I was reading Sian’s post on Monday where she said that she had visited a beach close to home for the first time and wondered why it had taken her so long to do so. We have been wondering the same thing about places local to us that we are only just getting around to visiting although we have lived in the area for 25 years this August!
This past Bank Holiday weekend, after doing gardening on Friday and clearing out the filing cabinet on Saturday, we decided to visit Langdon Hills Nature Reserve for a walk on Easter Sunday morning. The reserve is just 15 minutes drive away from Wickford and set in 461 acres which comprises woodland, meadows, lakes and former plotland gardens. There are beautiful wildlife gardens and a museum of Plotland Life (which unfortunately wasn’t open when we were there – a good excuse to go back!).
We arrived at 10.30am thinking that it wouldn’t be too busy – wrong! It was extremely busy with lots of families taking part in the Easter egg hunt which they had going on. However, once away from the main car park (free to park) the crowds spread out and although we encountered other families as we walked around it never felt crowded. The reserve also has a Peter Rabbit Woodland Trail. You can purchase a map to follow to find all the sculptures, or you can just wander like we did! There are six solid wood sculptures of Potter characters, placed along an all-weather path (which means it is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs) and we found them all and took SO many photos!
Actually, we didn’t find them all the first time we went around and ending up buying the map so that we could find the 2 we had missed. The reserve is beautiful and on a sunny day, which it was when we went, perfect for wandering around and you could spend a lot longer there than we did.
We found the museum of Plotland life on our walk but unfortunately it didn’t open until later in the day. The museum is in one of the old plotland houses and although it was shut we were able to peer into the windows at the back and read some of the information about the plotlands which was fascinating. We bought the Plotland trail guide just as we were leaving so that we can do that on another day too. If you want to find out more about the Plotlands click here.
The facilities include a shop, tea room, activity centre for the children, play area and toilets. The only facilities we used were the toilets which were fine! The shop was quite well stocked with trail leaflets, bits and pieces to buy from the Essex Wildlife Trust and sweets and drinks. In the tea room area there was a second hand book section raising money for the Essex Wildlife Trust.
As a family of 3 adults we had a great time on our walk and I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. We will definitely be going back to do the Plotlands trail and to visit the museum.