Review - Visiting Danbury Country Park With Children

Danbury Country Park in Chelmsford, Essex is 45 acres of grade II listed parkland which was awarded a green flag award for 2022/23. The park was created over 700 years ago as a deer park, but later became the ground of a Tudor house which eventually became Danbury Palace. In 1947 the Palace and estate was sold to Essex County Council and the south-eastern section was made a Country Park. The park has lakes, woodland and plenty of open space to run around. 

two children on a seesaw in woodland made out of logs
Danbury Country Park is a great place to visit with children

Visiting Danbury Country Park

Why Danbury Country Park Is A Good Place To Visit With Children

  • Family friendly with wide flat paths suitable for buggies. 
  • Toilet facilities with baby change and disabled cubicles and ramps. 
  • There is woodland, open space and lakes with ducks and fish.

An old twisted tree with a child climbing it
Explore and climb the trees

What Is There To Do At Danbury Country Park?

There is plenty to explore at Danbury Country Park. There's a huge meadow area where you could play with a bat and ball or football or even have group picnics with friends in summer. There are plenty of trees to climb and sticks to make dens. There are also multiple lakes (including one you can fish at with a permit), ducks and fish to feed, a pond with a platform for pond dipping (take your own net) and a shallow stream to paddle in.

While there see if you can find:

  • The Ice House near the lower lake. You can see the redbrick entrance of this structure which is thought to date back to the late 18th century.
  • The Ornamental Garden.
  • The Blue Plaque commemorating the Palace’s time as a maternity hospital during World War 2. Pregnant women from London’s East End were brought to Danbury and around 2000 babies were born there. 

Danbury Country Park has monthly forest school sessions and woodland play sessions you can book on to here. 

Feeding ducks in a lake peas, sweetcorn and carrots
Feed the ducks and see the fish in the lakes

What age children will enjoy visiting Danbury Country Park?

All ages! All year round you will see lots of people with babies in slings, toddlers on balance bikes as well as teenagers on mountain bikes, families and grandparents too.

Is it suitable for pushchairs?

Yes there are lots of good paths suitable for pushchairs.

Wide pathway at Danbury Country Park
Wide pathways are suitable for pushchairs

What You Need To Know Before Visiting Danbury Country Park

  • Entry is free and it's open every day in daylight hours.
  • There are two sets of toilets: the one near the main car park is open all year, the toilets near the smaller car park are only open in summer.
  • There is often an ice cream van in the main car park which sells ice creams, bacon rolls and hot and cold drinks. The van takes cash or card payments.
  • There is no permanent cafe or food outlet on site.
  • Next to the main toilets there is somewhere you can refill water bottles.
  • There are plenty of bins and benches and picnic tables around the park.

Is it Dog Friendly?

Yes dogs are welcome in the park and there are lots of dog bins.

The main toilet block at Danbury Country Park
The main toilet block has disabled access and a drinking water taps outside

What To Take With You When Visiting

  • Take spare shoes/ wellies/ puddlesuits and clothes if little ones will want to paddle in the stream. 
  • Take a picnic or snacks if you'll be going for a while.
  • Spades/old pots and pans for digging and playing mud kitchens.
  • Duck food to feed the ducks. Sweetcorn and peas are both good options. 

children playing in a stream at Danbury Country Park
Bring a change of clothes or wellies so children can play in the stream

How To Get To Danbury Country Park and Where To Park

Address: Danbury Country Park, Woodhill Road, Danbury, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 4AW

The roads towards the park are country roads which require some care, but the park is easy to find if you follow your sat nav or maps on your phone. 

The Country Park has two car parks. Parking is by MiPermit app or card (no cash). There isn’t much signal in the woods so we would recommend downloading the parking app beforehand.

2022 prices were £2.10 for 1 hour ranging to £4.70 for over 3 hours. 

There are other places to park on Danbury Common for free however they are a further walk from the Country Park and the facilities so less ideal when with children.

Mr whippy style 99 ice creams from an ice cream van at Danbury country park
There is often an ice cream van with hot and cold drinks

What to Do Nearby Danbury Country Park?

  • Danbury has a small village centre with a park, library and it has a nice cafe called Tea on the Green which does amazing homemade cakes. There's also a charity shop which is worth a mooch and a Boots chemist, plus a few pubs within walking distance of the village centre, where there is some free parking.
  • Chelmsford town centre is about 10 minutes drive.
  • Maldon (with it's splash park, great playground and sand pit) is about 15 minutes drive.
  • Marsh Farm is about 15 minutes drive.
  • Hanningfield Reservoir with the the Wind in The Willows Trail and the Waterside Park is less than 20 minutes drive.

Photographs and recommendation made by Kate who can be found on Instagram as

1 comment

  1. Such a beautiful place and great that it's free!


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