Top Five Family Spring Walks in Essex Country Parks and Heritage Sites

Spend some quality time with the family and make the most of the stunning parks and outdoor spaces in your local area.

Posted on 8th March 2024

Enjoy a stroll around one of the Essex Country Park or heritage sites this spring. Take advantage of the lengthening days, and make the most of the blossoming trees and blooming wildlife. Here are some of the places that offer the whole family a marvellous day out.

Top all-rounder for everyone: Belhus Woods

Lake and blue sky at Belhus Woods

Belhus Woods Country Park in the south west of the county has something fun for everyone to enjoy and it’s accessible too.

Visit the café for a hot drink before heading deeper into the park where you’ll find ancient woodlands, a musical themed kids play area, a stunning lake, dog agility course and large open grassland.

With flat terrain, this park is great for both walkers and cyclists, and the large car park allows for easy loading and unloading of bicycles, wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Whether you’re a keen walker or prefer sitting on a bench to admire nature, Belhus Woods Country Park is an ideal place to visit.

Best for sea air: Cudmore Grove

Family with a dog on grass walking towards the camera at Cudmore Grove

In the east of the island of Mersea, you’ll find Cudmore Grove Country Park. With several miles of footpaths that circle and cross the site, including the sea wall walk, Cudmore Grove is the best spot for a fun coastal day out.

This stunning nature reserve benefits from over 102 acres of unique landscape and overlooks the Colne and Blackwater estuaries.

At low tide, venture down to the beach where you’ll find a wealth of shells and other treasures. The stunning orange cliffs date back to the interglacial period and once revealed prehistoric hippopotamus bones!

Cudmore Grove offers a perfect day out for nature-lovers, sun-seekers, dog walkers and those with young children – with it’s natural wooden children’s play area.

Top for accessible and circular walks: Danbury Country Park

Bench under trees and blue sky

Situated in the centre of Essex near the city of Chelmsford, Danbury Country Park offers well maintained accessible paths and peaceful landscapes which is perfect for mums who prefer shorter scenic walks in a tranquil setting. Perfect for push and wheelchairs.

Watch as spring arrives the beautiful ornamental gardens or learn more about the parks history - which dates back medieval times.

Once home to the Tudor house, Danbury Palace and spanning over 45 acres, this grade II listed park is packed full of historic and scenic spots for you to discover.

Favourite for food, flowers and fresh air: Cressing Temple Barns

Spring bulbs and flowers and grass at Cressing

High on our list of places we think you’ll enjoy is Cressing Temple Barns.

Home to one of Wilkins and Son’s Tiptree Tea Rooms, a visit to Cressing Temple Barns offers the chance to enjoy some delicious food in a beautiful heritage setting.

Soak up the atmosphere of this immaculate site and find out about its fascinating history. For those who enjoy horticulture, a wander around the walled garden will delight even the most novice gardener. Look closely and you’ll learn more about Tudor plants and how they were used.

You’ll see lots of signs of spring whilst walking between the Grade I listed Barley and Wheat Barns* before heading back to enjoy afternoon tea at Tiptree Tea Rooms – but be sure to book!

*Please be aware that there are currently coverings over the internal roof timbers in the barns. Read more.

Top for active families: Great Notley

Children in a sand pit

Whether it’s a new adventure you’re looking for or time to unwind in the beautiful countryside, Great Notley Country Park offers the perfect day out for people who love to be active.

Covering over 100 acres of open space, there’s plenty of room for families to burn off some energy. It is also home to Essex’s longest kid’s play trail.

Why not start the celebrations early, with a fun Saturday morning 5k parkrun or wait until Sunday and take an early morning stroll around the fishing lake.

It’s a popular destination for a wide range of activities including birdwatching, walking, cycling, fishing, horse riding and football. If that’s not enough, just around the corner you’ll find plenty of shops at Braintree Village.