Elm Farm Country Park
Frinton Road, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex CO16 0JE
Essex is bursting with attractions and activities to keep your youngsters occupied, and the whole family entertained. From the simple pleasures of summer picnics at a country park and nature rambles to a range of exciting outdoor activities which will challenge minds and bodies, young and old alike. With its gentle gradients and quiet country lanes, Essex is also prime cycling country, or if you’re after some wildlife encounters, there’s numerous Wildlife Trust and RSPB sites.
The luxurious Lifehouse Spa & Hotel is on Elm Farm’s doorstep and offers park users special discount packages. It nestles in the beautiful surroundings of English Heritage Listed Thorpe Hall Gardens and is the perfect place for pampering and relaxation. Enjoy a full range of luxury spa treatments or a well-being consultation from one of their resident specialists. This is the perfect place to rejuvenate the body and lift the spirit. Over 16s only. (Distance from park: 0.5 miles)
Near Kirby-le-Soken, this 233-acre paradise reserve for birds and other wildlife makes for a fascinating visit for nature lovers. Prior arrangements need to be made with The Essex Wildlife Trust to gain access to the Reserve. Walking here can be challenging due to the saltmarsh and rough grassland terrain. (Distance from park: 2.7 miles)
Titchmarsh Marina is an attractive harbour situated in the unique Walton Backwater, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Here you’ll find many excellent facilities and amenities including a waterside restaurant and sailing school. This is an ideal place for keen yachtsmen to come and explore their passion. (Distance from park: 5 miles)
Elm Farm enjoys close proximity to the Walton Backwaters which are home to a colony of approximately 70 seals along with 7,000 acres of mudflats, saltmarsh and creeks, all of which make up the Hamford Water Nature Reserve. This is an important wetland for birds, making it a popular spot for bird watchers. (Distance from park: 5.1 miles)
Considered one of the finest small zoos in Europe with over 250 species of animals set in 60 acres. Enjoy the unique chance to feed elephants and giraffes, visit the Sensation Station to handle some furry friends and scaly species, and learn how the Zoo plays an important part in animal conservation. There are several children’s play areas and a Jungle Tumble indoor play area, as well as a fun train ride. Experience Packages are available, and you can also book birthday parties here. There are numerous food outlets to enjoy lunch or a snack, and you can buy a souvenir in the on-site shop. (Distance from park: 17.2 miles)
Take a 2 hour trip around Walton’s secret waterway and encounter seals and rare birds.
(Distance from the park 13.7 miles)
This highly regarded regional theatre stages a broad mix of classic plays and new writing. The theatre also works within the local community providing a platform for local performing arts groups and artists. There’s a busy programme of events and shows, so you’re bound to have the chance of catching one during your visit to the area. (Distance from park: 13.7 miles)
If you want to visit one of the loveliest gardens in England, then head for the Beth Chatto Garden, a family run site featuring a diverse range of plants, all adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions. There is also a light and airy tea room that allows visitors to relax and take in their surroundings over a homemade cake. (Distance from park: 8.1 miles)
Take a fascinating and educational boat trip around Walton’s secret waterway and encounter seals, rare birds and many other beautiful species, all under the guidance of an experienced boatman and naturalist. (Distance from park: 13.7 miles)