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Home Tourist Attraction Essex farm named Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at Tourism Awards

Essex farm named Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at Tourism Awards

by Staff

Hasty’s Adventure Farm won the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year award. Left to right: Judith Thompson (ambassador judge), Penny Smith and Catherine Parker (Image: Matthew Potter Photographer and Videographer)

Hasty’s Adventure Farm in Clacton-on-Sea, a popular attraction on the Essex Sunshine Coast, has been named Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024.

The farm, which opened in 2016, has acres of fun for families to enjoy. 
Hasty’s animal barn and contact zone allow families the chance to get up close to, meet and feed the friendly farm animals.

There’s plenty of space for children to play, including in the innovative undercover wooden adventure zone, which sits under the largest canopy in the East of England.

This year, the popular attraction has started to offer seasonal passes, offering unlimited access to Hasty’s for the 2024 season, including weekends and school holidays.

Hasty’s is an established destination for educational trips, regularly welcoming school groups as well as visitors from care homes. It also hosts birthday parties.

The farm prides itself on its customer service, which is evident from its numerous positive online reviews.

Hasty’s won the National Farm Attractions Network’s Small Farm Park of the Year 2023 and has received the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award for the last three years.

The judges said that Hasty’s is “a fantastic place to spend a family day out” with “a myriad of interactive experiences, from animal encounters to thrilling activities such as pedal go karts and grass sledges”.

They were particularly impressed by the huge undercover wooden adventure zone.

The judges also added that “the staff’s dedication to creating a welcoming, relaxed and friendly environment added a special touch” to their experience that they would have no hesitation in recommending.

Reacting to the award, Catherine Parker, manager of Hasty’s Adventure Farm, said: “It feels amazing – it’s a very big surprise and achievement for us.

“We have a small team, they’re amazing, and without them we couldn’t do it, so we are very pleased for them as well as us.”

Hasty’s is now preparing for the new season, with lots planned ahead of the park reopening at Easter.

“We have new play equipment coming in, we are working hard and looking forward to the animals starting to have their babies in the spring.

“That will be amazing and will bring everyone onto the site again.”

The winners of the East of England Tourism Awards 2023-2024 were announced at Snape Maltings, Suffolk on Thursday, February 15. To find out about all of the winners, click here.

For more information about the awards, please visit

The finalists

The Bug Parc

The Bug Parc is an invertebrate zoo in Lenwade, near Norwich, in Norfolk.

This unique tourist attraction, which opened in May 2022, showcases the weird and wonderful animals that inhabit our world, from spiders and crabs to millipedes and praying mantises.

There’s lots to do for children at the large outside fun play area, and visitors can complete their day at the on-site cafe and gift shop.

The judges said that The Bug Parc is “an enthralling adventure through the world of insects that educates and fascinates”.

The Suffolk Punch Trust

The Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley, Suffolk, is a visitor attraction and educational and environmental charity, which is dedicated to breeding and preserving the critically endangered Suffolk Punch horse.

Visitors can explore the working stud farm on foot or by a tractor-trailer ride and see working horse demonstrations.

There’s also a pets’ paddock and play areas for children as well as a café serving homemade food.

The judges had a “blissful day” at the “unassuming” Suffolk Punch Trust, where everything was delivered by staff and volunteers “with a clear passion for horses and the Trust”.

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