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Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

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Address: Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre Church Road | Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Colchester CO2 0EU, England
Phone Number:
+44 1206 738172
09:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00

Visitors can enjoy walks on Essex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve; with...

Visitors can enjoy walks on Essex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve; with stunning panoramic views across the reservoir and surrounding villages as well as superb views of the water’s edge from three bird hides. The nature reserve has a 900m accessible circular footpath and there are wheelchairs available for use. The Visitor Centre offers a tearoom which is open seven days a week providing a variety of hot and cold food, most of which is locally sourced; easy access toilets & baby changing facilities; and a well-stocked shop which has binoculars, telescopes, bird food, feeders and a range of gifts. Essex Wildlife Trust runs a programme of events throughout the year for all ages as well as children’s outdoor birthday parties and a weekly toddler group available during term time; booking is required for all of our events. The visitor centre has a room that groups can hire and can accommodate 35 adults conference style; refreshments can be supplied by arrangement. Essex Wildlife Trust is a charity and relies on donations to carry out its work for the wildlife and people of Essex. There is suggested entry donation of £2 for Adults £1 for children and £5 Family. The huge expanse of Essex & Suffolk Water’s Abberton Reservoir plays host to some 40,000 wetland birds each year all attracted to the shallow muddy margins and large areas of rough grassland, which provide the ultimate habitat for a plethora of wildlife and waterfowl. The Visitor Centre is 6 miles SW of Colchester on the B1026 (a minor road linking Colchester and Maldon) just South of Layer de la Haye - follow the brown and white "Abberton Reservoir visitor centre" signs.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 145 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 82
  • 50
    Very good
  • 9
  • 4
  • 0
Wonderful scenery

Nice find while visiting the surrounding area. Spent a short time there and will try and make another trip there with my binoculars this time.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
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145 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 145: English reviews
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Nice find while visiting the surrounding area. Spent a short time there and will try and make another trip there with my binoculars this time.

Thank Wolfverines
Level Contributor
140 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We only recently found this gem in the Essex countryside. We visited with friends and there is so much on offer. Food is wonderfully home baked and fresh with lovely coffee or tea.There are lots of items for sale all promoting wildlife and birds which make a lovely present for someone. The views across the Reservoir are extensive and there... More 

Thank Mo H
Filey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Visited on a sunny, very windy day. Had a most enjoyable visit.. Good walking area for dogs away from wildlife. There is a Tick aware alert in this area at present. Viewed, through binoculars, largely from platform outside cafe; where tables and chairs are available. Saw some, not all, birds sighted as currently visiting Reserve. Standard in, obviously popular, cafe... More 

Thank Anne Marie D
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Loads of organised activities and an excellent park, with beautiful food in its cafe. We went when there was a fete on. Lots of lovely bugs to hold, locally produced wares to buy

Thank Annio1976
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Having only been established for a few years this is becoming a great spot to see a number of birds. The volunteers are lovely, helpful and obviously very passionate about wildlife. Give it a couple more years to fully establish and this will be one of the best wildlife spots in Essex.

Thank Amie J
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Big reservoir with lots of walks, you can even watch the sailing when it is happening. Well kept and safe, its good for everyone, but might not be so great for those with mobility issues. We were cheeky and used the sailing club for a cuppa and a cake, very nice it was too, and they were very welcoming.

Thank les s
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited Abberton recently with our Granddaughter There are loads of lovely walks and lots of bird hides to watch the local wildlife. A good playground for the children. You can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with a delicious piece of cake for a reasonable prices. The children love looking round the gift shop. Some items are pricey... More 

Thank MasterMag
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
200 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great centre, yummy cakes and great choice of light bites. However don't forget your binoculars as the ones in the windows at the centre are in need of an overhaul! I appreciate they must be well used, but in their current form are useless. Good place to walk, some signage has suffered in the wet weather.

Thank colchesterain
Maldon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The reserve and visitor centre are recently established in their current form. There's been lots of planting around the centre which is slowly maturing so there aren't as many woodland species yet but there are lots of wildfowl. The hides near the visitor centre are very accessible and the hides themselves are really good. Some of the signposts don't make... More 

Thank Phil K
Level Contributor
84 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Fancy a bite to eat and watch the flight of the wildlife then this place is perfick. Great food and service in the café with fantastic views of the water. Examples of food Full breakfast roll, sausage egg bacon and hash brown £4.50. coffee various from£1.60 Having eaten went for a gental stroll to view various wildlife. About an hour... More 

Thank perfick
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this review

Dear Perfick Thank you very much for your lovely review. I am pleased that you enjoyed your visit to us here at Abberton and completely agree the cakes and view are amazing. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back here in the future. Regards Jo More 

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?