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Thorndon Country Park

The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
+44 1277 232944
Website
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Review Highlights
Gruffalo

My grandson loves to search for the gruffalo and all the other characters still after several... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Denise A
via mobile
Love this place

When ever we are down in Essex we bring the grandchildren here two of then are artistic they love... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
991lesleym
,
Widnes, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 299 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” (106 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
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Reviews (299)
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1 - 10 of 299 reviews

Reviewed 2 days 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 3 days 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 days 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 3 days ago

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

Reviewed 5 days ago

Brought my daughter to the Gruffalo trail and she loved it, finding the animals all hidden away, being able to interact with them, but also the delights around the wood like the wood teepees and the bridge which we stamped over to wake up the...More

Thank Carley O
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Pleased to hear you enjoyed the trail!

A TripAdvisor Member
5
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Gorgeous place, great for kids and nice little cafe, which obviously gets busy. We did the gruffalo trail (50p for a map) and the kids really enjoyed it. We then spent a good while building a den. Really good environment, lots to explore, buggy friendly...More

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Lovely to hear your comments. we hope to see you again soon.

Reviewed 13 May 2017 via mobile

Went fishing with my son and a friend and his son, couldn't believe that the swim opposite mine had caught a pike of quite a decent size next thing I know they clubbed it with a piece of wood and out came a plastic carrier...More

Thank Daniel O
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2017

I am sorry to hear you had to experience this. I will pass your comments on to the park rangers who monitor the activity on the lake.

Reviewed 7 May 2017

Good for all the family but especially children to enjoy nature and the Trails. Much improved onsite cafe

Thank davidleechsnr
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2017

Thank you for your great review!

Reviewed 26 April 2017

Really beautiful for a sunday walk if you have a dog is great for them , very peaceful simple beautiful

Thank arieljf
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2017

Thank you for your lovely review.

Reviewed 22 April 2017

Looks ve coming here to search for the gruffalo! My son and his friends had a great timer here, I have also been here on mountain bikes with friends and enjoyed great trails,

Thank Sarah Jayne G
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2017

Thank you for your review. Pleased to hear you had a great time with us.

Reviewed 22 April 2017 via mobile

We have just returned after an afternoons visit to Thorndon Country Park. My husband and I took our 2 year old grandson to visit the Grufalo trail. We took him last autumn and he still remembers going to hunt for the Grufalo. He often speaks...More

Thank jacksl48
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2017

Thank you for your review. Really pleased to hear you had a lovely time with us. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
dannydizz
The lake used to have plenty of pike in. I've fished there 3 times recently and twice I have seen polish putting pike and bream in a bag.. no ranger comes round, makes me sick that this is happening... tryed to call ranger and no answer the lake has gone to pot... another lake that's been smashed by the foreigners.. what a good fishing lake it USED to be.. before you know it there won't be any carp left in there either.!!!!!
10 May 2017|
Answer Show 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
Bringing Grandchildren to follow Gruffalo trail. I have found 2 postcodes on website, CM13 3RU and CM13 3RZ, which is correct please?
13 December 2016|
Answer Show 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
We are thinking of a family day out. Possibly over 30 ppl. Would we b allowed low key ball games plus fetch a bbq ?
13 June 2016|
Answer Show 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
Votes