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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.

Group visits are welcome at Abberton Reservoir. We have a coach drop off area and coach parking; please contact the centre team prior to visiting so that your trip can be booked in.

Guide Prices

Entry by suggested donation:
Adult £2
Child £1
Family £5 (2 adults & 2 children)



  • Disabled access


  • On-site light refreshments


  • Children welcome

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets



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    Map & Directions

    Road Directions

    Take the B1026 from Colchester and follow it for about 5 miles to Abberton

    The nearest railway station is Colchester Town, which is 5 miles away.

    Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

    Type:Nature Reserve

    Church Road, Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

    TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 249 reviews249 reviews
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    Tel+44 (0)1206 738172

    Opening Times

    * Open seven days a week 9.00am - 5.00pm, but closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day

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