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Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

#8 of 64 things to do in Colchester Features Animals
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre Church Road | Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Colchester CO2 0EU, England
+44 1206 738172
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Review Highlights
Not as interesting as other EWT reserves

Our first visit since the reservoir was increased in size. In April there were plenty of skylarks... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
cngj
,
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
An extended unch stop

We made a lunch stop here and had a range of sandwiches, warps and paninis - all very good. After... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Heather S
,
London, United Kingdom
Read all 159 reviews
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Overview
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Visitors can enjoy walks on Essex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve; with stunning panoramic views across the reservoir and surrounding villages as well as superb views of the water’s edge from three bird hides. The nature reserve has a 900m accessible circular footpath and there are wheelchairs available for use. The Visitor Centre offers a tearoom which is open seven days a week providing a variety of hot and cold food, most of which is locally sourced; easy access toilets & baby changing facilities; and a well-stocked shop which has binoculars, telescopes, bird food, feeders and a range of gifts. Essex Wildlife Trust runs a programme of events throughout the year for all ages as well as children’s outdoor birthday parties and a weekly toddler group available during term time; booking is required for all of our events. On the nature reserve there is a new Brambly Hedge sculpture trail, where you can find seven characters from the classic stories written by Jill Barklem; there is also a wild play area with a zip wire, v bridge, swings and spiderweb net. Essex Wildlife Trust is a charity and relies on donations to carry out its work for the wildlife and people of Essex. There is suggested entry donation of £2 for Adults £1 for children and £5 Family; car parking is free. The huge expanse of Essex & Suffolk Water’s Abberton Reservoir plays host to some 40,000 wetland birds each year all attracted to the shallow muddy margins and large areas of rough grassland, which provide the ultimate habitat for a plethora of wildlife and waterfowl. The Visitor Centre is 6 miles SW of Colchester on the B1026 (a minor road linking Colchester and Maldon) just South of Layer de la Haye - follow the brown and white "Abberton Reservoir visitor centre" signs.
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good33%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
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Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
LOCATION
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre Church Road | Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Colchester CO2 0EU, England
CONTACT
Website
+44 1206 738172
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Reviews (159)
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1 - 10 of 159 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

Our first visit since the reservoir was increased in size. In April there were plenty of skylarks and great crested grebes but there wasn't much else to see. We visited all of the hides but there just wasn't much around, maybe it was just the...More

Thank cngj
Reviewed 2 days ago

We made a lunch stop here and had a range of sandwiches, warps and paninis - all very good. After eating, we spent a good few hours exploring outside and in the hides by the reservoir where there were loads of canada geese and plenty...More

Thank Heather S
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

My friends and I visited the Reservoir directly after we had been to Fingringhoe Wick, which was also very good, the Reservoir is relatively new and the visitor centre is probably one of the best I have frequented. Plenty to see and do especially on...More

Thank John M
Reviewed 1 week ago

New, bright visitor centre over looking reservoir. There are binoculars provided as you sit looking out of the large windows, there is also a baconely if you want to sit outside. Staff are very friendly and helpfull. Only had toasted tea cake so can,t comment...More

Thank ninakitson
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is a gem of a place for families. There is a lovely playground with lots to climb and zip wire. There are walks of various lengths and its all nice and flat - so little legs don't get too tired. The cafe is lovely...More

Thank cawaz
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear cawaz Thank you for your 5 star review. Sorry to hear that the service was slow in our tearoom; our food is cooked to order so depending on how busy we are some days we can be slower than we should, however we do...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Had a lovely day here yesterday,lovely peaceful walk round the reservoir,beautiful bird song,so many different birds.Very friendly helpful staff,Really nice Visitor centre,Gift shop and Restaurant after a relaxing walk,we had Tea and Cake.Well worth a visit,nice play area for Children.More

1  Thank hillsymay
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear hillsymay Thank you for giving us a 5 star review. We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed all that Abberton has to offer. We hope that you will come back and see us again soon for more delicious cake. Regards Jo Wray,...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Popped in here out of desperation when passing and in need of lunch. Suffice to say I wish we could have stayed longer as the staff are fantastic and the food is lovely. Will be visiting again next time we are passingMore

Thank Matthew R
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear Matthew R Thank you for your review and we are pleased to have been able to feed you in your time of need in our lovely Skylark tearoom. We do hope that you will come back and see us again when you have more...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Interesting and educational. Good place to have a drink and look over the reservoir. Very good place to walk.

Thank justine_peckston
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear justine_peckston Thank you very much for giving Abberton 5 stars; we are really please to hear that you enjoyed your visit. We hope that you will come and see us again soon. Regards Jo Wray Team Leader

Reviewed 8 May 2017

What a lovely place for all the family to get close to nature and spot birds of all species on this massive expanse of water. Great place to eat and nice park for the kids and" hides" to observe the birds. In years, that are...More

Thank Chez J
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear Chez J Thank you for reviewing Abberton Reservoir and we are pleased to hear that you think it is a lovely place for families. We do have an extensive list of events for children, but there is also our official Brambly Hedge wooden sculpture...More

Reviewed 5 May 2017 via mobile

We have been here a few times and it's lovely to take the kids for a walk around, the cafe is adequate and, the coffee, personally was one of the best I have had! Treated myself to a slice of cake which was equally as...More

Thank Staccato_UK
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2017

Dear Staccato_UK Thank you for your review about Abberton. I will pass your comments on to my catering staff and their volunteers as it is always nice to hear what our customers think of our Skylark tearoom. We hope you will come back for more...More

Questions & AnswersAsk a question
imdpriyaa
Hello n good morning! I would like to visit this lovely place but I wanted to know if you have enough parking space, just cuz I Have recently passed the test and I want to come there driving myself with the family. Thank you
6 April 2017|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from Jo W | Property representative |
Dear imdpriyaa Thank you for contacting us. We have a large car park, so plenty of space for our visitors. We don't charge for parking either, but do ask for a donation when you enter the visitor centre to help us maintain... More
1
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jimpar
Is there a circular walk around the reservoir
22 March 2017|
Answer
Response from Jo W | Property representative |
Dear Jimpar Thank you for your question. There are a series of permissive footpaths and bridleways around the reservoir, however there isn't a full circuit that you can do as there is no footpath from Peldon to Great... More
0
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kirstystubbs2017
Hi There, We are looking to visit this week and go on one f your dog friendly walks. I was just wondering if we can visit the cafe with our furry friend or is that part of the visitors centre where dogs are not allowed? Thank you :)
20 March 2017|
Answer Show all 2 answers
Response from Jo W | Property representative |
I'm afraid that dogs are not allowed in the visitor centre. We can do take aways for you.
1
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