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 park enquiries: 0333 013 2900

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

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

Or for event and filming enquiries call: 03330 138222

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

Car parking prices for onsite payment machines as of 1 April 2022

Up to 1 hour £2.30
Up to 2 hours £3.70
Up to 3 hours £5.20
Over 3 hours £6.80

Please note that there is a 15 minute free drop-off and turnaround time for those using the 3G football pitches and other facilities that are accessed via the park.

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
  • Sky Ropes
  • Café
  • Wi-fi available
  • Dogs allowed
  • Picnics allowed
  • Fishing
  • BBQs not allowed

Café open for hot and cold drinks, refreshments and snacks. We welcome dogs on leads into our Visitor Centre.

From Monday 19 December the Skylark Café will only be open on weekends from 9.00am-3.30pm.

Open Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January.

Sky Ropes at Great Notley. Closed for the winter season, will reopen February half term 2023.

Introduction

Green Flag Award logo

Visitor Notice - Toilets closed Friday 6 January


Great Notley Country Park is proud to be the recipient of the Green Flag Award. Read more here.

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


Great Notley Kid's Play Trail updates:

Please note our waterplay has now closed and we hope to bring a new facility to the park in the future.

Work is also taking place on what was the 'Climbing Forest'.


Please visit safely. Always:

  • Keep dogs under control
  • Respect other users on multi-use trails
  • Be water aware and supervise children and dogs near ponds, rivers and lakes
  • Note that swimming is prohibited
  • Keep off the ice in the winter


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

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.

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.

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, some areas of our play trail are currently closed for maintenance including the jack straws and climbing forest. Please note our waterplay has now closed and we hope to bring a new facility to the park in the future.

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 and Drinking

Please note that from Monday 19 December the Skylark café at Great Notley will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9.00am-3.30pm.

*Poor weather and exceptions may apply.

The café offers light refreshments such as ice creams, hot and cold drinks, cakes and snacks all subject to availability.

We welcome dogs on leads into the café.

For enquiries or further information, please call 03330 132900

Café festive opening times

8.30am until 2.00pm on 24 December

9.00am until 2.00 31 December

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December.

Open Saturday 31 December from 9.00am - 2.00pm.

Closed Sunday 1 and Monday 2 January.

Open Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January.

For enquiries or further information, please call 03330 132900


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