The Hop Farm is exactly what it says it is: its history as a hop farm dates back to the 1900’s.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
We had a wonderful time camping on the Hop Farm. We stayed for five days and found it a great base to explore some parts of Kent we are yet to discover (we’ve only been living here a year). The campsite itself was clean and well kept. It was also very quiet considering it was the first week of the school holidays.
The attractions on the farm were great and kept our little one entertained every day. We spent about three hours inside the park itself each day but it would equally fill a whole day if you visited for a day trip. Although the Hop Farm is very family friendly I’d say the ideal age is from two to around 10. Our three year old had plenty to do but I did see a few older children looking slightly bored with the fairground attractions on offer. The farm is also quite small and although you can come and go all day it doesn’t keep you busy for long.
The staff were fantastic; enthusiastic and very helpful whilst in the park. Our three year old was sad to leave and we will almost certainly be going back again. It was great value for money, clean and well kept.
The highlight for us was the friendly, helpful staff and the range of decent food on offer. The highlight for our three year old was the harnessed trampoline. I’ve never heard her shriek with delight quite so much!
All round a great experience.
Address: The Hop Farm, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6PY.
Playground: Big and very well kept. Smallish toddler area, but it kept my little one amused for 20 minutes or so. Plenty of larger slides and climbing frames for the older ones too. Though to be honest there is so much else there that the playground is probably the last thing the children want to try!
Cafe: There are lots of places to eat. The cheapest is probably Hoppers Diner. Burgers and chips are on offer here plus an indoor softplay area to keep the kids amused if it rains. There is also a bar/pub (Shires Inn) that serves decent pub grub and a brasserie that does lovely food all day. The pizza here was a big hit with my family. They also served delicious coffee and cake; something that my three year old is a huge fan of (the cake, not the coffee of course!). There are also lots of picnic areas if you want to bring your own food.
Toilets: Lots of accessible facilities. Clean and well kept. Baby changing facilities were also available.
Pram /wheelchair/ mobility friendly: Yes, all on one level so very accessible. The entrance is via a ramp but wide enough for all prams and wheelchairs to access. All attractions are very family friendly and inclusive.
Parking: We were camping on site so could simply walk over to the farm when it suited us. However, there was also a large car park (1,000 spaces) on site which always seemed to have enough spaces for the cars/ buses arriving. We were staying at the height of the summer season and it did get quite busy at times.
Nearest Station: Paddock Wood, then taxi or bus direct to The Hop Farm.
Train: Southeastern trains from London.
The farm sadly no longer grows hops, (a disappointment to my husband who was hoping to sample some of the local brew during our stay; there is a small museum on site that explains it’s history). It is now a large family attraction. You can enter the park itself for free and then pay as you play (via tokens which are readily available from kiosks around the park) for each of the attractions. Some of the favourites for us were the giant jumping pillows, car track, trampolines, boats, tea cups and mini roundabout. There were also a few for slightly older kids, the climbing wall and pugil sticks seemed very popular. Each of the fairground attractions costs between one – five tokens. You can bulk buy 20 tokens for £15.
There is also a small petting farm on site (adults £4 and children £2). Our three year old loved this as she got to touch and see all of the animals close up. Along with the normal farm animals: sheep, cows, goats, etc., there were a few more ‘exotic’ animals. The birds of prey were a particular favourite. We also enjoyed the short horse and cart ride through the fields, though the highlight here was that we could spot our tent on the camp site.
Review by: Lynsey Garwood.