Explorer Pass

Save with your Explorer Pass

Explorer pass

Save money on car parking and more with our Explorer Pass

Save with your Explorer Pass

8 Parks. 1 Pass. Get out more for less.

From just over £1.63 a week or just over £1 for over 60s!

Our annual Explore Essex Pass will give you and your family and furry friends the freedom to explore some of the incredible places and green spaces that Essex has to offer, as many times as you like throughout the year, with free parking at seven country parks (the eighth is free) and 10% discounts at many cafes and visitor centres within those places.

The Essex Country Parks included are: Belhus Woods, Cudmore Grove, Danbury, Great Notley, Hadleigh, Thorndon and Weald. (You can park for free at Marsh Farm Country Park.)

Enjoy the coast at Cudmore, Essex's longest play trail and Sky Ropes at Great Notley, the Stick Man trail at Weald and Gruffalo at Thorndon. Plus the children's play and dog agility areas at Belhus Woods, the lakes and Forest School at Danbury and the stunning open spaces at all eight Essex Country Parks.

Receive a free Sky Ropes voucher and two day's free parking for family and friends when you purchase your Explorer Pass.

Buy here.

(Make sure to select the option that is right for you, one vehicle standard for example)

Modern lifestyles can mean we don’t get out as much as we perhaps should. But the benefits of exercise to both adults and children are huge. There is lots of research to show that regular exercise boosts mood and self-esteem as well as reducing risk of illness. Studies also show that ‘green exercise’ in natural surroundings has the biggest impact on mood.

At the Explore Essex group of parks and places there is plenty of space to get out and about and let yourselves run free. Dress up warm, and take a stroll along beautiful footpaths, or run wild across the rolling grasslands. Discover all that nature has to offer throughout the seasons. Jump in puddles, build dens, and spot wildlife.

Get your kids out and set their imaginations free as they play, climb and soar in beautiful outdoor locations. Specially designed, natural and unique play equipment has been commissioned and developed at many of the parks. Great Notley Country Park for example boasts the longest play trail in Essex and is also home to Sky Ropes.

Meet friends in our beautiful Country Parks and enjoy a small discount on coffee and snacks in the cafes.

Girl laying on pebbles laughing

What are the benefits?

Your pass will entitle you to:

  • Car Parking at 7 country parks for a whole year: Belhus Woods, Cudmore Grove, Danbury, Great Notley, Hadleigh, Thorndon and Weald.
  • 2 days free parking for family or friend
  • Sky Ropes voucher for one
  • 10% discount at The Barns Tiptree Tea Room at Cressing Temple Barns
  • 10% discount at the Wiggly Bush Weald Café at the visitor centre
  • 10% discount at the Nightingale Belhus Café at the visitor centre
  • 10% discount food and drink at the Skylark Café (minimum spend £5) at Great Notley Country Park
  • 2 for 1 on tea and coffee at Thorndon Country Park (valid after 1.30pm, Mon-Fri, term time only, excludes bank holidays)
An older couple walking their dog.

Price and how to buy

The cost of the pass per year:

£85 standard pass for one car

£23 for a second car at the same address

£57 for over 60’s/blue badge holders

If you are a regular visitor to the parks, or are thinking of visiting more frequently it makes a lot of sense to invest. It's just £1.50 a week for a full priced pass or just £1.00 a week for an over 60's, so you'll save money and be incentivised to get out more at the same time!

You can purchase the Explorer Pass through our supplier MiPermit.

The best way to do this is online, but you can also call them directly on:

0345 520 7007

Once you’re on the MiPermit website you’ll need to select Permit Type from the drop-down box (basic options include one vehicle standard, over 60’s or blue badge).

What will I need?

You will need your car registration number, name, and contact details (email or telephone number, for your receipt).

You will need to enter your postal address so that your physical pass can be posted to you.

For over 60s, disabled and second car you will also need to have proof of status or vehicle ownership ready as a photograph or image.

Then simply follow the instructions, and use your credit or debit card details to make payment. Payment will appear as ‘MiPermit Ltd’ on your bank statement.

For enquiries please email: parking.explore@essex.gov.uk