Hockley Woods offers no loos, no shops - just a tremendous amount of ancient trees, stunning wild flowers and local wildlife for an old fashioned family ramble, with the added bonus of an adventure playground with gear for 3 to 10 year olds to clamber about on! Something for everyone!
Covering over 130 scenic hectares, Hockley Woods are actually the largest remaining area of the old Wild Wood, which covered Essex soon after the Ice Age 10,000 years ago! Great bit of secret schooling there that may (or may not!) interest the kids.
The woods themselves are a complex mosaic of differing trees that are great for rubbing bark samples on, so bring some thick crayons and paper! Oak and Sweet Chestnut grow on the higher ground; Birch on the most acidic soils; Hornbeams all along the wet clays; plus willow, springy hazel and ash along the streams. If you've a mind to then it's a brilliant place to do some study of their preferred climes and why they grow where they do - did someone say extra credit project?!
Many of the plants in the wood, such as the wild service tree, wood anemone, wood spurge and cow-wheat will only grow on the undisturbed soils of ancient woods so it's a rather special area for botany fans and a good place to start that interest in the uninitiated.
A walk leaflet is available from the Council Offices denoting 2 cool way marked walks so you have an epic ramble without fear of getting lost! The Boundary Walk is 5km so great for those with longer legs or a bit more go, or The Valley Walk is 1km but can be extended to add into the 2km Bridal Way Trail if walked as a circular.
Year round daylight access.
Main Road Entrance,
No admission. Parking now 20p per hour.
Hockley Woods has not told us about their parking.
No, there are no toilets available.
No, there are no baby changing facilities.
Hockley Woods has not told us if you can bring a picnic.
Yes, there is an onsite restaurant.
No, Hockley Woods is not wheelchair friendly.
No, Hockley Woods have stated they are not pushchair friendly.
Hockley Woods has not told us if they are dog friendly.