Hasty’s Adventure Farm in Clacton-On-Sea won the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year award at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.

Having first opened in 2015, Hasty’s has grown from strength to strength, adding new attractions such as play areas, go-karts, animal paddocks and barns.

Owner Penny Smith called it a “fantastic place to spend a family day out”.

“The farm offers a myriad of interactive experiences, from animal encounters to thrilling activities such as pedal go-karts and grass sledges,” she said.

Catherine Parker, manager at Hasty’s, added: “Our strength and aim is to have everyone in the family/friendship group participating in our activities together, making the day one of shared memories and laughter.

“We like to see all ages enjoying our experiences and engaging together, having fun and exploring the outdoor environment.”

Since 2015, Hasty’s has continuously improved the attraction each year.

“The whole site is a safe but open space where everyone can enjoy their day at their own speed, focusing on the areas that make them the happiest,” said Penny.

Eastern Daily Press: Penny Smith (centre) and Catherine Parker (right) at the awards with ambassador judge Judith ThompsonPenny Smith (centre) and Catherine Parker (right) at the awards with ambassador judge Judith Thompson (Image: Matthew Potter Photography and Videographer)

One of the highlights is Hasty’s range of animals, which can be found in the barn and the animal contact zone, where guests can get up close and feed alpacas, goats, pigs and sheep.

“Our animals are educational, where families learn, touch, smell and see many different traditional farm animals in a natural environment,” said Penny.

Hasty’s also has plenty of space for play, with attractions ranging from a wooden adventure play area called the roundhouse, as well as a tractor park and soft play. Catherine said this “encourages imaginative, explorative and engaging encounters” for younger guests.

The staff’s dedication to creating a welcoming, relaxed and friendly environment means many customers recommend Hasty’s, showcasing why the attraction was recognised at the East of England Tourism Awards.

“The award has given us the confidence to push our attraction to a far bigger audience,” said Penny. “We knew our attraction was good, our reviews tell us, but to have this celebrated by external judges, who go out and see all the other fantastic attractions, makes us want to share it out far and wide.”

Winning the award has not only given the attraction a boost, but also the team as well.

Catherine said: “The award has given the team confidence and rewarded them for the great job they do.

“Our team offers great customer service, they are always happy to help everyone, this has been shown in the judges’ comments.”

With the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year award under its belt, as well as the National Farm Attractions Network’s Small Farm Park of the Year 2023, Hasty’s looks to broaden its offerings and continue creating activities for all the family.

“Our future aims are to continue creating fantastic innovative play environments that involve all our groups,” said Penny, “and to encourage more interactive experiences with the animals so people can get more involved in the care and fun with them”.

For more information, visit hastys.co.uk