‘A jewel in the crown of family entertainment’ (review)

‘A jewel in the crown of family entertainment’ (review)

 

Hatton Adventure World, Warwick

Hatton Adventure World

WITH the school holidays now in full swing finding the perfect day out for the whole family can be a tricky business.

It’s a problem many parents know only too well, particularly if, like me, you have two daughters with an age gap – and differing opinions on how they want to spend their time!

Step forward Hatton Adventure World, a jewel in the crown of family entertainment, which has once again come up trumps with an impressive programme of summer fun guaranteed to keep children of all ages occupied for hours.

Located in the countryside just outside the stunning town of Warwick, which incidentally is worth a visit in its own right if you’re passing through, Hatton Adventure World offers a warm welcome right from the start.

There’s plenty of parking, much of it on level hard-standing, making it a breeze if you’re navigating the park with a pushchair or wheelchair.

After a short walk through the very pretty shopping area – more of which later – you’re through to the admissions area and into the main park.

Family fun really doesn’t get much better particularly in these Covid times. Aavailable to enjoy in the fresh air are rides, games, a playground, obstacle course, tractor safari, pony rides, sheep racing, sandpits, JCB track, Goldrush panning, falconry centre and farmyard where you can get up close to all sorts of animals, including goats and sheep, pigs – and even reptiles and all manner of exotic creatures in the Scales and Tails exhibit.

While there’s a glorious sense of nostalgia about it all, bringing back memories of summers past, Hatton Adventure World has also invested heavily in more modern-day pursuits, with a four-acre Laser Combat Field being just one of the attractions that older visitors can enjoy. (A free game of Laser Combat is included in the admission price for all children aged 8-14 throughout the school holidays.)

By far one of the biggest highlights of our visit was the brand new ‘roarsome’ Dinosaurs Alive! attraction, which runs at the park throughout the school holidays, until September 5th. My daughters loved the live show which saw performers introduce a number of amazing dinosaurs to the crowd. Educational and fun at the same time!

There were also plenty of giggles to be had courtesy of ventriloquist Shane West (alias Zooby!) who performed in the Family Theatre tent. My youngest absolutely loved the show and was keen to get involved at every opportunity. I’m pretty sure she would have joined him on stage had she been given the chance! There is an ever-changing programme of shows on in the tent throughout the holidays.

Hatton Adventure Park, Warwick

Hatton Adventure World offers plenty of space for a picnic, but if you’re in the mood for a tasty treat the park’s restaurant is one of three indoor dining options. There’s plenty of choice and the main restaurant is light and airy with lots of space between tables. What’s more, if your little ones have spare energy to burn after lunch then there’s also a well-equipped soft play centre just next door in the form of Snorty’s Superslide Mania. This is also a handy retreat should the weather turn inclement. (Booking required)

Before you go, a visit to the neighbouring Hatton Shopping Village is an absolute must. You’ll find everything from jewellery to fashion, antiques and a quaint little sweet shop, all tucked away in a pretty courtyard. And yes, you did spot a gin distillery. You can even book in to make your own gin here at one of their workshops!

Hatton Adventure World, Warwick

With restrictions now lifted, here has never been a better time to rediscover Hatton Adventure World and all it has to offer, including camping and even events such as outdoor movie nights and extra seasonal offerings. (Look out for the Pick Your Own Potatoes and Sweetcorn next month and Pick Your Own Pumpkins in October!)

And for those seeking adventure of a different kind, did you know there’s even some Escape Rooms? Check out earlier reviews of these here: The Outfitters and Mutiny

For more information, or to book tickets, click here

By Clare Brennan

Hatton Adventure Wold
There’s no shortage of outlets to pick up a refreshment – and memento of your day!
Escape room fun – Hatton have it cracked!

Escape room fun – Hatton have it cracked!

WE all feel like escaping reality sometimes (particularly in the current climate!)

Even for those who have thus far evaded the escape rooms phenomenon, there’s no denying they have grown massively in popularity over recent years and it’s a concept we’re now all familiar with.

For my family, it is not so new however. We’re seasoned ‘escapees’ now having succeeded – and failed – in a wide variety of themed rooms over recent years.

So it was with a sense of cautious optimism that we signed up for Mutiny, one of the new Tulleys escape rooms which recently opened around the corner from us at Hatton Adventure World in Warwick.

Hatton Escape Rooms, Mutiny, Tulleys
We made it out – just – in time!

As the name would suggest, the game adopts a pirate theme and after a short introduction and scene setter, we were ‘locked’ in and left to our own devices – and wits – to make it out again in under an hour.

It’s daunting how quickly those seconds tick down and you realise there’s no time for a casual approach to the game. We are straight in identifying the clues and cracking those all-important codes, leaving no stone unturned. Or so we thought. . .

It was slow progress at first as we tried to make sense of the maps on the wall, a jigsaw of symbols and various other puzzles and codes. And it’s difficult to measure success because you don’t know how many rooms await, each with its own new set of challenges and puzzles.

Avoiding spoilers, I’ll leave it at that – but let’s just say – Mutiny throws plenty at you!

The theming is among one of the better escape rooms I’ve encountered and difficulty level was about right for our family of four (youngest 14) – although having been informed it is the easier of Hatton’s two rooms, I do worry for our next visit as we only made it out with literally seconds to spare! And you really do feel the pressure.

Clues are available on request (parrot fashion!) and don’t be too proud to use them sometimes when, as we did, you hit a mental block on certain puzzles. But you’re in control of the game so can ask for as much or as little help as you need.

Exhilarating and frustrating in equal measure, successfully completing this quest requires top teamworking and communication skills as well as lateral thinking in abundance.

And it’s teamwork that really is at the heart of a successful escape. As those minutes disappear and the pressure mounts, it’s important to play to each other’s strengths. Divide and conquer but also work together when required for the best chance of results – or you’ll definitely have mutiny on your hands.

Mutiny is one of the best fun escape room experiences we’ve enjoyed as a family – (there’s even hidden bones and a firing cannon and physical challenges!) and, in what is fast becoming a crowded market, would highly recommend it.

They offer vouchers too so a nice idea for a Christmas present for that impossible to buy for person. Details here.

Not-so-fast food for special delivery

Not-so-fast food for special delivery

SCHOOLCHILDREN tucked into a hearty full English breakfast at Hatton Adventure World in Warwick alongside a special guest.

Hatton Adventure World
Pupils tuck into breakfast at Hatton Adventure World

Some 27 six- and seven-year-old pupils were collected from Ferncumbe Church of England School in Hatton on Monday and transported by tractor and open-top trailer to the farm park attraction, where they learnt about the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast, while enjoying locally sourced bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, baked beans and wholemeal toast. 

Breakfast was served by local farmers and members of the Warwickshire branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).  And the children were joined by Matt Western, MP for Leamington and Warwick, who also met with local farmers.

Matt Western, MP for Leamington & Warwick said, “I enjoyed meeting the children and eating breakfast with them after a very productive meeting with local farmers to discuss the big issues in our community”.

Chris Mann, NFU Branch Chairman, Central Warwickshire said “The NFU are pleased to encourage children to eat a good hearty breakfast. Going to school having eaten a nutritious breakfast gives children many health benefits and helps them perform well in the classroom”.

Kerri Grubb, a teacher from Ferncumbe School, said: “It’s great to have Hatton Adventure World on our doorstep and for children to visit the Farmyard so they can appreciate the link between the animals they feed and the healthy food they eat”.

After breakfast the children were accompanied around the Farmyard to feed and pet the animals.

Hatton Adventure World is open every day throughout the year (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day) from 10am to 5.30pm. For more information please visit the website at www.hattonworld.com/adventure-world