Shop, eat & drink

Browse, shop, eat and drink at our destinations

Shop, eat & drink

When you decide to go out for the day there is sometimes nothing better than having the perfect place to rest, stay warm and dry and catch up with friends and family, not to mention browse for gifts (and self-gifts). Many of the Explore Essex parks and places have cafes, refreshment kiosks, and shops at their visitor centres. Discover whether you can browse and shop, pick up a coffee or tuck into a full meal at your intended destination.

The places below all offer some form of refreshments. Our new shop at Cressing Temple Barns is the perfect place to pick-up presents. From hand selected eco-friendly gifts and recycled wrapping paper and cards to handmade crafts, discover a range of thoughtful gifts for all tastes and ages.

A beamed cafe with tables and seating


Cressing Temple Barns

Bright and vibrant, the Tiptree Tea Room (open from 9.30am-4pm everyday for outside dining, retail and takeaway) serves meals made with fresh and local ingredients. At the newly renovated Cressing Temple Barns Visitor Centre there is a gift shop selling locally sourced craft and gift items.

  • Witham Road, Braintree, Cressing, CM77 8PD
The Flitch Way trail running under a bridge


Flitch Way

Inside Rayne Station is the popular Booking Hall Café, a community hub where you can have breakfast, lunch or a quick drink. Open from 9.30am-5pm.

  • Braintree, CM77 7FS
Picnic benches at Hadleigh


Hadleigh Country Park

The Hub Café, open on Monday to Sunday from 9.30am-4.30pm, sources local seasonal produce. They create freshly prepared, homemade food on the premises daily. Including salads, graze boxes, sandwiches, hot pastries, pies and chips, alongside a selection of hot and cold drinks.

  • Chapel Lane, Benfleet, SS7 2PP
The cafe at Great Notley Country Park


Sky Ropes

The Skylark café at Great Notley Country Park offers takeaway and outdoor seating and serves a range of snacks and drink with menus changing seasonally.

  • Essex, Braintree, CM77 7FS
A gift shop displaying a range of products


Thorndon Country Park

The cafe serves hot and cold light refreshments such as breakfast sandwiches, soup, baked potatoes, ice cream, crisps, cakes and drinks. The shop sells cards, bird food and feeders, gifts, jams, wildlife books, pocket-money toys and Gruffalo-themed merchandise. Open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm.

  • Brentwood, Warley, CM13 3RZ
A beamed cafe with seating and tables


Weald Country Park

Our Visitor Centre includes a shop and café and is open from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am-5pm at the weekend. The shop sells duck food and deer food for £1.00 each, Weald County Park branded gifts like jams and preserves, soft toys, and a wide range of fun and interesting toys.

  • Weald Road, Brentwood, CM14 5QS