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Colchester

Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food

Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea

Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea

Do you dare try the terrifyingly gruesome Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea at the Cardamon Tea Lounge & Shop in Essex. Running for the month of October 2018, this Colchester Tea Shop is offering a frightful treat!

You don’t know whether to be horrified or delighted by the selection on offer with the Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea. The table is set in a Halloween theme ready for you when you arrive. When our afternoon tea was presented at our table I was amazed at the attention to detail. Each element of the afternoon tea had been carefully thought out to both horrify and thrill the customer.

Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea View from front

Savouries

With the savouries for the Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea, do not expect your normal mundane sandwiches! Expect a gruesome worm sandwich (hot dog in a brioche bun) served with a syringe of ketchup, devilled eggs and a warming tomato soup.

Work sandwich, a hot dog sliced up inside a brioche but with syringe of ketchup Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon TeaTomato soup Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea

The Sweet Stuff

The sweet selection on offer with the Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea are just as ghastly as the savouries!

You are served these devilish delights: green ghost scones, fresh eyes (really yummy lychee and blueberries), a chocolate tomb cake, a brain jar (a delicious cheesecake) and lots of other gruesome treats!

It is all served with your choice of tea/coffee or cold drink. The Cardamon Tea Lounge has over 50 varieties of tea on offer.

Chocolate tomb brownies Disgusting treats from the Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon TeaGreen ghost scones with Halloween bottles

Kid’s Haunted Mansion Platter

Children also get the chance to sample these scary Halloween treats this October too with the kids Haunted Mansion Platter. Platter is £9.50 and includes, sandwiches, drink and themed sweet treats.

Kids Halloween platter

The Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea is £20 per head and available to book for the month of October 2018 at the Cardamon Tea Lounge & Shop in Colchester. Pop over to their website or Facebook page to book or for further information.

Other themed afternoon teas

To read our reviews of Cardamon Tea Lounge’s other fantastic themed afternoon teas in Essex. Please see below:

Wizards themed Afternoon Tea, for any Harry Potter fan.

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea.

Mary Poppins Themed Afternoon Tea, Practically Perfect in every way.

Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea.

Silly Old Bear Afternoon Tea.

Be Our Guest Afternoon Tea for any Beauty and the Beast fan.

The Cardamon Tea Lounge features in our list of the Best Afternoon Teas in Essex, please see here.

View of Haunted Mansion Halloween Afternoon Tea

Thank you for reading The Haunted Mansion Halloween inspired Afternoon Tea.

Written in collaboration with the Cardamon Tea Lounge, all views and opinions are my own.

Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food, Home

Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast inspired Afternoon Tea

Cardamon Tea Lounge

The Cardamon Tea Lounge and Shop in Colchester Essex hosts a monthly themed afternoon tea. For the month of September welcomed the wonderful Be Our Guest, Beauty and the Beast inspired afternoon tea.

They offer over 50 varieties of tea and lots of other savoury and sweets treats in a traditional tea room environment.

Be Our Guest Afternoon Tea

This wonderful Beauty and The Beast inspired Afternoon Tea is one of my very favourites. Accompanied by Mrs Potts and Chip, this afternoon features wonderful theming based on the much loved tale of Beauty and The Beast. The Be Our Guest Afternoon Tea comes beautifully displayed on a traditional cake stand.

Savouries

The savouries are French themed and really delicious. You receive a chicken and cranberry croissant, Brie and apple mini roll and Croque Monsieur cheese and ham wraps. Alongside the sandwiches you receive a mini salad served in a tea cup!

Sweets

The sweets are a real treat with this Beauty and The Beast themed afternoon tea. You receive very own chocolate Cogsworth, a macaroon served in a mini clear dome, a Belle themed lemon cake, ‘Try the Grey stuff it’s delicious’ sweet treat and a strawberry mousse parfait served in a tall glass.

To accompany the sweets, a vanilla dress shaped scone is served with clotted cream, jam and a chocolate pot. The scones and cakes are all made in-house and are very fresh and delicious. The lemon cake is covered in sweet buttercream icing and crusted with sugar, amazing!

Children’s Be Our Guest Platter

A children’s version of the Be Our Guest, Beauty and The Beast inspired afternoon tea is also available. Each platter comes with a teapot and dress shaped sandwiches, a mini croissant and a mixture of themed snacks and treats, along with a drink. They are always so beautifully put together and children love them! So much attention to detail. They are very reasonably priced at £7.50 per child.

The Be Our Guest Afternoon Tea is £20 per head and available to book for the month of September 2018 at the Cardamon Tea Lounge & Shop in Colchester. Pop over to their website or Facebook page to book or for further information.

To read our reviews of Cardamon Tea Lounge’s other fantastic themed afternoon teas in Essex. Please see below:

Wizards themed Afternoon Tea, for any Harry Potter fan.

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea.

Mary Poppins Themed Afternoon Tea, Practically Perfect in every way.

Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Silly Old Bear Afternoon Tea.

The Cardamon Tea Lounge features in our list of the Best Afternoon Teas in Essex, please see here.

Thank you for reading Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast inspired Afternoon Tea. Written in collaboration with the Cardamon Tea Lounge, all views and opinions are my own.

Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Charlie and the chocolate factory afternoon tea

Cardamon Tea Lounge

Cardamon Tea Lounge & Shop in Colchester is one of our favourite tea rooms to visit! They feature on our list of The Best Afternoon Teas in Essex. Cardamon Tea Lounge specialise in magical and enchanting themed afternoon teas. Each month they introduce us to an exciting new theme. For the month of July is the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon treat is such a delight. So much effort, planning and preparation has gone into each themed afternoon tea. Your table is decorated with fun themed props. Props range from funny Wonka glasses, giant sweets and even a Wonka-vision selfie frame so you can snap some memories from your visit.

The Cardamon Tea Lounge have over 50 wonderful varieties of tea to choose from to go with your afternoon tea. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea is also served with a yummy chocolate milkshake.

Savouries

The sandwiches served are a great selection, salmon and cream cheese, Cheddar and caramelised onion and a mini egg mayonnaise roll. We even received a Nutella and raspberry sandwich and it was a delicious taste explosion! Perfect for any Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Fan! Quite delicious!

Cake stand with sweets and cakes, Wonka glasses Top view Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Sweets

This themed afternoon tea came with so many colourful, exciting sweet treats. We enjoyed a cheesecake topped with candy floss and blueberries, a cupcake with a hidden surprise, a macaroon pop, a Wonka bar and we even got an everlasting gobstopper!

Lastly, no Charlie and the Chocolate themed Afternoon Tea would be complete without a ‘chocolate’ scone! A nice variation from your average plain or fruit scone.

Candy floss topped cheesecakes from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon TeaClose up of sweets on the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Children’s Platter

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory children’s afternoon tea platter is great fun! A tasty selection of sandwiches, fruit sweets and a chocolate dessert. It also comes with a mini chocolate freak shake! The children’s platters are such good value and children find them so exciting to eat. A real treat!

The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea is £20 per head and available to book for the month of July 2018 at the Cardamon Tea Lounge & Shop. Pop over to their website or Facebook page to book or for further information.

To read our reviews of Cardamon Tea Lounge’s other fantastic themed afternoon teas in Essex. Please see below:

Wizards themed Afternoon Tea, for any Harry Potter fan.

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea.

Mary Poppins Themed Afternoon Tea, Practically Perfect in every way.

Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea

Thank you for reading ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea’

Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food, Home

Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

Scones, sandwiches and cakes set up for the Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

The Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea is appearing at one of our favourite tea rooms in Colchester, Essex. Cardamon Tea Lounge & Coffee Shop host themed afternoon teas, each month brings a new theme. Running for the month of June 2018 and absolutely perfect for Fathers Day is the Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea! Elementary my Dear Watson!

Cardamon Tea Lounge offer over 50 different tea variations, so there is something for everyone. My personal favourite is Karak Chai, a wonderful blend of Assam, cardamon and made with condensed milk.

Props ready for Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

Savoury

The Sherlock Holmes afternoon was a real treat, served upon a board game with lots of fun props, magnifying glass, hat, pipe etc. It really looked the part.

‘A game is afoot’ sandwiches were served upon a gold tray. A delicious selection consisting of a roast beef and egg mayonnaise mini roll (which was amazing) and then cheddar cheese & caramelised onion, ham & mustard and lastly smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Served warm were cheese and bacon mini rolls, which were almost like a scone with a soft and cheesy centre. These were simply diving and shouldn’t be missed!

Scones, sandwiches and cakes set up for the Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

A tray of rolls and sandwiches for Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

 

Sweet

The sweets arrived and they did not disappoint! The spiced scones were again served warm with butter, clotted cream and jam. They had a great flavour!

‘A logical conclusion’ cakes were beautifully displayed on a framed newspaper print, complete with magnifying glass and liquorice pipe! A real treat for any chocolate lovers out there. A chocolate cheesecake, salted caramel brownie and the most delicious macaroon that melted in the mouth! The cakes were a wonderful conclusion to the afternoon tea, I enjoyed every bite!

Spiced scones Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

Sweet selection, cheesecake, brownies, Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

Children’s Sherlock Holmes Children’s Platter

A children’s version of the Sherlock Holmes themed afternoon tea is also available. They are always so well themed with a mix of sweet and savoury and served with a drink. The children always love them! A bargain for £6.50 per child.

Childrens platter Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

The Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea is £20 per head and available to book for the month of June 2018 at the Cardamon Tea Lounge & Shop. Pop over to their website or Facebook page to book or for further information.

To read our reviews of Cardamon Tea Lounge’s other fantastic themed afternoon teas in Essex. Please see below:

Wizards themed Afternoon Tea, for any Harry Potter fan.

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea.

Mary Poppins Themed Afternoon Tea, Practically Perfect in every way.

Thank you for reading ‘Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea’.

Pin me for later:

instagram Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea

Written in collaboration with Cardamon Tea Lounge, all views and opinions are my own.

Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food, Home

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex

Cardamon Tea Lounge

With the recent release of Peter Rabbit we were super excited to try out A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea at one of our favourite tea rooms in Colchester, Essex. Cardamon Tea Lounge & Coffee Shop host themed afternoon teas, each month brings a new theme. Running for the month of April 2018 ‘A Tale of Peter Rabbit’ themed afternoon tea is sure to delight any Beatrix Potter fan.

A Tale of Peter rabbit themed afternoon tea

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea

Cardamon Tea Lounge pay so much attention to detail on their themed afternoon teas and ‘A Tale of Peter Rabbit’ themed afternoon tea is no exception. On arrival your table is laid with your very own grass mat, complete with flowers and carrot accessories, setting the scene for an exciting afternoon tea. We choose one from over 50 choices of tea to go along with our food.

The afternoon tea consisted of Mr McGregors garden goods, a selection of delicious sandwiches, wraps and bread rolls filled with delights straight from the garden. Cream cheese and radish sandwich, egg mayo and advocado roll, cream cheese and asparagus wrap, houmous pot with veg to dip and a wonderful fresh feta and spinach salad with blackberries and walnuts… Mr McGregor would have enjoyed this feast, it could also be suitable for vegetarians.

Tea cup and sandwiches A Tale of Peter rabbit themed afternoon tea Abide from above - A Tale of Peter rabbit themed afternoon tea

After the savouries we had Peter Rabbit’s hot cross bun, this made a nice change from the usual scone that is expected with an afternoon tea. It even came with a mini trowel and mini bucket full of jam to spread on top!

The sweets included a deliciously moist and tasty carrot cake, a chocolate pot served in a plant pot topped with a strawberry, a lemon tart with an edible cabbage moulded from nougat and a chocolate eclair finished with petals.

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea was so wonderfully put together, so much effort to theme each and every piece of food. It wasn’t your traditional afternoon tea, it was a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. So much fun to eat!

Close up of carrot cake, hot cross buns A Tale of Peter rabbit themed afternoon tea

A Tale of Peter Rabbits Children’s Platter

Cardamon Tea Lounge do so many fabulous platters for kids! At just £6.50, the children’s platter includes a yummy milkshake, shaped sandwiches, along with lots of yummy biscuits, chocolates and even a few sweets! Eden absolutely loves the kids platters and the Peter Rabbit platter was no exception!

The Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea is running for the month of April 2018 and is £20 per head (at time of publishing). Children’s platter is £6.50. Pop over to their website or Facebook page to book or for further information.

Children’s platter - A Tale of Peter rabbit themed afternoon tea

To see a review of their Magical Wizards Themed Afternoon Tea please read here.

Thank you for reading ‘A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex’.

Eden enjoying her children’s platter - A Tale of Peter rabbit themed afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food, Home

A Wizard’s Afternoon Tea in Essex

wizards afternoon tea

A Wizards Afternoon Tea

Cardamon Tea Lounge in Colchester, Essex has brought back the ‘Wizards Afternoon Tea’ for the month of November 2018 and it is bigger, better and even more amazing than before! Any Witch, Wizard, Muggle or true Harry Potter fan would be delighted by this ‘Wizard’s Themed Afternoon Tea’.

 

wizards afternoon tea

The Savouries

As always the sandwiches were freshly made and simply delicious, we enjoyed Turkey and Cranberry and Houmous and Vegetables sandwiches. We also received a bowl of warm French Onion Soup with lashings of grated cheese and our very own magical dragon eggs! The soup was really good and a lovely addition for the colder winter months!

french onion soup and cheese wizards afternoon tea

Vegetables and scones from wizards afternoon tea

The Sweet Stuff

Our Wizard’s afternoon tea was filled with so many magical and exciting delights. We were treated to our very own multicoloured potions (which tasted amazing), popcorn served in a cauldron, and we even had our own mandrake cakes!  Each tiny mandrake is carefully moulded in fudge! The scones were freshly baked and pumpkin spiced. We enjoyed a butterscotch and raspberry tart and a spell book brownie, there was so much to take in. Alongside the Wizards afternoon tea you can choose from over 50 variations of tea. We opted for the Karak Chai tea and it is sweet and mildly spiced, really complemented the Afternoon Tea perfectly.

Mandrake harry potter cakes

Brownie spell book monster cake wizards afternoon tea

Spell book cakes on cake stand wizards afternoon tea

 

 

Children’s Afternoon Tea Platter

The Cardamon Tea Lounge offers lots of wonderfully themed platters for children and the Wizard’s platter is no exception. The sandwiches were accompanied by many magical treats, a broomstick, a spellbook, a cauldron of popcorn, veggie sticks, sweets and a drink.  Any little witch or wizard would have a truly magical and enchanting time working their way through this Wizards feast!

Wizards afternoon tea childrens platter

 

The Cardamon Tea Lounge

A couple of years ago we found The Cardamon Tea Lounge in Colchester, Essex. We happened to be walking by and spotted this quaint little tea room and decided to give it a try. Since then it has been one of our firm favourite tea rooms. We aren’t the only ones that like it, it won the Essex Life Food and Drink Awards 2017 for Best Coffee/Tea Shop. Now its quickly becoming a popular spot for wonderful and imaginative Themed Afternoon Teas in Essex.

My daughter fell in love with this place right away and refers to it as the ‘Alice Cafe’. As you step inside there are so many wonderful trinkets and handmade crafts, many Alice in Wonderland themed and available to buy. There are teapots and cups as lampshades hanging from the ceiling and spoons as door handles. Every time I visit I see something new. My daughters favourite part is the little cupboard under the stairs, a cosy spot for the little ones to play.

Shop front of The Cardamon Tea Lounge in Colchester. Themed Afternoon Tea in EssexSome Alice in wonderland crafts and decorations Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex.

The Wizards Afternoon Tea is £20 per head.  All afternoon tea’s should be prebooked, please get in touch with The Cardamon Tea Lounge, 44 St John’s Street, Colchester, Essex CO2 7AD. Telephone number: 01206 504180.

 

OTHER THEMED AFTERNOON TEAS

To read our reviews of Cardamon Tea Lounge’s other fantastic themed afternoon teas in Essex. Please see below:

Wizards themed Afternoon Tea, for any Harry Potter fan.

A Tale of Peter Rabbit Themed Afternoon Tea.

Mary Poppins Themed Afternoon Tea, Practically Perfect in every way.

Sherlock Holmes Themed Afternoon Tea.

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea.

Silly Old Bear Afternoon Tea.

Be Our Guest Afternoon Tea for any Beauty and the Beast fan.

The Cardamon Tea Lounge features in our list of the Best Afternoon Teas in Essex, please see here.

 

Top view of wizards afternoon tea

 

Thank you for reading ‘A Wizard’s Afternoon Tea’.

Written in collaboration with The Cardamon Tea Lounge, we were invited along to review their afternoon tea. Please note that all views and opinions are strictly my own.

Days Out, Museums, Outdoors, Parks, Unusual

Free and Cheap kids days out in Essex!

Okay so as we approach the kid’s summer holidays. Some of us with welcome arms while others are more likely burrowing their heads in their hands! It can be daunting, thinking ahead of 6 or 7 weeks of entertaining your offspring! It can also be very expensive so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite free and cheap days out for kids. Here is my list of my favourite Free kids days out in Essex! So in no particular order:

Free kids days out in Essex

1. Priory Park, Southend

Priory Park is a particularly picturesque park, not only does it have a large children’s play area, it has a lake, a woodland walk, a cafe, beautiful walled formal gardens and it’s the home to Prittlewell Priory Museum. The Priory originally formed part of a Cluniac Monastery dating back to 1180. There are plenty of nice spots for picnicking and letting the kids run off some steam.
The museum is free to enter and if you particularly enjoyed your visit then donations are welcomed.
Free parking onsite (although not a huge car park).
Opening times – Summer opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10:10 – 17:00
Bank holidays 10:00 – 17:00
For more information visit their website.

2. Wind in the Willows Sculptures at Hanningfield Resevoir

Hanningfield Resevoir in Downham, Billericay is a great family day out. Stick on your wellies and take a wander through the woods to spot the well known characters from Wind in the Willows. A special map is available to purchase at the visitor centre. At each sculpture you can use the back of the map to make your very own brass rubbings of Badger, the Weasels, Ratty, Mole and Mr Toad.
You can visit for free but there is a suggested donation amount of £2 per adult, £1 per child or £5 per family.
They also offer a range of children’s activities during the summer holidays for just a £3 donation. Check their website to see what events are running.
The visitor centre has a refreshment area, gift shop and toilets with baby changing facilities. There is also a viewing area with views out across the Reservoir where you can relax and enjoy watching the wildlife.
There is free parking available onsite.
Open Daily: 9am – 5pm.
For more information visit their website.

3. Peter Rabbit Sculptures at Langdon Visitor Centre

Langdon Visitor Centre is in Lower Dunton Road in Basildon. It is a lovely nature reserve with a trail, meadows, woodlands and lakes. As you take a wander around the trail you will meet wonderful wooden characters from Peter Rabbit. They also offer lots of children’s activities during the summer holidays from scavenger hunts to making arts and crafts for just a £3 donation. Check their website or Facebook page for details.
The visitor centre sells refreshments, has a gift shop and toilets with baby changing. To the rear of the visitor centre is a pretty wildlife garden.
There is free parking onsite.
Open Daily: 9am – 5pm.
For more information visit their website.

4. Hollytrees Museum and Colchester Castle Park

Hollytrees Museum is a great museum set in Colchester Castle Park overlooking the picturesque Colchester Castle. There is a cafe, formal gardens and children’s playground with large sandpit play area to explore.
The museum gives a glance into life in Colchester and how it has evolved over the years. It has some really interesting exhibits and interactive parts to keep the kids interested and entertained.
Free entry.
Opening times of Hollytrees Museum:
Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm
Parking is not available on site, you would need to use Colchester Town car parks.
You can visit the Castle Museum but there is a fee to enter.

For more information check their website.

5. Stick Man Trail at Weald Country Park

Another great free kids day out in Essex is Weald Country Park. It is set within 500 acres of parkland in Brentwood and home to The Stickman Play Trail. A fun trail bringing to life the story by Julia Donaldson encouraging imaginative play. A gorgeous walk through the woodland and parkland with activities to explore at each stop. It really is a lovely walk round and the children love investigating and playing around the wooden structures.

You can purchase a map at the visitor centre. There is also a deer to visit, cafe, play area, gift shop and toilets.
Free entry and parking is onsite, there is a charge for parking however:

Up to 1 hour £2.20
Up to 2 hours £3.30
Up to 3 hours £4.40
Over 3 hours £5.50

For more information please visit their website.

6. Hylands House & Park

Hylands House is based in Chelmsford in Hylands Park. The Grade II listed house is set in gorgeous landscaped parkland, with pretty formal gardens to explore, a cafe and adventure castle play area.
Free entry to the park and free onsite parking.
To enter the house is £3.80 for adults and free for under 16s.
Please check their website for opening dates and times of the house and cafe. Please also be aware that it will be closed for visiting during a weekend in mid August for a Festival.
For more information please visit their website.

7. Canvey Island Transport Museum

The museum in Canvey Island is the home to a selection of vintage buses, coaches and classic cars. In addition to the museum there is a model railway and gift shop selling die-cast models and transport souvenirs.
Entry is free but donations are welcomed.

Open the first and third Sundays between April and October.
Opening times 10am to 5pm.
For more information visit their website.

8. Chelmsford Museum at Oaklands Park

Chelmsford Museum is actually in Oaklands Park situated Moulsham Street, Chelmsford.
Set within gorgeous grounds with two fantastic playgrounds for the children, one for older children and one for younger.
Chelmsford Museum has some really interesting exhibits and also houses Essex Regiment Museum.
During the summer holidays they are hosting a number of themed craft sessions for school aged children. Children are encouraged to get creative, using the museum’s collections and displays for inspiration. £3 per child.
Free entry and free parking is available onsite. Please note there is some renovation work going on during 2018 but the museum is still open.
Opening times:
Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Sunday 1pm to 4pm
For more information please visit their website.

9. Rayleigh Windmill

Rayleigh Windmill is a 200 year old Grade II listed building where you can learn how the Windmill worked, climb to the top, try the quiz in the museum, dress up in traditional costumes.
Entry is free of charge but a donation of £1 per person is suggested. See our full review of Rayleigh Windmill here.

Opening times:
Wednesday 10:00am – 1:00pm
Saturday 1:00 – 4:00pm
Sunday 1:00 – 4:00pm

Please check in advance as they close for some private events at weekends.
Parking is at Mill Hall Car Park which is a paid for car park but free after 1pm on Saturday and free all day Sunday.
For more information please visit their website.

10. Great Notley Discovery Park

Great Notley Discovery Park is situated in Braintree. A great place to explore with the kids with interactive play equipment and sensory trails.
There is a cafe onsite, toilets and car parking.
Free Entry.
Opening times: The park is open daily from 08.00 till dusk
The visitor centre and cafe is open daily from 10.00 till 16.00. (Except 25 December).

11. Thames Chase Nature Reserve.

Thames Chase Nature Reserve based in Pike Lane, Upminster has a great nature trail with activities as you go round. It also boasts a play area, very nice cafe, gift shop and bicycle hire. It’s a great place to take the kids bikes to cycle round.
There are some great wooden structures as you go around the trail for the kids to play and climb on.
They are organising a range of children’s activities through the summer holidays on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week from 25th July to 24th August between 10:30am and 12:30pm. £3 donation per child.
Free entry.
Opening times: 10am-5pm weekdays and weekend (10-4pm in the winter).
Includes café and shop with toilets and baby changing.
Parking is onsite for a small fee.
For more information please visit their website.

12. Wat Tyler Park

Wat Tyler Country Park in Pitsea, Basildon has 125 acres of country walks, wildlife spotting adventure play area for kids and a miniature railway. The park has a fascinating history and was originally an explosives factory. There are informative signs as you walk around the trail.
There is a cafe and gift shop onsite with toilets and baby changing.
Free entry and free parking onsite.
Railway runs in the school holidays, adults £2.50 and children £1.50.
Opening times:
Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 16:45.
For more information please visit their website.

13. Hadleigh Castle

Hadleigh Castle is situated in Castle Lane, Hadleigh. The ruins of the castle are set high upon a hill overlooking the Essex marshes and Thames estuary. A gorgeous spot for settling down for a picnic and letting the kids let off some steam exploring the castle ruins.
Free entry all year round at any reasonable time.
It is situated right next to the Salvation Army Tea Rooms and Rare Breeds Farm with car park. Please note there is a charge for car parking.
Entry to the Farm isn’t free but it is very reasonable and is well worth a visit if in the area. They have a Willow maze, play area and lots of rare breed friendly animals to see.

14. Gruffalo Trail – Thorndon Country Park North

The Gruffalo Trail is in Thorndon Country Park North in Brentwood. It’s a great walk through the forest spotting all your favourite characters from The Gruffalo books by Julia Donaldson.
There is a visitor centre where you can purchase a trail guide for 50p. There is also a gift shop, cafe and toilets with picnic area.
Free entry and parking onsite. There is a charge for parking.
Opens at 09:30am.
For more information please visit their website.

15. Canvey Island

You can get an all day wrist band for £5 to go on the fairground rides! It’s brilliant value for money and lots of rides to keep the little ones happy. They also have the beach right next door, soft play centre opposite just in case it rains and Movie Starr cinema where tickets are just £3.50.

16. Cammas Hall Farm

Cammas Hall Farm is set in the Essex countryside, just outside Bishops Stortford. A great spot for strawberry and fruit picking. They have a lovely outdoor play area, cafe and farm shop. They also hold many events throughout the year and its also a great spot for pumpkin picking come the Autumn. See our full review of Cammas Hall Farm here.

I would definitely recommend a visit there. It’s best to check their website or Facebook page first before going to find out whether they have strawberries ready for picking.

Strawberry picking cammas hall farm, free kids days out in essex

 

17. Essex Police Museum

An absolutely fascinating place, small but packed full of interesting facts and information and has an area aimed at children. They often run events throughout the year for a few pounds donation. All monies raised go directly to the Essex Police Museum to help fund it. We had great fun going round the museum on a treasure hunt and was awarded a mini magnifying glass for completing the challenge.

Visit their website for further information. Essex Police Museum, Chelmsford CM2 6DN.

Essex Police Museum Free days out for kids in Essex

18. BELFAIRS WOODLAND CENTRE

Belfairs Woodland Centre in Leigh on Sea in Essex is a great spot to wander through the woods or play in the large wooden play area. They often hold many themed events and crafts during the holidays for a small charge per craft. Some are drop in and some are pre-bookable only. For more information visit their website.

Parking is free and there is a cafe nearby.

Essex Wildlife Trust are holding lots of fun events at the other centres, but many of them you need to book in advance so I would advise visiting their website first. They range from Button Crafts, building bird boxes to Space Days and Fairytale Fun.

Belfairs Wood park free days out

 

19. MUSEUM OF POWER

The Museum includes numerous power-related exhibits that will interest all ages, many working examples of various power sources, machinery, equipment and tools. In addition, in the former workshop, the Steam Pump Tea Rooms offer a selection of refreshments. Outside in the grounds more attractions can be found including a model village, picnic area and the miniature railway.

They hold lots of events over the holidays for example Science and Art Workshops. Entry fee applies. Adults: £5.00; Concessions: Senior citizens and students: £4.50; Children 5 to 15 incl £2:00; Children 4 and under: FREE.

Please visit their facebook page or website for further details.  Museum of Power, Hatfield Road, Langford, Maldon, Essex CM9 6QA. Tel: +44 (0)1621 843183.

20. Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Brentwood gives a home for life to sick, unwanted and mistreated animals such as horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks and cats. Open to the public daily. They run themed events throughout the holidays.

£5 per adults, children £4 each and under 3’s FREE. Extra Animal Experiences help the sanctuary raise much needed funds and gets you even closer so you can help feed and groom. There is a play area and cafe onsite and free parking, Please check their website or facebook for further details of their special events.

 

I hope our list of Free Kids Day Out in Essex helps and inspires you. Please let me know if there are any great places I need to add to the list.

Please note all information is correct at time of publishing, please check venue websites or Facebook pages before you visit for up to date information or changes.

Thank you for reading ‘Free kids days out in Essex!’. If you can think of any other great free days out in Essex, let me know!

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