Hobbledown Heath Epsom review: What to know before you go…

Hobbledown Heath Review

by Laura Riddell |
Updated on
Hobbledown Heath Review

In summary

Climb through tunnels and whizz down the slides of giant wooden play structures that look like something from a fairytale, enjoy messy play and get soaked in the outdoor wet play area, enjoy sensory play, chase each other round the huge indoor soft play, bounce on the jumping pillows, visit the farm and zoo animals, step inside the lemur enclosure, and meet Hobbledown's real-life characters. This is a place where imaginations can run wild, and where fun feels less commercialised that other days out attractions. There are two Hobbledown Heaths, one in Hounslow, West London, and one in Epsom, Surrey. We visited the one in Epsom.

Hobbledown heath review

When do we visit

I visited on a bank holiday Friday during the Easter break, with my husband and two sons, Odhran, aged 8, and Reuben, aged 5. Its was raining in the morning but turned into a beautiful warm day, with blue skies, which was a relief as most of what there is to enjoy here is outdoors. It is best to visit during the warmer months when the weather is more reliable. But if rain affects more than an hour of your visit, Hobbledown will issue you a 50 per cent return admission voucher that is valid for rebooking within one month. The bit of rainy we had didn't interfere with our enjoyment of the day in the slightest.

Hobbledown Heath Review

What is there to see and do?

There is so much to see and do at Hobbledown. It's an adventure park, farm and small zoo combined. We visited during the Easter school holidays when there were additional activities on offer, such as a Golden Egg Hunt, Spring Story Time, and archery (rubber ended bow, suitable for all ages). There was so much to see that we didn't have time to visit a lot of the animals.

Hobbledown Heath Review

Outdoor Water Play

The outdoor water play area is directly in front of you as you enter. So, most kids will make a beeline to the water pumps, pipes, funnels and tipping jugs. We found some of the tipping jugs weren't working properly but that didn't stop the boys enjoying themselves. I was grateful for the advice of a friend who previously visited Hobbledown and told me to pack a towel and dry clothes as my youngest was soaked from head to toe within minutes. It got the day off to a fun-filled start. Luckily, you're allowed to exit and re-enter so my husband could take the heavy bag of sopping wet clothes out to the car, instead of having to carry them around all day. Next to the outdoor water play area is a giant wooden structure where the boys quickly made friends with other kids and they all enjoyed chasing each other around, climbing and playing hide and seek. I joined in for a game myself and found it fun with lots of areas to duck and dive and hide behind. The Easter Bunny was roaming around with enchanted characters creating huge bubbles. But my boys couldn't be torn away from the wooden play structure.

Hobbledown Heath Review

The Imaginarium

This is a wonderful addition to Hobbledown as it offers a bit of respite should it rain. We headed into The Imaginarium when it started to drizzle. There's a large water table area, where little ones can enjoy water play without getting soaked. There are little boats and water shooters you can aim at wheels to make them turn, alongside kinetic sand tables. Then there's an area that's a couple of levels high, with tunnels and rope nets for climbing. It's also part reptile house. As they're climbing and crawling around, children can discover creatures in glass enclosures, including a tarantula and poison dart frogs. They're being encourage to creep and crawl alongside the creepy-crawlies, and it's a wonderful idea.

Hobbledown Heath Review

The Indoor Playbarn

The rainy morning meant the indoor playbarn was busy. But considering it was during the Easter holidays, it wasn't heaving, and it didn't take long before we found a table to sit at, while the boys chased each other round the soft play. The soft play was huge, with lots of slides, tunnels and trampolines. There was also a gated toddler area for under 3s, with its own mini play-frame, sensory lights and mirrors. The boys spent about 45mins in the indoor playbarn, and would have spent longer only they were keen to go explore Fern's Castle.

Hobbledown Heath Review

Fern's Castle

The sun was out by the time we ventured down to Fern's Castle. This fairytale castle is an impressive structure, where kids can have endless fun. Made of metal and wood, it has tunnels, towers and slides to explore.

The Thinkery

There was story time and a move and groove session with characters at The Thinkery during our visit, but my boys deemed these activities too babyish for them. This is probably more suitable to under 5s and certainly something my boys would have really enjoyed when they were a bit younger. The toddlers there seemed to be having a great time engaging with the characters and dancing along.


This is an area of Hobbledown we'll need to revisit to fully explore. Hobbledown Epsom is home to a variety of animals including: armadillo, ring-tailed lemur, camel, meerkat, wallaby, prairie dog, otters, mara, pygmy goat, alpaca, capybara, giant rabbits, sheep and pigs. There were a couple of times during the day when we could go inside the Lemur enclosure. We waited for the last slot in the afternoon but by then it was a little windy and the lemurs refused to come out and play. So, if you want to enjoy this part of your visit, it might be best to attend the earlier slot to give yourself a second chance to visit in the afternoon if the lemurs aren't playing ball. You can pay extra for experience days, whether it's feeding the meerkats or a full zookeeper experience. We saw a few animals while making our way around Hobbledown, including the tortoise. But some enclosures were closed during our visit. You can purchase food to feed the farm animals.

Birds of Prey

A range of bird of prey rest in their aviaries and throughout the summer there are daily flying displays on peak days (weekends and school holidays).


You'll find different characters roaming around Hobbledown on different dates. These include Fern the fairy, Professor Topperpot, Sludgebucket, the colourful Flower Ranger, and the mischievous Skibblers. The characters help to add to the sense of fairytale magic at Hobbledown.

Hobbledown Heath Review

Play areas

There's a giant bouncy pillow and water pillow, which the boys loved, as these activities are always a hit with kids. There was a big outdoor messy play area, where Odhran seemed completely lost in his own imagination. Reuben loved the wooden dragon sleigh and the wicker basket swing.

Hobbledown Heath Review


Hobbledown run extra special events during occasions such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas. We visited during the Easter school holidays and extra activities included in the cost were a Golden Egg Scavenger Hunt, which the boys really enjoyed. They collected a treat on the way out, after finding eggs hidden all around Hobbledown. We enjoyed taking pictures at the Easter Bunny meet and greet. There was also a build your own bunny workshop, to stuff your own cuddle toy, and a bunny brunch, both of which guests could play extra to enjoy. During our visit there was archery. This is available on peak days. So, weekends and school holidays. Archery is usually an additional extra on days out, so we were pleasantly surprised to find this covered in the admission cost at Hobbledown.

Hobbledown Heath Review

High Ropes

These were closed during our visit due to essential maintenance work. But this activity needs to be booked at an additional cost of £5 per session. The minimum height requirement is 1.3m. So, my five-year-old would have been too little to take part. Besides, there was so much to do during our first visit to Hobbledown that I think we'd have struggled to fit in the high ropes too. But this 70-metre-long sky trail, which stretches about the bouncy pillows and fairy castles, might be something to consider if you've got older kids to entertain. Or if the adults want to have a bit of fun! The high ropes tend to only be open during select times over the summer months.

Hobbledown Heath Review

What about food and drink?

There is a really good range of food options. The main restaurant is the Hobnosh bar, which is beside the softplay area. Here you'll find everything from all day breakfast, noodles, katsu curry, chicken nuggets, fish goujons, jacket potato, and kids meals from £4.95 for a hot meal to £5.95 for lunch box including ham and cheese roll, drink and fruit, and the choice of two snacks. There's also the Pizza Cottage, a shack next to an outdoor seating area with a large overhead canopy. We had lunch here and shared a good-sized and reasonably priced handmade Margarita and Pepperoni pizza, at a cost of £22. The boys also each had two marshmallows for toasting, at a pricey (but similar to what we've seen elsewhere) cost of just over £5. They enjoyed toasting these over the open pit. The boys also had a slushie each, which is something that's hard to avoid when you're on a day out with kids. There's lots of seating, both inside next to the soft play and outdoors (lots of which has overhead covering), and lots of families had brought a packed lunch. So if you're looking to save, bring a picnic.

Hobbledown Heath Review

How long does it take to go around Hobbledown Heath?

We arrived at 10.30am and left at 3.30pm. But even in five hours we didn't manage to fit everything in. Apparently there's a maze, teepee and zorbs (included in admission cost, but running on select peak days only. You can check opening times and book your session on the Hobbledown app). But we're happy to have more to discover on our next visit.

What age is it most suitable for?

Hobbledown is best suited for children aged 2-13.

How much does it cost?

Timeslot tickets start from £15 per person and anytime tickets from £17 per person. Under 2s go free. There are also Afternoon Saver tickets for guests arriving after 3.30pm, which start from £11 per person. And Toddler Days on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, offer great value entry at £13 for one parent and one pre-schooler. But these Toddler Day tickets aren't available during peak periods, such as during school holidays. Generally speaking, we searched and found that if you're looking to visit on a weekend during the summer, you're likely to pay around £84 for a family of four.

Tips for visiting Hobbledown Heath Epsom

  • Pack wellies, puddle suits or a spare clothes and a towel for children.

  • Take the kids in clothes that you don't mind getting a bit scruffy

  • As you enter, there's a board detailing what time events, such as storytelling, are taking place. Be sure to check this first and take a picture on your phone so you can check back on timings and make sure you don't miss out on anything during your visit

  • There are lots of seating areas both indoors and outside so bring a packed lunch if you're looking to save money

  • If you're booked to go on the high ropes, you must be wearing completely enclosed shoes - no sandals or crocs. And long hair must be tied back

  • Remember farm animals that look healthy can carry infections that are harmful to people such as E.Coli. So take care to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after contact with animals and animal enclosures, before eating and after removing muddy boots.

  • Download the Hobbledown app to book activities during your visit, access a digital site map, and order food direct to your table

Hobbledown Heath Review

Take a Break's verdict

This is a 5/5 attraction for us. I overheard one mum tell her child 'I like this place because it doesn't feel to commercialised' and I agree. It's relaxed and wholesome fun. We were impressed by the long opening hours, giving plenty of time to enjoy the day at a leisurely pace. Hobbledown is open 9.30am to 5.30pm Mon-Fri, and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. There was no getting up at the crack of dawn and rushing to get there as soon as it opened to try and squeeze everything in. Considering the variety of activities on offer, the long opening hours, free parking, and overall fun and length of time spent there, we think this is a great value day out, and we'll certainly be returning.

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