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Thorndon Country Park

The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
+44 1277 232944
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Review Highlights
Sunday Walk

Probably my least favourite country park we've visited lately, it was SO busy. I mean yeah it was... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Carly S
via mobile
Gruffalo Trail a must do for young kids!!

This is a must do if you have young kids. We took our 5 year olds to this park specifically for the... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
marlok1
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
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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” (120 reviews)
“picnic area” (21 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
The Avenue, Brentwood CM13 3RZ, England
CONTACT
Website
+44 1277 232944
Write a ReviewReviews (335)
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"gruffalo trail"
in 120 reviews
"picnic area"
in 21 reviews
"north entrance"
in 5 reviews
"rubbish home"
in 5 reviews
"dog walkers"
in 8 reviews
"fishing lake"
in 5 reviews
"great country"
in 5 reviews
"country park"
in 16 reviews
"pay and display"
in 6 reviews
"great outdoors"
in 4 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 5 reviews
"run around"
in 4 reviews
"great for kids"
in 5 reviews
"lovely place to visit"
in 4 reviews
"sand pit"
in 5 reviews
"half term"
in 4 reviews
"great afternoon"
in 5 reviews
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1 - 10 of 335 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Probably my least favourite country park we've visited lately, it was SO busy. I mean yeah it was nice to see families enjoying the outdoors but you couldnt go for a peaceful walk in the woodland without passing 20 people every 10 minutes. Car park...More

Thank Carly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

We are currently at the beginning of upgrading all our car parking facilities. We do get busy during weekends especially Sundays. Saturdays tend to be quieter and weekdays are much quieter during term times. We work very hard to keep queues in the café and...More

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

This is a must do if you have young kids. We took our 5 year olds to this park specifically for the Gruffalo Trail and have visited it twice so far! You need to pay for parking though the trail itself is free. A map...More

Thank marlok1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the lovely review.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is my niece and I's favourite park to visit. My 4 year old niece absolutely loves the park and the wood carvings! She insists on revisiting every couple of months to show another family members the trail! Perfect morning walk with very little expenditure...More

Thank Christy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Thank you for the lovely review!

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Reviewed 15 January 2018

Great afternoon out, ok parking expensive, but model are great and my son loved it as they doing stick man and gruff all at school

Thank challisfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Thanks for your review. If you are a regular visitor a season ticket could save you money please enquire in Centre for more info.

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Reviewed 31 December 2017 via mobile

Visited on a freezing day but the weather did not deter anyone, car parks were busy. Followed Gruffalo Trail through the woods which was thoroughly enjoyable, lots of space to run around and hunt down the characters for photos. Cafe small but cosy. Coffee rather...More

Thank sweetgems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 January 2018

Thank you for your lovely review. When you visit us again ask for the strong coffee if you found our regular one too weak for you. Look forward to welcoming you again soon

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Reviewed 30 December 2017

I went to the Gruffalo trail with my 5 year old niece and 3 &2 year old nephews. They absolutely loved it and could join in in some way. They got a map for just 50p from the little cafe and the staff were very...More

Thank Claire J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 1 January 2018

Thank you for your lovely review! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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Reviewed 23 November 2017

The one thing I noticed that the sign post that actual tell you where to go and more importantly to tell you which way back to the car parks are noticeable by there absents, someone new to the park can very easily get lost and...More

Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2017

Thank you for your feed back I will passs your comments on to the Rangers who will look in to the signage.

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Reviewed 9 November 2017 via mobile

South Thorndon Country Park has a brilliant dog agility course, beautiful lake and woodland. You’ll need Wellington boots if you come away from the main paths.

Thank Tracyhahern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2017

Thank you for your review

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Reviewed 7 November 2017 via mobile

Thornton can be walked through to get from brentwood to herongate and the Boars Head, Green Man and Old Dog pubs. A good excuse for quaffing great beer after sufficient exercise!

1  Thank R01277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2017

Thank you for your review

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Reviewed 28 October 2017

We visited the park with my five and seven year old boys who loved every minute. They never stopped running about and want to go back as soon as they can.

Thank ajelphick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thorndoncountrypark, Manager at Thorndon Country Park, responded to this reviewResponded 29 October 2017

Great to hear you had a good day with us!

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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
14 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
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