‘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!
Serving up the great outdoors in Hatton

Serving up the great outdoors in Hatton

THE owner of Hatton Estate has hailed the great outdoors and the Chancellor’s latest business support measures as a big step forward in the fight against ‘widespread carnage of the hospitality sector.’

Johnnie Arkwright, who runs Hatton Arms and Hatton Country World in Warwick, has welcomed the tax cut and meal voucher scheme as a saviour for many pubs, restaurants and cafes which continue to see a reduced footfall in visitors.

 

Hatton Arms, Hatton Country World, Hatton Shopping Village, garden bar, terrace dining, Johnnie Arkwright, Warwick
There’s a huge amount of space for a fresco dining at The Hatton Arms.

The Eat Out to Help Out registration service went live this morning on GOV.UK, allowing businesses to join the scheme, announced last week by Rishi Sunak.

Restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments who use the scheme will offer a 50 per cent reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to all diners who eat and/or drink-in throughout August.

Now, summer sunshine could hold the key to a return to business as usual with the completion of the Hatton Arms’ outdoor Terrace Dining and new Garden Bar and barbecue.

Hatton Arms, Hatton Country World, Hatton Shopping Village, garden bar, terrace dining, Johnnie Arkwright, Warwick
The new Garden Bar

Johnnie said: “The Government do appear to realise that with a population that has become used to dining at home and is nervous of confined spaces when going out coupled with the reduction of capacity levels because of the need to socially distance, the avoidance of widespread carnage in a hospitality sector that provides three million jobs is a big challenge.”

The popular country pub, which was forced to close its doors in March just one month after a refurbishment, is now inviting diners to make the most of one of the best views in Warwickshire – from its own back garden.

Johnnie said: “The countryside has to be the answer for leading us out of lockdown. At Hatton Arms, Hatton Adventure World and Hatton Shopping Village we are lucky enough to have loads of fresh air and bags of space. And that’s what all of us cooped up at home for months are looking for.

“At Hatton Arms we are lucky enough to have a large outside terrace and massive gardens overlooking Hatton Locks. Both, unsurprisingly, are proving really popular with their iconic views down the famous Hatton Locks, the longest flight of locks on the Grand Union Canal.

“The Government’s new voucher scheme is a really good initiative that Hatton Arms and Hatton Country World will certainly be signing up to, including the new café, Alfie’s, in the shopping village courtyard.

“And the reduction in VAT will help operators like us contend with the extra costs of introducing measures in line with Government Guidelines to maximise the safety of their guests and staff which is of course our top priority.”

Although weather dependent, outdoor seating is available on a first come, first served basis, between 5-8pm on Friday and Saturday and 12-8pm on Sunday. The barbecue will be serving between 5-8pm on Friday nights, 1-8pm on Saturdays and 12-5pm on Sundays. The popular takeaway service, introduced in lockdown, will also be continued and is available 1-8pm Monday to Saturday and 12.30-4.30pm on Sundays. Breakfast baps are also available from the garden bar from 9am-11am on Saturday and Sunday.

Hatton Arms, Hatton Country World, Hatton Shopping Village, garden bar, terrace dining, Johnnie Arkwright, Warwick
The now complete terrace dining area

For those who prefer to eat inside the restaurant, the team have also been working hard to make the space COVID-Secure, including sanitisation points, social distancing markers, a one-way system and track and trace measures.

Health experts say evidence shows coronavirus spreads much less readily outdoors because of the ventilation factor, which, according to Johnnie Arkwright is already enticing visitors back to both Hatton Adventure World and Shopping Village.

 

The Victorian farm buildings here house 20 independent shops including a garden centre and farm shop created by TV presenter Lottie Newitt, two jewellers, antiques and furniture barns, gifts and home accessories, electric bike shop, gin distillery and cafe – as well as a Hole in the Wall that serves pints and traditional ales alongside tasty hot snacks.

Johnnie said: “We’re all feeling for the small independent shops that had to close in March and, on re-opening recently, remain fearful for their livelihoods.

“But the pandemic has revived a real sense of community, that desire to help those who have been hit the hardest. And we can help by giving these small businesses our custom.

“What can be safer than all that fresh air and space to socially distance in the rolling Warwickshire countryside.”

Visit: www.hattonarms.com and https://adventure.hattonworld.com