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Address: The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
Phone Number:
+44 1277 232944
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

This beautiful country park contains a diverse range of habitats and is...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 292 reviews
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you have to love

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

Reviewed yesterday
arieljf
,
Brentwood, United Kingdom
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292 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 292: English reviews
Brentwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW

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

Helpful?
Thank arieljf
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Thank you for your lovely review. More 

Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

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,

Helpful?
Thank Sarah Jayne G
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

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

Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW 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 about The Grufalo, so we decided to take him again today. It was a lovely... More 

Helpful?
Thank jacksl48
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

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

Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
389 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We hired a tandem from here for a couple of hours. We had a lot of fun cycling around the park and trying not to fall off! Unfortunately we didn't have time to walk around the rest of the park.

Helpful?
Thank cngj
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Sounds like you had great fun! More 

Wickford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Lovely open spaces, fields, lakes, wildlife and woodland. Our dog loved the open spaces and even the dog agility area with obstacles. Places to eat as well. Really big area to walk.

Helpful?
Thank stuartdavies2016
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. More 

Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Beautiful place. Trees.. lots of them... Grass.. lots of that too... Well maintained... Footpaths everywhere... (Minimum of 100 words to describe this place...) Fresh, beautiful, clean, good parking (£expensive) snack bars overlooking the Weald...Good for picnics... A great place to sunbathe.. (weather permitting)... God dammit... It's a park...

Helpful?
Thank Richard G
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Many thanks for your review. More 

Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This place is so beautiful. It's a gem in the middle ofan otherwise built up place. Loads of room for the kids and dogs to run about. The Gruffallo Trail is great. simple and fun. Other events run at the centre are well carried out with enthusiasm and value for money.

Helpful?
Thank Natasha B
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Thank you for your Review! More 

Upminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Wow - this Country park is the best I've visited to date. You could spend hours wandering through the forests, surrounded by nature at its full glory. We took a picnic with us, although there are cafes there should you need any refreshments. Enjoyed the breeze and the birds signing in the trees! Parking was £3 for 2 hours. Would... More 

Helpful?
Thank ElleForder
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. So pleased you have enjoyed our park. We look forward to welcoming you again soon. More 

Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 1 week ago

Lovely park good day out only spoilt by all the dogs mess if you are going to take a dog out to places like this clean up after it

Helpful?
Thank Ex-Lockie
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Hi, Thank you for your review. Our rangers do try and clear as much as they can, I will pass the message on to them. More 

Hornchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited Thorndon South and were mugged on arrival by the parking charges. They go up on a scale so the longer you spend the more it costs. Apart from this the cafe is nice and there are some lovely walks especialy around Old Hall Pond.

Helpful?
Thank Chris37111
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. I will pass your comments on to the relevant people who deal with the South part of the park. More 

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