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Hanningfield Reservoir

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Hanningfield Reservoir Visitors Centre Hawkswood Road | Downham, Billericay CM11 1WT, England
+44 1621 862960
Review Highlights
Quiet peaceful spot, good view of birdlife around reservoir

Simple café and shop to provide refreshments while overlooking the reservoir. Information boards... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Adrian A
London, United Kingdom
Cafe over the water - rip off

Visited today on a beautiful autumnal day. The nature reserve is amazing. Decided to treat... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Linda B
Read all 236 reviews
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Set in mature woodland and offering superb views over the 870 acre Hanningfield Reservoir; Hanningfield nature reserve itself offers beautiful walks through the woodland; visiting bird hides, ponds and appreciating views across the reservoir. The site is run in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water where you can venture through to their Cafe on the Water or take up a day’s fishing at the Fishing Lodge. The reservoir itself is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the important numbers of wildfowl that use the reservoir in the autumn and winter. New from March 2015 came the Wind in the Willows sculpture and brass rubbing trail with five sculptures from the much loved story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. Maps are available at the visitor centre for 50p as well as exclusive books and gifts in partnership with the River & Rowing Boat Museum, Henley-on-Thames. If you fancy venturing further than Mr Toad down by the pond there are great nature trails on the reserve for all to enjoy. Advice is always on hand in the visitor centre, to help identify wildlife and to share the latest hotspots to experience wildlife. A trail guide is available from the visitor centre at 40p, to guide you around the reserve and wildlife activity bags can be hired for a small donation for the children to take out on the reserve. The reserve has full disabled access including Lyster Bird hide, just a short distance away. The centre boasts a wide array of gifts, range of Hawke & Opticron binoculars and telescopes; as well as books and refreshments including sandwiches, cake, tea and coffee. Take a seat at our seating area whilst you are enjoying your hot drinks and enjoy the stunning views over the reservoir. Visitor Centre Facilities Include gift shop offering light refreshments, toys, books, optics binoculars and scopes, bird feeders & feed, wildlife gardening products, greeting cards and much more. Toilets, disabled access toilet, baby changing facilities, wheel chair accessibility. Booking is essential for all centre events, so make sure you call or visit the centre in advance to avoid disappointment. No dogs except registered assistance dogs. No bicycles allowed.
  • Excellent39%
  • Very good45%
  • Average9%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible5%
Travellers talk about
“visitor centre” (38 reviews)
“bird watching” (22 reviews)
“bird hides” (20 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitors Centre Hawkswood Road | Downham, Billericay CM11 1WT, England
+44 1621 862960
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Reviews (236)
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1 - 10 of 236 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Simple café and shop to provide refreshments while overlooking the reservoir. Information boards useful to those of us sadly lacking in knowledge of our wildlife. It reflects the dedication of a charity relying heavily on volunteers, it is typical of such places where a lot...More

Thank Adrian A
Reviewed 1 week ago

Visited today on a beautiful autumnal day. The nature reserve is amazing. Decided to treat ourselves to coffee at the cafe over the water. Cafe was about half full, got a table for two outside and sat down to wait for a server. 15 mins...More

Thank Linda B
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Really enjoyed our visit to Reservoir - excellent walk around the water to view cormorants and herons

Thank Lord E
Reviewed 3 September 2017 via mobile

You can't bring your dog to a woods! Ridiculous! We had to pay £5 and then a £1 each for the wind in the willows maps. What a joke just a walk round the woods. With rude staff

1  Thank kiriplumb
Reviewed 31 August 2017

Start with parking FREE that is a good place start, you can walk for as long as you like and not get a fine , look at the water , birds and visitors centre

Thank Andrew F
Reviewed 30 August 2017

A nice stroll through woodland several Bird hides along route, ending at the Fishermans section with a nice cafe, which served up very nice food, and good pot of Tea. Free parking, and a donation if you like, but not compulsory, the Reservoir is vast,...More

Thank Beyondbangkok
Reviewed 24 August 2017

I have visited here a few times with my two children (5 & 3) as they love following the wind and the willows trail, especially as they get to do brass rubbing at each location as part of the map you get for a £1....More

Thank Daniel P
Reviewed 23 August 2017

Been many times nice walk see loads of different birds can pop in after have a cup of coffee or a cake lovely views

Thank rodneycroome747
Reviewed 14 August 2017

Loved having a sunday walk here recently. So many little activities along the walk to keep children entertained and the nature for the adults. Seeing a small fawn was also beautiful! Stopped off at the cafe on the water for lunch and was not disappointed....More

Thank Nicole S
Reviewed 13 August 2017 via mobile

Recently visited and had a nice walk around the reservoir. Buggy friendly too which was great with our small baby. Loved the bluebells too!

Thank EBH82
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Questions & Answers
Graham T
7 May 2017|
Response from andym22017 | Property representative |
Hello Graham, Dogs are not allowed onto the Reserve, except guide dogs. There is a nice area to walk your dogs at Crowsheath Community Woodland, on Crowsheath Lane, which is about half a mile from us at the Visitor Centre.