't go expecting a big theme park type set up.
There is a Shire Horse Centre, a petting farm, indoor and outdoor play areas including giant jumping pillows, hop museum, maze and waxwork display, among other things. Lots of open areas for kids to run around in. There is a tea room and a pub/restaurant on site.
What did we think?
Much of it a bit tatty and seen better days I'm afraid, especially the display and museum areas, which were all a bit 'Blue Peter' in presentation and quality.
The outdoor and play areas were a lot better. I really liked the 'jumping pillows', which are like giant inflatable bouncy castles but the floors only, with soft areas all round. The kids loved boinging along those.
The Petting farm was ok, the animals all looked well cared for, and you could get 'hands-on' with goats, ponies, rabbits and so on, but it was quite small.
The Shire Horse centre was a huge disappointment for me. If you just want to go and pat a horse, ok, (and they do offer wagon rides) but I'm a bit of a working horse buff and was expecting something a lot bigger to justify the name 'Centre'. I was thinking a lot more horses, worked and bred and shown perhaps, along with demos and lots of equipment to see. That the 'centre' was nothing but two Shire horses standing in stables didn't quite fulfill my expectations here...
There are other attractions there that you can pay for (high level climbing area for example) but we didn't really look at those.
We had a snack and cup of tea, which were adequate, nice enough but not anything special.
I wouldn't say it's worth the entry fee. Very expensive for a family just to pat a few animals, have a play area, and look at some crumbling museum displays.
You are better off going to a proper farm park....this place seems to be trying to be a lot of different things, and not quite pulling any of them off properly. Having said that, it's somewhere to keep smaller children quite well entertained for a couple of hours, but is that good value for money?
Summary: Trying to be a lot of things...and not pulling any of them off
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