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Hanningfield Reservoir

#3 of 20 things to do in Billericay Features Animals
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitors Centre Hawkswood Road | Downham, Billericay CM11 1WT, England
+44 1621 862960
Review Highlights
Great for a walk

Stumbled upon this place great for a walk around especially on a lovely day. There is also a really... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Norwich, United Kingdom
via mobile
Great visit

This is are new favourite place to go on sunny days and maybe muddy days with wellies on. I visited... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 223 reviews
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Set in mature woodland and offering superb views over the 870 acre Hanningfield Reservoir; Hanningfield nature reserve itself offers beautiful walks through the woodland; visiting bird hides, ponds and appreciating views across the reservoir. The site is run in partnership with Essex & Suffolk Water where you can venture through to their Cafe on the Water or take up a day’s fishing at the Fishing Lodge. The reservoir itself is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the important numbers of wildfowl that use the reservoir in the autumn and winter. New from March 2015 came the Wind in the Willows sculpture and brass rubbing trail with five sculptures from the much loved story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. Maps are available at the visitor centre for 50p as well as exclusive books and gifts in partnership with the River & Rowing Boat Museum, Henley-on-Thames. If you fancy venturing further than Mr Toad down by the pond there are great nature trails on the reserve for all to enjoy. Advice is always on hand in the visitor centre, to help identify wildlife and to share the latest hotspots to experience wildlife. A trail guide is available from the visitor centre at 40p, to guide you around the reserve and wildlife activity bags can be hired for a small donation for the children to take out on the reserve. The reserve has full disabled access including Lyster Bird hide, just a short distance away. The centre boasts a wide array of gifts, range of Hawke & Opticron binoculars and telescopes; as well as books and refreshments including sandwiches, cake, tea and coffee. Take a seat at our seating area whilst you are enjoying your hot drinks and enjoy the stunning views over the reservoir. Visitor Centre Facilities Include gift shop offering light refreshments, toys, books, optics binoculars and scopes, bird feeders & feed, wildlife gardening products, greeting cards and much more. Toilets, disabled access toilet, baby changing facilities, wheel chair accessibility. Booking is essential for all centre events, so make sure you call or visit the centre in advance to avoid disappointment. No dogs except registered assistance dogs. No bicycles allowed.
  • Excellent39%
  • Very good45%
  • Average8%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible5%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitors Centre Hawkswood Road | Downham, Billericay CM11 1WT, England
+44 1621 862960
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Reviews (223)
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1 - 10 of 223 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Stumbled upon this place great for a walk around especially on a lovely day. There is also a really lovely cafe right on the water which looked great, was really busy on the day we went so we decided to not stop. Definitely worth a...More

Thank Jim104
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is are new favourite place to go on sunny days and maybe muddy days with wellies on. I visited this place before bringing the kids to see what it was like and I loved the long walk and also the fishing lake cafe was...More

Thank Mummyc5
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

peaceful area to walk, brilliant place for bird watching as you are walking around or in the hides. Family friendly

Thank hills63
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Have visited this place numerous times - good for bird watchers and has a lovely cafe with deck over looking the lake. Has a path which is not too long so suitable for all ages

Thank tuzanne
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Interesting place to have a plastic cup coffee but the views of the reservoir and the information provided was spectacular

Thank ian b
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

What a lots its got. Seriously, this is a wonderful country location tucked away near to Billericay, Wickford and Chelmsford. Want to walk - then there are various paths; if you go round the perimeter of the reservoir then its around 6km. There's lovely views...More

Thank BenYorkie
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

took mum and dad for coffee and cake. Dad has Alzheimers and needs a little compassion. Ordered coffee and cake (excellent) and dad was told his tea cake would be up in a minute. 15 minutes later and no sign so I asked a waitress...More

Thank tracyhoney38
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Visited in Easter holidays. Lovely walk with kids, clean and plenty of wildlife. Firm favourite with our family.

Thank JoShay23
Reviewed 14 June 2017

Good views of birds and lake from centre; birds seen listed; possible to get coffee from machine now; interesting shop; access to walks to hides, various willow structures, Wind in the Willows characters to spot, wheelchair friendly paths for some way

Thank Elizabeth S
Reviewed 13 May 2017 via mobile

We came here for an afternoon visit after, as had not been since we were children! It is a lovely nature walk with lots to see we see loads of squirrels up close, rabbits lot of different birds and was even lucky to see 2...More

Thank Michelle_V92
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Questions & Answers
Graham T
7 May 2017|
Response from andym22017 | Property representative |
Hello Graham, Dogs are not allowed onto the Reserve, except guide dogs. There is a nice area to walk your dogs at Crowsheath Community Woodland, on Crowsheath Lane, which is about half a mile from us at the Visitor Centre.