Buttercups at Hatfield Forest

Walk amongst an ancient forest or discover old age traditions in a number of quaint, quiet villages.

Places to visit

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Boys with their dad sitting on a tree stump next to the lake

Places to visit in Essex 

There's more to Essex than first meets the eye. Tucked away you'll find lots of hidden gems, from an ancient royal hunting forest to a stunning Tudor merchant's house. Where will you discover on your next visit?

Put a spring in your step
Step into spring illustration

Step into spring in the East 

Going on a walk can revive us. Whether you're exploring spring gardens, listening to birdsong in tranquil woods or looking out to sea, spending time in nature can give you a sense of peace and a breather from the stresses of daily life. Why not get in your daily step count with one of our walks?

Boy playing in the woods at Hatfield forest

May half-term in Essex 

Essex is full of hidden gems for all the family to enjoy. Explore Hatfield Forest and see how many creepy crawlies you can find or trees you can climb, or step back in time at Paycocke’s and explore their beautiful gardens.

Outdoor activities

Help support our work
A muddy coppice footpath

Hatfield Forest - Every Step Counts

Wet weather presents a particular challenge at Hatfield Forest. The ground becomes very easily waterlogged and the historic rides paths very muddy, especially in the coppices. We have to close our grass car parks, so severely limiting our car parking capacity. This means our ability to cope with lots of people is stretched, so we ask you to bear with us, especially on fine weekends and in holiday periods.


Our work on the coast

Northey Island on the Blackwater Estuary might have been the site of the oldest recorded battlefield in Britain, but today it's also an internationally important haven for birds. As we face challenges ahead with sea-level rise, your support is helping us plan for the future.

Places to stay
Exterior of Thorington Hall

Places to stay 

You can now stay in Thorington Hall on the Essex/Suffolk border. A beautiful rambling farmhouse, this holiday cottage will sleep large groups and is an ideal base to explore nearby Constable Country.