If you’re tired of visiting the same places, thinking about where to walk your dog that you haven’t been before, somewhere to take the kids and let them run off some steam, or just want to get out of the house and be immersed in some nature.
Nestled away in the outskirts of Chelmsford is Danbury Country Park.
We as a family were lucky enough to stumble upon it by going the wrong direction and found ourselves driving through woods, with trees that shaded the entire road. It was almost like when you turn up to Centre Parcs and you know you’ve arrived because of the amount of trees that suddenly surround you.
I actually managed to put together a video for you about Danbury Country Park, so if you’d much rather watch something than read on then please feel free to do so below. I’d also really appreciate a like and subscribe if you happen to head over to my Channel. If not…then skip the video and just keep reading…I appreciate that too!
An award winning and Grade II listed park (meaning it’s a site of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve it), 45 acres of gardens, lakes, ancient woodland, wildflower meadow and historic features. It really is ideal for families with babies, toddlers and older children and teenagers, as well as dog walkers, hikers and anyone who enjoys walking.
Danbury Country Park, Woodhill Road , Chelmsford, Danbury, Essex, England, CM3 4AW
The park is open every day from 8am.
Here’s the negative, let’s get this out of the way…you have to pay for parking. The maximum price you would pay for parking is £4.50 and that would cover you for the day that’s for 3 or more hours. It’s also worth noting though that although paying to park can be a nuissance, contacless payments are now accepted as the terminals have been updated. The money made from parking goes back into the park to maintain the park and protect its wildlife.
However, if you fall in love with the place and were going to be going a lot then they do sell season passes for parking so it’s worth looking into if you’re considering visiting often.
Danbury Country Park has plenty of things going on as well, they often organize events and have some great opportunities for children.
Several regular activities run throughout the week for children and families including sessions such as Wild Wednesday and a weekend Family Forest School, who said the kids get to have all the fun? Put your phone down for 3 hours (I dare you!) and give your whole entire attention to your family that fully deserves it.
Then there’s Home Education sessions at the park aimed at children who are home schooled and primary school aged. It’s a series of six sessions with nature activities, forest crafts, imagination, physical play and building things.
For the under 5’s they host a Woodland Play which is a 2 hour session involving forest crafts and den building (a very important life skill at that age).
They really do have something for everyone. Beautiful surroundings, immaculate and peaceful lakes, meadows that go on for days. Fishing season runs from June until March (check the website for specific dates) Although they have three beautiful lakes, fishing is only allowed at the lower lake so be sure to check the guidelines before going. Prices are from £5 per adult and £2.50 per child, but day ticket are also available. You may fish from 8am until 30minutes before dusk, what a great way to spend a day – just remember to bring your packed lunch!
If you’re looking for a way to fill some spare time you have or want to volunteer in your local area but not sure where to start. Guess what? Danbury Country Park has a weekly volunteer group for you to join, meet new people and learn new skills whilst helping the environment and wildlife. The park credits it’s practical volunteer work as one of the reasons it maintains its award winning and green flag status
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark international standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom and around the world.
If you have small children or a baby I wouldn’t recommend bringing a buggy/pram. A stroller you might get away with, the terrain changes so much and is at times bumpy and difficult to maneuver. Be sure to bring a baby carrier with you, your little one is going to love looking around at all the different colors and trees. For the toddlers they can keep their eager eyes peeled for wildlife, there’s lots of ‘bug hotels’ dotted around and countless trees and logs to climb and balance along.
Sometimes there’s even activities like kayaking or canoeing happening with children on school trips, your little one might see something they haven’t before. You can bring a picnic and some outdoor activities as simple as a bat and ball and have a great time! Hide and seek goes on for hours!!
Honestly, if you’re looking for things to do with the kids in Essex be sure to add a trip to Danbury Country Park to your list, you won’t be disappointed.