3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Essex Life today click here

9 of the best places in Essex for a picnic and a walk

PUBLISHED: 12:14 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 20:11 10 August 2018

Belhus Woods Country Park (c) Darren Varney, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Belhus Woods Country Park (c) Darren Varney, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Archant

Us Brits jump at the chance to grab a blanket and a basket of food and head for somewhere peaceful for an afternoon spent eating, drinking, strolling and exploring. We’ve picked 9 of the best spots in Essex for a walk and a picnic

1) Danbury Country Park

Blooming with wildflowers in the summer, Danbury Country Park is a tranquil spot to enjoy a picnic. Set your blanket under an ancient oak tree and enjoy the dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves as you while away the afternoon with good food and company.

With lakes and meadowland in abundance, , it’s an ideal place from where the kids can enjoy nature.

The walk: Any of the walks in this link take in beautiful parts of the Danbury area but we recommend number five which takes in parts of the country park, Danbury Palace and Sandon Brook.

A post shared by @sydneymoyse on

2) Hadleigh Country Park

One of the largest parks in Essex, Hadleigh Country Park is popular with walkers, cyclists and anyone looking for a bit of adventure. It is also just a 15 minute walk away from the iconic Hadleigh Castle.

Due to conservation efforts made since the 2012 Olympic Games - which saw Hadleigh Park host the mountain biking events – the park is wonderfully maintained, allowing people of all ages to enjoy this large park – with so much going on, make sure you don’t forget to pack a picnic!

The walk: Choose between either the 1.3km all-ability trail or the 9km multi-user trail depending on your ability or fitness. Both run by Hadleigh Castle and we reckon that elevated position will be ideal for your picnic.

3) Thorndon Country Park

The stunning woodland of Thorndon Country Park is the perfect backdrop for a fairytale picnic. Pack your favourite lunch and a good book and lose yourself in the flora and fauna of this ancient forest as you admire the majestic Giant Oak tree and migrating birds.

After your picnic, you can visit the 15th century deer park - an Area of Special Scientific Interest - one of the lakes that are dotted around the place, or admire the landscape architecture of ‘Capability’ Brown.

The walk: If you get lucky with the weather on this walk through the park, Childeritch and open farmland you’ll get incredible views across South Essex and even into London.

A post shared by Toby Marsh (@losing_focus) on

_______________

Check out this other content:

_______________

4) Weald Country Park

The largest of Essex County Council’s Country Parks, Weald Country Park was landscaped in the 18th century and remains a popular destination for picnickers and wildlife lovers alike.

You can see beautiful fallow deer along your walking trail before stopping off at the North of the park for a picturesque view while you tuck into your picnic.

The walk: Taking in the park and the surrounding countryside, you’ll be able to enjoy woodland, lakes and remnants of deer pasture during this nine-mile trail.

A post shared by Katie Wood (@kwoody12) on

5) Belhus Woods Country Park

For a picnic by the lake, head to Belhus Woods. Have your model boats at the ready as you surround yourself in greenery and pick a seat with a view across the water for the Sunday boat show.

You can enjoy the entertainment and atmosphere with a flask of coffee and home made sandwiches.

The walk: Starting at the car park by Warwick Wood, head through Running Water Wood and Whitehall Wood to reach the fishing ponds beyond. Picnic spots are dotted throughout the area but settling in by the water would be particularly relaxing.

A post shared by Sean Keane (@skeanephoto) on

6) Frinton-on-Sea

The peaceful, clean beach at Frinton-on-sea is an ideal spot on the 350-mile Essex coastline to enjoy a picnic.

Take a stroll or gentle bike ride along the promenade while enjoying the views across the North Sea then stop off in front of the hundreds of old fashioned beach huts to enjoy your picnic.

The walk: Not only will you be able to enjoy Frinton and its classic beach huts, this walk will take you down the coast to Walton-on-the-Naze with stunning views of the North Sea all the way.

A post shared by Mini Essex (@miniessexonline) on

7) Cudmore Grove, Mersea Island

Essex has 19 islands of varying size and population, but one of the best for a picnic spot has to be Mersea Island. Cudmore Grove is towards the east side of the island and boasts a lovely sandy beach so just pick a spot, lay your blanket down and break out the picnic treats.

When you’re done, explore the wildlife-rich environment and spot butterflies floating around the meadows or birds flying along the coastline.

The walk: This 3.5-mile stroll will take you at least two hours and will give you the opportunity to visit an oyster fishery, a 16th century fort and Langenhoe Marsh.

A post shared by Tom B (@likeafish) on

8) Dedham Vale & the Stour Valley

You will feel like you’ve stepped in to one of John Constable’s paintings when you visit the Dedham Vale - aptly nicknamed “Constable Country” - and when you visit you will see why he was inspired to paint this beautiful countryside.

As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you can enjoy panoramic views of the countryside and the River Stour with your tea and cake.

The walk: Occasionally straying into Suffolk, this seven-mile walk takes in some of the beautiful villages dotted throughout the area including Dedham and East Bergholt while it also passes Flatford Mill and Willie Lott’s Cottage, two of the Vale’s most iconic locations.

A post shared by Eleanor Vinter (@eleanorvxnter) on

9) Hedingham Castle

Bring a picnic and find a private spot somewhere on the 160 acres that comprise the grounds of the ancient Norman Hedingham Castle.

Make a day out of your picnic by first going inside the keep of the castle and immersing yourself in the history of this fascinating building. Enter the banqueting room that Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII both dined in and then make your way through the splendid gardens before having a tranquil picnic on the grounds.

The walk: As well as going through the medieval village of Castle Hedingham, this four-mile circular walk goes north into the surrounding farmland before returning past the castle.

______________

Follow Essex Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The history and heritage of our county’s historic homes is not only contained within their walls but it also stretches out into the land surrounding it. We’ve found 11 great walks that allow you to experience that history first hand

Read more
Thursday, September 6, 2018

Your favourite county magazine, Essex Life, has joined forces with Channels Estate near Chelmsford for another Strike it Red event — an Autumn Splendour Supper and Fashion Show on Thursday, September 20

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

If you have never been to a ploughing match, this month is a great time to put that right as the The Ongar Ploughing Match marks its 100th event. Ralph Metson explains more

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

New research by TotallyMoney suggests Essex is one of the best counties for London commuter hotspots. Based on average house price, length of commute by train and the cost of an annual train ticket these are the best commuter towns in Essex

Read more
Sunday, August 26, 2018

Essex is home to some of the most stunning vistas in the UK. From the estuary of River Thames to the North Sea coastline, the county’s scenery is a diverse patchwork of stunning sea views, ancient architecture and vibrant gardens. We pick 9 of our favourites

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Words and photos: Laurie Page Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Spend Halloween hunting down ghouls and ghosts in the county’s most haunted places and spaces. We pick 10 absolutely terrifying locations to visit this October.

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

No one knows Essex better than the people of Essex; we asked where the prettiest places to live were, and you let us know. So, without further ado, here are the prettiest places, suggested by you

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

From weatherboarded beach huts to famous names treading the boards at the Summer Theatre, Frinton on Sea has an elegance that makes it stand out brightly as a seaside resort, says Petra Hornsby

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

From James Bond to Batman, Essex has been known to bask in a little Hollywood glitz. Here are 19 that have used our county’s incredible locations on the big screen

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory


Job search in your local area




Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search