The 'thrilling' Hasty's Adventure Farm in Clacton named the 'best small attraction' in East of England

The alpacas at Hasty's Adventure Farm
-Credit: (Image: EssexLive)

A "fantastic" Essex adventure farm which allows children to meet adorable animals and enjoy other "thrilling" activities has been named one of the best attractions in the East of England. Hasty's Adventure Farm in Clacton has won the Tourism Awards' "Best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year" for 2024.

The adventure farm sits on top of former farmland near the coastal town in north Essex and is the brainchild of the children of said farm. The creators wanted to see the land become an "asset" to the area, and it has now been recognised at the awards for the East of England.

Jumping from 2015 when the park was first built to now, the park is flourishing with families flocking to enjoy its many delights, including mini tractors, sledges and adorable farm animals.

Read more: New rule set to arrive in five major Essex hospitals following the death of 13-year-old girl

Read more: Essex baby born with rare birth condition left unable to breathe and swallow

The park said they were "super proud" of the recognition by the Tourism Awards. In their verdict, the judges said: "Hasty's Adventure Farm is a fantastic place to spend a family day out. Set amidst the rural Essex landscape the farm offers a myriad of interactive experiences, from animal encounters to thrilling activities such as pedal go-karts and grass sledges, with many weather protected.

"The well-maintained facilities and diverse attractions cater to children of all ages. Particularly impressive is the huge undercover wooden adventure zone. The friendly staff's dedication to creating a welcoming, relaxed and friendly environment added a special touch to an experience that I would have no hesitation in recommending."

On their website, Hasty's shares how the whole area came into fruition. They said: "Hasty’s Adventure Farm got it name from the field it is now on. Farmers name all their fields, and Hasty’s used to be farmland. The development idea of Hasty’s came from the family, who at the time had young, adventurous children wanting to play in the great outdoors.

"They felt that Hasty’s would be a great asset to Clacton, being able to share great play areas for children to get outdoors and have contact with farm animals up close and learn where their food comes from. In the spring of 2015, we grassed the field for animal paddocks and started designing our outdoor adventure play area. Timberplay designed a unique wooden play area for us.

I visited Hastys Adventure Farm
Hasty's Adventure Farm has plenty of animals to feed -Credit:EssexLive

"Due to Hasty’s being farmland, we have no shelters or buildings on site. Therefore, we have the wooden play area under the cover of the roundhouse. This creates a great shelter from the rain and sun for the children to enjoy. Open in the October half term 2015 for 2 weeks, with a few animals, sheep, pigs, and chickens, pedal tractor area. We also built a hill for the grass sledges. Go-kart track and a sandpit."

In 2016, Hasty's built a toilet block, entrance shop, and tyre mound and began plans to build their animal barn. Goats were introduced and an area was made for calves, with the venue being open for its first full season from March to October, including activity trails and their first school visits.

In the winter months of 2017 Hasty's animal barn was built and they brought in chicks, lambs, new goats and pigs. A toddler area was built next to the adventure play area, with a large climbing log, giant logo blocks and a swing were also installed.

The following year, a mudslide was built and the animals were given their own large, outdoor pen, with a go-karting course following in 2019.

Hasty's managed to weather the storm of the Covid pandemic by opening slightly later in the year with additional outdoor activities and further animals such as alpacas and Golden Guernsey Goats.