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Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre

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Abberton Reservoir Wildfowl & Visitor Centre Church Road | Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Colchester CO2 0EU, England
+44 1206 738172
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Review Highlights
Very exposed on a hot sunny day

I know we're in the middle of a heatwave so when Abberton reservoir was recommended as an... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
BrieEngland
,
England
Good for birdwatching which my husband and I do.

Have a play area and are taking grandchildren very soon. They do an Easter hunt which will be good... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
chrisp19552018
,
Maldon, United Kingdom
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Visitors can enjoy walks on Essex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve; with stunning panoramic views across the reservoir and surrounding villages as well as superb views of the water’s edge from three bird hides. The nature reserve has a 900m accessible circular footpath and there are wheelchairs available for use. The Visitor Centre offers a tearoom which is open seven days a week providing a variety of hot and cold food, most of which is locally sourced; easy access toilets & baby changing facilities; and a well-stocked shop which has binoculars, telescopes, bird food, feeders and a range of gifts. Essex Wildlife Trust runs a programme of events throughout the year for all ages as well as children’s outdoor birthday parties and a weekly toddler group available during term time; booking is required for all of our events. On the nature reserve there is a new Brambly Hedge sculpture trail, where you can find seven characters from the classic stories written by Jill Barklem; there is also a wild play area with a zip wire, v bridge, swings and spiderweb net. Essex Wildlife Trust is a charity and relies on donations to carry out its work for the wildlife and people of Essex. There is suggested entry donation of £2 for Adults £1 for children and £5 Family; car parking is free. The huge expanse of Essex & Suffolk Water’s Abberton Reservoir plays host to some 40,000 wetland birds each year all attracted to the shallow muddy margins and large areas of rough grassland, which provide the ultimate habitat for a plethora of wildlife and waterfowl. The Visitor Centre is 6 miles SW of Colchester on the B1026 (a minor road linking Colchester and Maldon) just South of Layer de la Haye - follow the brown and white "Abberton Reservoir visitor centre" signs.
  • Excellent59%
  • Very good31%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
Opens in 12 min
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
Abberton Reservoir Wildfowl & Visitor Centre Church Road | Layer de la Haye, Colchester, Colchester CO2 0EU, England
CONTACT
Website
+44 1206 738172
Write a ReviewReviews (197)
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"essex wildlife trust"
in 13 reviews
"watch the birds"
in 5 reviews
"bird watchers"
in 5 reviews
"nature reserve"
in 8 reviews
"cakes"
in 15 reviews
"binoculars provided"
in 3 reviews
"water birds"
in 4 reviews
"wildlife centre"
in 2 reviews
"viewing balcony"
in 2 reviews
"volunteer staff are"
in 2 reviews
"enjoy wildlife"
in 2 reviews
"canada geese"
in 3 reviews
"peaceful location"
in 2 reviews
"zip wire"
in 5 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 13 reviews
"play area for children"
in 4 reviews
"nature lovers"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 197 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

I know we're in the middle of a heatwave so when Abberton reservoir was recommended as an entertaining place to take our grandchildren we thought it was a good idea. Wrong! It is a very exposed site with no shade or shelter from the blazing...More

Thank BrieEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear BrieEngland Thank you for taking time to review your visit. The nature reserve is very new and was an arable field only 10 years ago. Unfortunately the trees that have been planted, although they are developing well are still very young so do not...More

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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Have a play area and are taking grandchildren very soon. They do an Easter hunt which will be good for children. Good cafe, shop and selection of binoculars. Do children events but haven't done these yet as grandchildren not old enough.More

Thank chrisp19552018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Dear chrisp19552018 Thank you for taking time to review your visit to Abberton. Glad that you found the site good for birdwatching; there are also more areas to explore around the permissive footpaths which take you to different parts of the reservoir for your next...More

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Reviewed 21 June 2018

I recently visited for the first time. Plenty of parking. Good flat pathways around areas of the reservoir with a few hides on route to sit and watch the wildlife. Well stocked shop and a cafe with various food choices. Cakes looked good, but sadly...More

Thank Winkywoo444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2018

Dear Winkywoo444 Thank you for taking time to review your visit to Abberton. The site is really good for skylarks and great to hear you saw your first garganey. Sorry we didn't have chocolate cake on your visit, we do have a good choice of...More

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Reviewed 19 June 2018

This is a great venue for all ages. In the school holidays they run courses for kiddies, pond dipping, fire lighting and the kids love it. Adults can relax and watch the wildlife. Lots of volunteers help out.

Thank Pudding666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2018

Dear Pudding666 Thank you for taking time to review us here at Abberton, lovely to hear that you think that you can relax and watch the wildlife here. We hope to see you again soon. Regards Jo Wray Site Manager

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Reviewed 14 June 2018 via mobile

Visited this week with my young grandson, whilst the Centre is really good and he loved watching the birds, particularly from the hides, we did think the volunteers from the entrance to the cafe could be more friendly and welcoming. This isn’t the first time...More

Thank 590shelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

Dear 590shelley Thank you for taking time to review your visit to Abberton and lovely to hear that your grandson enjoys watching the birds from our hides. Essex Wildlife Trust relies heavily on volunteers to help run the organisation and we have a lovely team...More

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Reviewed 10 June 2018 via mobile

We arrived at 6.45 like requested to then be told that we had to park down some dirt track that’s was clearly not suitable for parking, whilst cueing for the car park we were barked at by a lady who was not willing to listen...More

Thank Matthew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

Dear Matthew G Thank you for your review and feedback on the Outdoor Cinema Event we welcome feedback regarding our events and always endeavour to improve for the future. The Greatest Showman was fully booked and therefore the number of people coming to site with...More

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Reviewed 27 May 2018

...and we'll be coming back! We're both interested in natural history and birds especially. We'd been talking about a visit to Abberton Reservoir for some time and decided to make today the day. It was a warm, sunny day ideal for a walk with bird-watching...More

Thank Ken C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

Dear Ken C Thank you for taking time to give such a detailed review of your visit to Abberton. It is lovely to hear how much you enjoyed your visit to the centre and then spending time out on the nature reserve. This time of...More

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Reviewed 22 May 2018

An interesting area but there were midges around. A great shame they do not let dogs in the area as I was taking my dogs for a long walk but unable tocontinue in the centreMore

Thank Ros W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Dear Ros W Thank you for your review; most of the insects that around are around in big swarms are Chironomids commonly known as “non-biting midges”. They do not bite as the adults do not have a mouth part and do not feed during their...More

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Reviewed 21 April 2018

Three visits to this Reservoir in a 2 week period as it is not to far away from us. Found some paths very muddy last week which is to be expected with all the bad weather we have had. The woodland walk was closed because...More

Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2018

Dear Robert T Thank you for taking time to review your visit. Lovely to hear that you enjoy the centre as well as the nature reserve. Thankfully with the warmer weather most of our woodland paths are now open so visitors can enjoy the woodland...More

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Reviewed 18 April 2018 via mobile

I often go there but it's started to get a bit expensive, I would recommend that you pay a visit but take a picnic, the children love the play area and it has a lovely gift shop .More

Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jo W, Manager at Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2018

Dear Kim S Thank you for your review. Sorry to hear that you think we are getting expensive, our prices are reviewed on a regular basis and compared to other tearooms and garden centres in the local area to make sure that we are competitive...More

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Kerry T
9 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Jo W | Property representative |
Dear Kerry T Thank you for your enquiry. There are a series of permissive footpaths around the reservoir where you can take dogs. Dogs are not however allowed in the visitor centre or on the nature reserve. You are welcome... More
1
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Tommy D
13 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Tommy D |
But on Google maps it sees as though there is a path all the way around?
0
Votes
imdpriyaa
6 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Jo W | Property representative |
Dear imdpriyaa Thank you for contacting us. We have a large car park, so plenty of space for our visitors. We don't charge for parking either, but do ask for a donation when you enter the visitor centre to help us maintain... More
1
Vote