Thorndon Country Park
near Brentwood, Essex
Average time spent – 2-4+ hours.
Things to do at Thorndon Country Park review
There are 2 parts to Thorndon Country Park, 1 part on a gravel ridge located on the northern section and the second part on a clay soil lower down. Connecting them is the Old Thorndon Pastures which has been restored back to traditional farming land with small fields surrounded by hedges with cattle grazing on it.
As well as woodland there are ponds, marshland and meadows plus a wooden playground for the kids. There is also a Gruffalo Trail on the north side. There are maps at the entrance to the trails in the car parks which highlight all the various routes through the park. There are bird hides around the trails looking out on open areas to bird watch.
The Gruffalo trail is a short trail in the woodland with wooden sculptures of each character from the stories The Gruffalo and The Gruffalos Child. Each character is spaced out and out of sight of each other so your little ones have to find the next character while still being close enough for them not to lose interest. There are also places in order of the book so you could take a copy of the book along to read with your little ones as you walk. There is also activity pages available in the visitors centre (depending on availability).
You are able to take your dogs on all the trails throughout the country park. However, you cannot take them into the visitor centres, events or birthday parties. There aren’t any poo bins through the trails however there is some around the carpark. There is also normally a bowl of water outside the visitors centre for your dog.
There is a visitor’s centre at both sides of the country park that include some information about the birds seen around the area, a shop, a cafe which serves a small menu including hot and cold snacks and drinks. There are also toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing facilities. Outside there are also picnic benches for your use if wanted.
Covid 19 – Please check the website or social media of an attraction before visiting. Many places may be open differently and some remain closed. Reviews do not mention all of these changes or possible price changes. Most places now require you to pre-book online in advance.
Important Information Thorndon Country Park
Eating – There is a small cafe in each visitor centre that serves a limited hot and cold menu. There are also picnic benches available.
Facilities in brief – Trails, The Gruffalo Trail, bird hides, visitor centres, wood play area, cafe, shop, and toilets.
Entry price – *FREE to visit
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *FREE to visit. There is an hourly parking rate that varies from £2-£6. There is a season ticket available but you have to go into the countryside centre to get details on this. There is also bike parking available.
Opening: Thorndon country park is open for most of the year. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Dog friendly? As above, dogs are welcome on the trails but not within the visitor centre.
Information on accessibility – Information on access to Thorndon North, Thorndon South and the Visitor Centre can be found on AccessAble, formerly Disabled Go.
Address: Brentwood, Warley, Essex, England, CM13 3RZ, Essex, England. Phone: 01277 211250
This is a guest post with thanks to Tiney from Growing Clan. You can read their full review of the Gruffalo Trail here.
Category – Great Outdoors – suitable for all ages.
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