Hadleigh Park offers something for everyone – idyllic countryside, magnificent views, important historical sites and one of the UK’s top mountain biking courses. It’s a perfect place for picnics and wildlife watching, or to try something a little more challenging.
Home of mountain biking at the London 2012 Olympics, this world-class sporting venue boasts a huge network of bike trails [http://hadleigh-park.co.uk/ride/track/] alongside a large car park, café, bike shop and hire, classroom and children’s play area. The tracks are free to ride.
Not a pro? Don’t worry – we’ve added extra trails to the Olympic course so that anyone can have a go.
Walking and wildlife
At 152 hectares (387 acres), Hadleigh Park is one of the largest in Essex, renowned for its views and undulating hills, pasture, hay meadow and marsh, old hedgerows and ponds, making it an ideal place to walk [http://hadleigh-park.co.uk/explore/walk/].
In spring, the bluebells, archangel and celandine put on a magnificent display. Summer sees the meadows in bloom with scores of butterflies drifting over, ideal for a picnic. In autumn, blackberries and sloes are a great attraction. Winter brings large flocks of birds and perhaps a chance to go sledging!
Step back and glimpse history at the replica Iron Age roundhouse adjacent to the carpark or take a pleasant 1km walk to visit the impressive 13th century ruin of Hadleigh Castle. The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Farm with its tea rooms and rare breed centre has been supporting community members to develop employment skills for over 100 years.
Free entry - see http://www.visitparks.co.uk/tickets-charges/ for parking costs
- Baby changing facilities
- Coach parties accepted
- Disabled toilets
- Education/study area
- Facilities for educational visits
- Picnic site
- Public toilets
- Accepts groups
- Children welcome
- Dogs accepted
- Guided tours for groups