Great Notley Country Park lake and trees.
Visitors Centre at Great Notley Country Park.
Meadow and trees.
Playground at Great Notley Country Park.

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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • Set in the green Essex countryside, Great Notley Country Park, Braintree, is a sustainable adventure park and provides stunning views, fresh air and wildlife for parents and children to enjoy.
  • Kids will love the wide range of outdoor activities provided at Great Notley Country Park, from climbing dens and high ropes, to fishing, cycling and walking.
  • Families of all ages will enjoy this incredible 100-acre park, which is one of the best Essex parks and includes a café and Discovery Centre in addition to an enormous range of activities.

Great Notley Country Park is set in the Braintree District at the heart of Essex and is the perfect family day out for those with boisterous children who adore outdoor activities. Established in the 1990s, this wonderful discovery and adventure park lies in Great Notley and is one of the best country parks in Essex. It was constructed as part of a sustainable garden village project, and is almost entirely man-made, with a beautifully sculpted artificial lake, lovely flowers. Its Discovery Centre, located at the north end of the park, provides visitors with all the helpful information they need, while also being environmentally friendly with solar panelling, a sustainable drainage system and more. Great Notley Country Park provides a charming countryside experience, which parents and children alike will love, and is both an enjoyable and environmentally friendly day out. 

There is an incredible range of activities for families at Great Notley Country Park. This country park features a 1.2 km play trail, the longest in Essex, which energetic kids who love exploring will be sure to enjoy. It includes a water play area with tire swings, forts, and even a climbing forest; perfect for your little adventurer! This trail can be found stretching across the west side of the park. The Sky Ropes are another exciting element of Great Notley Country Park. Children over 4 ft tall will delight in this exhilarating two-level adventure course, while toddlers from the age of two upwards don’t have to miss out, and can participate in the Junior Sky Ropes experience. A great sustainable playground for kids can also be found at Notley Park, making for a fun visit for kids of all ages.

Great Notley Country Park is also a fantastic option for families seeking more traditional outdoor activities. There are multiple footpaths, allowing you to appreciate the glorious man-made hills, green hedgerows and beautiful flowers of the park. A flat cycling route also features at Notley Park. This is perfect for helping little ones develop their confidence on bicycles, while experienced bike riders will have a great time zooming along this scenic route. To the north of the park, there is a 61 m x 43 m long floodlit football pitch which sporty children will delight in, while if your kids prefer tennis or basketball, a 43 m x 19 m multi-use games pitch is also available. 

Great Notley Country Park is a wonderful option for families wishing to immerse themselves in the beautiful natural surroundings. Bird watching is one exciting activity you can do at this lovely country park, with the opportunity for wildlife-loving children to spot skylarks, woodpeckers and weasels during a visit. At the southernmost end of the park lies the shimmering blue artificial lake, where you can fish at your leisure, making for a pleasant and relaxing countryside experience. 

What To Know Before You Go

  • If wishing to fish or cycle at Great Notley Country Park, you must bring your own equipment. Fishing is free but keep nets, and barbed hooks are not allowed at the park. Those aged 12 and over require an EA rod license to fish at Great Notley Country Park.
  • If wishing to hire the football pitch or multi-use games pitch, you must book in advance. Hiring the full football pitch costs £31.80 per adult for one hour at peak times, and £25.65 for a junior. You can also hire half pitches for adults and juniors. If playing in the evening floodlight costs is added to the pitch hiring costs. 
  • The MUGA costs £13.35 for an adult or £11.30 for a junior wishing to play football, netball or basketball. The charge for adults who would like to play tennis on the MUGA is £7.20, while for juniors it is £5.15. If playing in the evening, floodlight costs will be added. 
  • There are toilets including baby changing facilities and an accessible toilet located on the northernmost side of the park next to the Discovery Centre. These are open from 9.30 am each day, and close at 5 pm in the summer and 4 pm in the winter.
  • Great Notley Country Park is open from 8am till dusk every day, meaning its closing time changes seasonally. In the summer the park typically closes at 9 pm, while it shuts around 5pm in the winter months.
  • The Great Notley Discovery Centre is open from 9am to 4pm every day.
  • Great Notley Country Park has some accessible facilities at the Discovery Centre such as accessible toilets and a ramp at the main entrance, though this is steep. However, the park itself is not accessible.
  • Great Notley Country Park is a buggy friendly site, making it a great day out for families with younger children as well as tweens and teens.
  • There is a café at the Discovery Centre by the entrance to the park at its northern end. There is plenty to offer here, including vegetarian options, cold and hot meals, as well as cakes, coffee and ice cream for an afternoon or morning treat. The café opens from 9 am and shuts at around 4 pm each day.
  • You can bring your own lunch to the park. Outdoor tables are located next to the Discovery Centre. However, BBQs are not permitted at Great Notley Country Park.
  • Dogs are allowed at Great Notley Country Park, meaning the whole family can enjoy this fun day out. However, dogs should be on leads at all times on the play trail. 

Getting There

  • There is a car park at Great Notley Country Park, which can be found at the northern end of the park by the Discovery Centre. There are 200 spaces here, and parking costs £3.50 for two hours, £5 for up to three hours, and is just £6.50 for over 3 hours. 
  • It is convenient to visit Great Notley Country Park by car. From central London, this takes an hour and a quarter, while the quickest route is via the M11 and A120 roads. 
  • It is also possible to visit Great Notley Park by public transport. The 133 train from Stansted airport will take you to Braintree, as will buses such as the No.42 bus to Braintree Town Centre in Essex. Great Notley Country Park is a 45-minute walk, 40-minute bus ride and an eight-minute drive from Braintree Train Station, which is the nearest train station to the park.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines


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