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

The park is open every day.

For event enquiries: Events.ExploreEssex@essex.gov.uk

For filming enquiries: Filming.Explore@essex.gov.uk

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

How to pay

Discover our Explorer Pass season ticket.

Money from parking is used to maintain the park and protect its wildlife.

At this place

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

*Parts of the play trail are currently closed for maintenance.

*Sky Ropes is open every day during the school holidays and at weekends. It is closed during the week in term time. Find out more and book here.


Introduction

*Visitor Updates*


The park, car park, areas of the children’s play equipment and limited toilets are open.

The Skylark Cafe will continue to offer a takeaway with some outdoor seating only at this time.

We ask that all visitors to the Essex Country Parks follow government guidelines and respect other visitors to help keep Covid in check.

Check government guidance here.

Please note, parts of our play trail are currently closed for maintenance.

Download the new Great Notley 'Daily Mile' walking route as a PDF or Jpg.

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 seesaws, swing scales, rope climbers, slides, forts and a large sand play area. Please note, some areas of our play trail are currently closed for maintenance. This includes the jack straws, big suspension bridge and the climbing forest. The climbing structure in sandplay and our Hammock Swing is also closed off to the public. Please note our waterplay has now closed and we hope to bring a new facility to the park in the future.

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.

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. Open every day throughout the school holidays.

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. Please note, large sections of our play trail are currently closed for maintenance, including all waterplay, climbing forest, jack straws, and suspension bridge. The climbing structure in sandplay and our Hammock Swing is also closed off to the public.

The following parts of the play trail are open:
Giant See Saw, rotating plate, cross scales, toddler play area, wobbly sheep, jumping discs, quad hammock, wobble dishes, rotating plate, chain path, zip line, sand play transport/building system, sand play climbing frame, slide and ducks, whirlwind, queen swing, hex swing, pendulum swing, frog, wind pipes and sound roller.

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, with volunteer work undertaken most Tuesdays and Thursdays (during term-time). So come along, get involved and learn some new skills – you might find yourself helping to construct fencing or even a bridge! For more information please visit: https://www.friends-of-the-flitch-way.org.uk/


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).

Shop, Eat & Drink

Eating & Drinking

The café currently offers outdoor seating and takeaways, serving a range of sandwiches, snacks and drinks, with menus changing seasonally. This includes a selection of ice cream flavours, perfect for hot summer days, and coffee and hot chocolate for when you need to warm up.

Skylark Cafe is open from 8.30am-3.30pm at weekends and 9am-3pm on weekdays. It may close early in bad weather.

For enquiries or further information, please call 03330 132900

Featured events at Great Notley

Image gallery

Where to find us

Explore Essex

Search our parks and places to plan your perfect day out

Or explore events and activities

Venues you may be interested in...