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Thorndon Country Park

The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
+44 1277 232944
Website
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Review Highlights
Plenty of variety and activities

Lots of variety of woodland and flora year round. Essex Widlife Trust centre is good with lots of... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
mikebriggs40
,
Brentwood, United Kingdom
Lovely couple of hours out with the kids

Lovely place for kids to run around and have the gruffolo trail for an activity and get your kids a... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
samxo7
,
Billericay, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 313 reviews
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Overview
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This beautiful country park contains a diverse range of habitats and is managed both for people and for its precious wildlife. There are some fantastic walks through ancient woodland and historic deer parks which lie close alongside recently planted woodland and a landscape of small pastures. Thorndon Countryside Centre is managed by Essex Wildlife Trust and the Park is managed by Essex County Council in a joint venture. Gruffalo Trail Come and see the original Gruffalo Trail - a self-led trail around the woods, searching for carvings of the Gruffalo characters. Gruffalo Activity Maps are available from the Countryside Centre, at a cost of 50p. The countryside centre offers some unique gifts and books, a separate education room, refreshments and displays. There are regular activities for children, schools and families. Few areas offer such variety as Thorndon country park and its surroundings. Ancient woodland and historic deer parks lie close alongside recently planted woodland and a landscape of small pastures, while nearby is the high forest of Hartswood and former common land. Thorndon Country Park is in two parts, the northern section on a gravel ridge and the southern part on clay soil lower down. The two parts are now linked by Old Thorndon Pastures, which is farmland that has been restored to a traditional farming landscape with small hedged fields, grazed by cattle. Thorndon Country Park North In spring, the woodlands of Thorndon North are filled with the scent and colour of bluebells, anemones and other woodland flowers. The woods are rich in birdlife and attract many species of migrant and over-wintering birds including bramblings, siskins and redpolls. Childerditch Pond is both beautiful and tranquil. Please note: Thorndon Country Park North car park is the best way to access the Gruffalo Trail. Thorndon Country Park South The open parkland at Thorndon South is busy with families enjoying barbecues and picnics, whilst drinking in views reaching out across countryside and into the heart of Canary Wharf. It's a great place to fly a kite. Thorndon Country Park offers a variety of habitats including ancient woodland, parkland, ponds, a marsh and meadow. There are some stunning ancient trees including Giant Oak and Hornbeam pollards, that are reminders that this was once a deer park. Parts of it used to be heathland, now a scarce habitat in Essex, and to restore it parts of the park, both north and south, are being grazed by goats and sheep. The park attracts a large number of woodland birds and sees more than its fair share of passage migrants and winter visitors. For example, large flocks of Siskins and Redpolls often gather in the birches, and bramblings can be seen near to the centre feeding on beech mast. There are many butterflies to be enjoyed including the uncommon Purple and White-letter Hairstreaks. The park is managed by Essex County Council's Ranger Service who are returning Conifer plantations to grassland or woodland as mature trees are harvested. The Countryside Centre in Thorndon Park North was built just after the 1987 hurricane and fallen timber from a number of Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserves was used in its construction. It is the Trust's most popular centre with over 100,000 visitors per year, and provides refreshments, a gift shop, displays and interpretation.
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good31%
  • Average9%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gruffalo trail” (111 reviews)
“car park” (43 reviews)
“picnic area” (20 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
CONTACT
Website
+44 1277 232944
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Reviews (313)
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1 - 10 of 313 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Lots of variety of woodland and flora year round. Essex Widlife Trust centre is good with lots of activities in school hols and useful guides. Parking is on the expensive side. But footpaths link the park with King George's Playing field which has free 3-hr...More

1  Thank mikebriggs40
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Pleased to here you enjoy our park. If you are a regular visitor you may benefit from a season ticket that covers lots of other Country Parks. Ask in the visitors centre for more details.

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Lovely place for kids to run around and have the gruffolo trail for an activity and get your kids a 50p map from the shop. Take a picnic and a ball and hours of fun outdoors! It is the woods and fields so take wellies...More

Thank samxo7
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for your lovely review.

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited a few years ago and enjoyed searching for the Gruffallo. So we thought we'd come again 3 years later now we have a dog and have to say we were thoroughly bored. The woods were saturated with mud, there was nothing particularly interesting...More

Thank Oliver123136
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

I'm sorry to hear you had a disappointing visit. Unfortunately mud is part of the country park and there is very little we can do to prevent it we do have plenty of surfaced pathways around the visitors centre area, should you wish to avoid...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Go here very often, whatever the weather. Open areas as well as woodland walks, the Gruffalo trail for children and dog free area for picnics. Good cafe and gift shop. Really friendly staff. Never bored here. Lovely summer walks but we also love the winter...More

Thank Rita V
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for your great review we work hard to make sure our visitors centre is welcoming.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Come rain, sun or snow, Every Tuesday/Thursday and Saturday at 9:30 am you will find a great bunch of like minded individuals meeting in the main car park for a one hour walk or run. They split into several groups, ranging from walkers to elite...More

Thank Oliellmit
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for your post.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Amazing park that I never previously appreciated. A vast area with so many different natural attractions. I got lost on an early morning run one morning, due to my stupidity!, and ended up running round a huge impressive lake and then passed fields of cows...More

Thank 321CIB
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

I am so glad that you have discovered how great the park is!

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Great country park, well looked after, lovely coffee shop. Go regularly and can always find new places to explore.

Thank Karen B
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your lovely comments.

Reviewed 11 July 2017

We go here all the time, lots of interest near the car park for the children with the gruffalo figures, good paths, a loo and a cafe. Also can roam much further for a long dog walk or bike ride from the same starting points.

Thank Georgina G
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2017

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

Reviewed 11 July 2017

The park is always a pleasure to visit - the Gruffalo trail is really good for young children and there are plenty of areas for a picnic but the cafe is also ideal for tea or a snack

Thank Dlgessex
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2017

Thank you for your kind review

Reviewed 11 July 2017

Good park, nothing too exciting but a good walk . I think its a shame they charge so much for parking but no doubt the council needs the money.

Thank Malcolm B
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2017

The money for the parking goes directly back to the park. If you are a regular visitor you could save money by purchasing a season ticket that will allow you to park at all the Essex Country parks.

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
dannydizz
10 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from thorndoncountrypark | Property representative |
Hi, I Will speak to the rangers for you and come back to you once I have some answers.
1
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Rita H H
12 December 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ray1896 | Reviewed this property |
CM13 3RZ, is the correct postcode. CM13 3RU is Thorndon Park, which is the original country house that the park surrounded but is now upmarket flats, near Thorndon Golf Club.
2
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Dave B
13 June 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Clive B | Reviewed this property |
Yes you can have a BBQ in the South of the park, within the designated BBQ area, near the Pavilion, use Thorndon South Car Park. But please note you need a permit and there is a charge for this, £2 per person, a park ranger... More
0
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