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Thorndon Country Park

The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
+44 1277 232944
Website
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Review Highlights
Great for families

We go here all the time, lots of interest near the car park for the children with the gruffalo... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Georgina G
,
Brentwood, United Kingdom
Excellent surroundings

The park is always a pleasure to visit - the Gruffalo trail is really good for young children and... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Dlgessex
,
Essex
Read all 306 reviews
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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” (109 reviews)
“car park” (42 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
Write a Review
Reviews (306)
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1 - 10 of 306 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your kind review

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Fabulous park didn't get to go around it all where it's so big.going bk next week.good fun for the dogs

Thank Lisa R
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Excellent place to go for a stroll under the canopy of the trees. The place is alive with a variety of birds and numerous grey squirrells. The paths are well made and suitable for all levels of ability and also pushchairs and mobility scooters. Specific...More

Thank Kevin C
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your great review. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Thorndon Park offers a great deal of scope for walking and enjoying the great outdoors. As well as access at the north end you can visit the south by parking close to the A127/A128 junction. There is a pretty lake to walk around and an...More

Thank Melchisedek
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We take our dog for a walk although don’t have much freedom to explore. Some parts with barbed wired fences and locked gates however still good for a long walk yet not a free roaming park. It’s a beautiful scenery however just need to be...More

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

Thank you for your review. Parts of the park are private property so this may explain the fenced off areas. We also at times fence of areas to allow our livestock to graze as part of our grazing project to help manage the land.

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

My grandson loves to search for the gruffalo and all the other characters still after several visits The wild life is lovely to catch sight of and the woods are fun to explore too A cheap visit and usually lots of parking (pay) Great place

Thank Denise A
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

When ever we are down in Essex we bring the grandchildren here two of then are artistic they love come here they can just run a round are lie down on the ground watching the trees thank you for making them happy x

Thank 991lesleym
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

I visited the park with my parents and 10 month old son. Primarily to do the Gruffalo trail and to have a picnic. The park itself is largely woodland and is a lovely relaxing environment. There is plenty of nature ( think squirrels and birds)...More

Thank SarahRawson121
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Please can I ask you to forward your comments to thorndon@essexwt.org.uk

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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
Vote
Rita H H
13 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
Votes
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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