Barney Bear makes friends with Jesse Bovington at Barney's Playbarn.

Soft play centre celebrates first year in Uckfield

Barney’s Playbarn a soft play centre in Uckfield has celebrated its first birthday.

The playbarn which was opened by Louise and Asa Jago in a unit on the Bellbrook Business Park has become a haven for parents and grandparents with children aged from birth to 12 years.

There’s a soft play area with tunnels and toys for babies and toddlers and older children enjoy climbing and tumbling in a padded three-storey frame then sliding down from it.

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Three’s company on a rocker at Barney’s Playbarn in Uckfield.

When visited on Tuesday Barney himself, a cheerful cuddly bear, came out to see the children, rocked on a rocker and climbed to the top of the frame. He made lots of friends, including seven-month-old Jesse Bovington, pictured at the top of this page.

barneys peep-bo ella wright

Ella Wright plays peek-a-boo at Barney’s Playbarn, a soft play centre in Uckfield.

More children proved that three can be company on a rocker and others played peek-a-boo at entrances to the climbing frame.

Louise, a registered nurse, said the play centre was attracting a wide range of people, parents, grandparents and child-minders but mainly those with pre-school children, five to seven-year-olds.

She and her husband, who live in Uckfield with their three-year-old daughter Amelie met while working at a theme park in Cornwall 16 years ago and they had always wanted to run their own children’s play centre.

barneys tunnel - erin crooks, siabelle dixon

Erin Crooks and Isabelle Dixon enjoy the tunnels at Barney’s Playbarn, Uckfield.

When Pandamonium closed down in Framfield Road they began working to make their dream come true and were pleased when at last they were given planning permission to build their playbarn in premises in Bell Lane.

Louise said: “It’s a great place to come and relax over a coffee with friends while children play safely. And if you would like to eat here too all our food is prepared from scratch with the freshest of local ingredients.”

Entry is £5 a child for unlimited play, though under 1s are free, and adults are welcome free of charge when with a paying child.

barney on rocker

Barney Bear shows off on a rocker at Barney’s Playbarn.

There are toddler mornings two days a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm where there’s a reduced rate entry fee of £2.95.

And a special two-hour session is to be held every second Friday of the month for children and young adults with learning disabilities.

It will run from 4.30-6.30pm at a reduced rate of £3.75.

Parties can be held at the playbarn  – a Teddy Bears’ Picnic for under-fives or a Beary Bash for five to 12-year-olds – and Barney Bear and his sister Becky are happy to come along when invited, often carrying a birthday cake.

There are special events going on too such as disco and play sessions coming up on September 26 and November 28 from 5-7pm and a Hallowe’en party on October 31.

If you would like to learn more you can contact the playbarn on 01825 764575 or by email on

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Barney Bear at the top of the three-storey climbing frame at Barney’s Playbarn in Uckfield.

See also:

Two Uckfield dancers in English Youth Ballet production

Uckfield schoolchildren aim to build a house in Uganda

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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