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william's den

A pioneering re-imagination of children's adventure play; a hand crafted bespoke facility

William's Den is an innovative, indoor-meets-outdoor adventure play facility with wide open spaces, long-reaching views and a huge indoor play Den. Children can play, connect with nature and enjoy hearty food prepared using fresh locally sourced ingredients.

The play equipment has been handcrafted using natural materials. The indoor play Den offers massive interconnected timber structures with opportunities to climb, slide, swing, and enjoy water and sand play. The outdoor play area includes a 50 metre zip wire, timber climbing structures and an area of mountains and molehills with connecting tunnels. Traditional barns have been converted to offer a bright and spacious restaurant with large wood-fired pizza oven and enticing ice-cream parlour.

Mantes were engaged by estate owners Christian & Tor Carver in the summer of 2013 to consolidate their ideas for an ambitious farm diversification project. Prior to our appointment, the couple had conducted extensive research and had the luxury of a number of development possibilities on a multiple of sites. Mantes helped articulate and challenge their vision for the chosen project which was later given the name William's Den. Mantes worked closely with the family throughout the design and build of the facility which opened to the public in July 2017.

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Supported the
founding family
with the project from
incubation through to
delivery and launch

Innovative visitor attraction with uncompromising
attention to detail

Significant farm

project including
new purpose built
barn and conversion
of traditional barns

The project is a large farm diversification spanning over 30 acres of farmland. Traditional Yorkshire barns have been creatively converted, incorporating sustainable technologies while preserving their original charm and character.  The project includes a brand new 475 sqm barn that showcases exemplary sustainable design. (The building complex was awarded an energy performance certificate A, which is the highest possible score).


Throughout the project, Mantes acted as strategic advisors, during the design process and in bringing the business to fruition. We’ve added capacity as the client work load escalated  having taken direct responsibility for the delivery of key aspects when required.

Alongside the client, we assisted in choosing specialist contractors, business and financial planning, aspects of the planning process, creating design briefs and tenders, identifying and locating key suppliers. 

Mantes also supported the client with the pre-launch operational plan advising on the recruitment process for some of the core team while leading on the appointment of the General Manager.


We continue to work closely with the owners and staff team at William’s Den as the business settles into a rhythm of trading, KPI reporting and operational refinement. 

Click here to view the project portfolio, if you would like a version to print, request one here.

To read more about William's Den, please see the website or follow the business on Twitter or Facebook @williamsdenplay

William's Den

Since launching in the
summer of 2017, william's
den has picked up multiple prestigious awards

August 2020
Tripadvisor - Best of the best 2020
Winner: Traveller's Choice Award

May 2020
Remarkable East Yorkshire
Tourism Awards 2020

Winner: Remarkable Ethical, Responsible and
Sustainable Tourism Award

December 2019
goole & howdenshire business
awards 2019

Winner: New Business of the Year

November 2019

white rose awards 2019
Gold: Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism

Gold: New Tourism Business

May 2019
Little Vikings, York for Kids
Special recognition award: Best day out with...
An adventure playground

March 2019
Remarkable East Yorkshire
Tourism Awards 2019

Finalist: Remarkable Visitor Attraction/Experience

February 2019
Rural Business Awards
Winner: Outstanding Rural Diversification Project

January  2019
National Farm Attractions
Network awards

Finalist: Jim Keetch Farm Attraction of the Year Award

(Over 75,000 visitors)

October 2018
Chamber Bridlington & Yorkshire
Coast Business Award

Winner: Start-Up Business of 2018
Winner: Business of the Year 2018

Finalist: Tourism & Hospitality Business of 2018

October 2018
Teacups & Toddlers
Teacups & Toddlers Trophy 2018

October 2018
The Amazon Rural Business
Awards (North)

Winner: Outstanding Rural Diversification Project

Finalist: Rural Employee of the Year

May 2018
Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Yorkshire & Humber
Winner: Tourism and Leisure Category 

March 2018
Remarkable East Yorkshire
Tourism Awards 2018

Remarkable Newcomer 2018


Sam and Beth have worked with us for several years. We own a traditional family estate in East Yorkshire and wanted to undertake a new diversification project.

The Hardwicks initially helped us brain storm a few ideas that we had, then guided us as we focussed on opening a new and exciting family visitor attraction called William’s Den in 2017.

This multi million pound project has been a long term dream and we couldn’t have done it without their guidance, knowledge, professionalism and moral support. Sam has been the perfect ‘wing man’ and thanks to his vast experience with new ventures and diversification projects, we have now turned our dream into reality.

Beth’s influence along the way has been invaluable – she is creative, realistic and a firm advocate of the ‘In Your Element’ personal development programme. This has helped us understand how we and others work and what makes us all tick – it’s fascinating stuff and definitely worth doing!

We have loved working with Sam and Beth as they have guided and supported us along our long and tricky road. As a team, they are very committed, passionate, hard working and enthusiastic. Sam and Beth have shared our vision and have helped us achieve our goal. We would highly recommend them - they are a joy to work with.

Christian & Victoria Carver
William’s Den

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