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Themed Activity Trails in Essex

We have tried and tested five of the best themed activity trails in Essex that will make the perfect day out for the whole family.

If you’re looking to take the kids somewhere fun, engaging and that’s not going to cost you lots of money, these themed activity trails in Essex fit the bill perfectly!

Peter Rabbit Trail in Langdon Nature Reserve

The Peter Rabbit Trail takes you on a lovely walk around Langdon Nature Reserve.

It is one of the bigger themed activity walks on the list and I would suggest buying the trail map from the shop to ensure you see all the characters. Without it, I’m not sure we would have found them all!

The trail is completely buggy friendly with large and well laid paths. There is even a gorgeous lake you can enjoy a picnic next to!

Peter Rabbit trail - Themed activity trails in Essex

Plotlands Trial

Alongside the Peter Rabbit Trail at Langdon Nature Reserve is the Plotlands Trail.

The Plotlands trail will take you on a trip back in time, past ruined bungalows built by Londoners in the 1940s who were keen to own their own little piece of Essex countryside. By WWII lots of people had moved out of London and it had become a thriving estate full of the homes and the families that inhabited them.

These bungalows have now been left derelict and the woodland has reclaimed them.

On the Plotlands trail are some fantastic views of the London skyline. A real treat and not something you expect to see either! Read our Plotlands blog if you want to know more!

Themed activity trails in Essex - plotlands

Gruffalo Trail at Thorndon – Themed activity trails in Essex

The Gruffalo Trail at Thorndon is one of the smaller themed activity walks on the list. However, if you are looking to go further there are additional paths and walks open to you.

This particular themed activity walk is a great option if you have really small children. All the characters are grouped together and it is easy to keep an eye on your children, whilst allowing them some freedom to play.

Maps of the trail are available from the shop on site. The map isn’t a necessity, but the kids love it and it does add a little something special to the whole experience.

Finding all the well known characters from the book and reciting all the key passages as you go round is really cute and the kids love it!

There are also lots of trees to climb, bivouacs to explore and little bugs to find on your way round.

Gruffalo Trail

Stick Man Trail in Weald Country Park – Themed activity trails in Essex

The Stick Man trail is only part of what Weald Country Park has to offer. There are multiple play parks, a duck pond, various installations such as a cloud gazing bed and even deer to feed! Make sure you remember to take some carrots!

There are a few uphill moments in Weald Country Park, but on the whole the park is very pushchair friendly. There is a great shop and cafe and ample parking. You can find out more here.

Stick Man Weald Country Park

Wind in the Willows Trail at Hanningfield Reservoir

On entry, Hanningfield Reservoir ask for a donation to help with the upkeep of the area. There is no defined amount, but you are encouraged to give what you can. However the car park is completely free!

Once you’re in the kids are given a little trail map with space to collect rubbings on. The trail is a pretty simple and pushchair friendly. Although there is a bit more of an adventurous walk through the woods if you’re up for it.

Hanningfield Reservoir Themed activity trails in Essex

The Wind and the Willows trail at Hannifield offers lots of opportunities to sit down along the walk. This allows you to spend a moment tucking into your picnic or an opportunity to get your flask out for a little top-up and rest.

This is a beautifully simple trail to do and, of course, it follows the side of the reservoir. You’ll definitely enjoy some lovely views of the water.

Themed activity trails in Essex

Bramley Hedge – Abberton Reservoir – Themed activity trails in Essex

Abberton Reservoir is one of the bigger walks. It is completely buggy friendly, a great shop at the start and loads of free parking.

Abberton Reservoir

While you are enjoying the views out across the water, the kids are busy finding the seven Bramley Hedge mice located along the trail.

However, there are also other things to do and see! There are bird hides to sit in, earth mounds to climb and paths to explore. We even saw a weasel! My first ever sighting of a real life, completely wild weasel!

Themed activity trails in Essex

If you decide to take a day trip to any of the above let me know if you enjoyed it! Also do you know of any other themed activity trails in Essex that I have missed off the list?

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Looking for other places to visit in Essex? Why not try Layer Marney Tower?