Great Notley Country Park

Home to Essex's longest play trail and Sky Ropes, Great Notley Country Park offers the perfect family day out.

At a glance

Opening times

8am-dusk

Find & contact

Great Notley Country Park, Braintree, Great Notley, Essex, England, CM77 7FS
Get directions

0333 013 2900

country.parks@essex.gov.uk

Parking & prices

Up to 30 minutes £1
Up to 1 hour £2.20
Up to 2 hours £3.50
Up to 3 hours £5
Over 3 hours £6.50

Visit the MiPermit portal page.

How to pay

Explorer Pass and more

Money from parking is used to maintain the park and protect its wildlife. You can now buy parking online through MiPermit.

At this place

  • Kid's Play Trail
  • Picnics allowed
  • Dogs allowed
  • Fishing
  • BBQs not allowed

The parks, car parks and toilets will be open to the public on 21 May. Children's play equipment reopened on Saturday 4th July (but areas are still closed for maintenance). Skylark Cafe will open on Saturday 25th July for walk in and take out.

Please note that there is currently only one toilet open on site and the main car park, facilities are still limited.

Please note that Sky Ropes is currently closed.

Introduction

Essex Country Parks – Reopening Update

*Essex Country Parks – Play Reopening*

We are pleased to confirm that the children’s playgrounds in our Essex County Council owned Country Parks will begin to reopen on Saturday 4 July.

Please note however that parts of the play trail at Great Notley Country Park are undergoing annual maintenance and are currently still closed to the public.

We would encourage visitors to bring their own hand sanitiser or wipes to use before and after enjoying the children’s play equipment and follow social distancing measures and government guidance during their visit.

The parks, car parks, toilets and some of the play equipment will be open to the public.

Visitors will need to observe the current rules on social distancing, particularly in places that could become crowded such as the car parks and toilets.

Important changes to note before you visit:

Read our full statement and FAQs here.

Whether you're an adventurer at heart or just want to relax and unwind in Essex's beautiful countryside, Great Notley Country Park offers the perfect day out for all the family.

Covering 100 acres of open space the park is home to Sky Ropes, the fun, family friendly high ropes adventure course as well as Essex’s longest kid’s play trail.

Jump, swing, slide, crawl and climb your way around 1.2km of fun including giant see-saws, swing scales, a climbing forest, rope climbers, slides, forts and a large sand play area. (Please note our waterplay and climbing forest are currently out of action).

Looking for something a bit quieter? The park also offers some lovely areas to explore and enjoy nature including a fishing lake and wildflower meadows. It’s popular for a wide range of activities including birdwatching, walking, cycling, fishing, horse riding, football, picnics and kite-flying.

Great Notley Country Park is delighted to have been awarded Green Flag status again this year as well as being nominated for the Fields in Trust Award for Best UK Park 2019.

Please note that the cafe is currently closed, but hot drinks and refreshments are available at weekends.

Please also note that some of our play is currently closed due to vandalism and for health and safety reasons.

History

Excavations in Great Notley revealed the remains of Iron Age and Roman settlements with a series of enclosures overlaid with a Roman development on the site of the Skyline Business Park. It is thought that there was a series of occupations on the site from the late Iron Age onwards, which included brewing, farming and the production of textiles.

Great Notley Country Park however is relatively new, having been created from the remnants of Gt Notley Village when it was developed as part of the new 'self-sustaining' garden village.

It has grown up with the community surrounding it, and is quite unique in that its wildflower meadows, lakes and other landmarks were created from scratch and over the years have grown and developed in to what you see today.

Activities

Sky Ropes

Looking for a thrill and an unforgettable adventure with family and friends? Try Sky Ropes - Great Notley Country Park’s high ropes experience. There’s also Sky Ropes Junior, suitable for children from 2 years.

Kid’s Play Trail

Come and explore our 1.2km play trail featuring a giant see-saw, climbing forest, tyre swings, sand play area, rope climbers, slides, forts and much more.

Walking & Dogs

We strive to be accessible to all and as such our pathways are relatively flat. As well as many informal grassy pathways our main trail takes you around the park, including the play trail, lakes, wildflower meadows (where you can see wild orchids and ox-eye daisies depending on the season) and a small woodland. It’s a good route for dog walkers however we do ask that they are kept on the lead while in the play trail section.

Birdwatching & Wildlife

Bird and wildlife spotting are popular activities while out walking at Great Notley Country Park. You could see anything from skylarks, owls and woodpeckers to bats, foxes and weasels.

Cycling

A 1.8-km cycling and horse-riding route cuts north-south through Great Notley Country Park. A fairly flat, hard-surface track, it’s perfect for cycling as a family and a great place for younger children to become more confident on their bikes. Please note that we don't currently have any hire facilities, so bring your own!

Fishing

You can fish in the large lake in the south of the park every day during park opening hours (night fishing is forbidden). Fishing is free, but you need an Environment Agency rod license (from ages 12+). Barbed hooks, keep nets are not allowed, and any fish caught must be returned to the lake. We ask that visitors take home all rubbish as there are no waste facilities provided.

Football Pitches and Games Area

The park’s 3G (3rd Generation) artificial turf football pitches are suitable for playing in all weather. There are full and half pitches, and a multi-use game area (MUGA) for tennis, basketball, netball and more.

To hire our football pitches or games area, call Braintree District Council on 01376 332326.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is popular at the park with the designated horse-riding route cutting North-South through the park. Bring your own horse, and please stick to the bridleway.

Volunteering

Want to give something back or learn something new? We work closely with the Friends of the Flitch Way and Associated Woodlands. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday (during term-time) at 9.15 outside Rayne Village Hall so come along, get involved and learn some new skills – you might find yourself helping to construct fencing or even a bridge! Contact Wendy Moss on 01376 329245 for more information.

Facilities

The Visitor's Centre (Discovery Centre)

The reception is located on the ground floor and is open 9am to 4pm daily. For enquiries please call 03330 132900.

Toilets

Public toilets are located at the park’s visitor centre and include accessible and baby changing facilities.

Open 9.30am to 5pm in the summer and 9.30am to 4pm in winter.

Changing Places

A changing places facility located on the ground floor at the rear of the visitor's centre. It is open every day from 8am until dusk. Access is at the back of the centre, which is all paved.

Accessibility

Full information on access to Great Notley Country Park can be found on AccessAble (formerly Disabled Go).

Room Hire: Meetings, Conferences and Parties

Our conference room in the Discovery Centre has fantastic views across the park. It can hold from 20 people boardroom-style to 50 people theatre-style, with a projector and whiteboard available. It also offers a small kitchenette and arrangements can be made with Lilies at Notley to provide food and/or drinks. This inspiring space is great for conferences, meetings and parties alike. If you would like to book or make an enquiry, please call 03330 132900 or email businesssupport.countryparks@essex.gov.uk.

Shop, Eat & Drink

Eating & Drinking

The cafe at Great Notley is currently closed. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The café offers indoor and outdoor seating and serves a range of hot and cold food and drink with menus changing seasonally. This includes a good selection of ice cream flavours, perfect for hot summer days, and coffee and hot chocolate for when you need to warm up.

The cafe is open 9:30am to 4pm and often later during busy periods. For enquiries please call 01376 329303.

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