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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
We had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours

...and we'll be coming back! We're both interested in natural history and birds especially. We'd... read more

Reviewed today
Ken C
,
Black Notley, United Kingdom
Great surroundings to see thhe birds and wildlife

An interesting area but there were midges around. A great shame they do not let dogs in the area as... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Ros W
,
Clacton-on-Sea, 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.
  • Excellent60%
  • Very good32%
  • Average6%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
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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 (191)
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"essex wildlife trust"
in 14 reviews
"bird life"
in 7 reviews
"watch the birds"
in 5 reviews
"bird watchers"
in 5 reviews
"nature reserve"
in 8 reviews
"binoculars provided"
in 3 reviews
"coffee machine"
in 3 reviews
"cakes"
in 14 reviews
"wildlife centre"
in 2 reviews
"white egret"
in 2 reviews
"volunteer staff are"
in 2 reviews
"enjoy wildlife"
in 2 reviews
"visiting birds"
in 2 reviews
"canada geese"
in 3 reviews
"peaceful location"
in 2 reviews
"nature lovers"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 13 reviews
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1 - 10 of 191 reviews

Reviewed today

...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.
Reviewed 5 days ago

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 3 days ago

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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Reviewed 17 April 2018

I recently took a young disabled man to Abberton for an afternoon excursion and to enjoy the first nice weather of the year. He likes birds and he likes getting out and about. I enquired about using the Boma 7 all terrain wheelchair/bike that they...More

Thank Kiosk1
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 17 April 2018

Dear Kiosk1 Thank you for taking time to review your visit to Abberton. We are pleased to hear that you both enjoyed your visit especially using the Boma. We have tried to make the site as accessible as possible as we believe that access to...More

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Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

I can only comment on the cafe which seems to be popular with cyclists. The breakfast bap is perfect for a mid-ride refuel.More

Thank wood55y
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 April 2018

Dear woody55y Thank you for taking time to review your visit and our breakfast baps from our Skylark tearoom. We hope that you will continue to visit us on you bike, but maybe call in another time and explore the nature reserve and reservoir when...More

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Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

Visited Abberton for the first time today. Lovely, peaceful location for a relaxed day out. Ample car parking. A new visitor centre which includes a well appointed cafe overlooking the reservoir, shop and toilet facilities. There are 3 hides with views over the reservoir. From...More

Thank Stephen J
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 29 March 2018

Dear Stephen J Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of your visit. The reservoir does fluctuate depending on what time of year you visit; the bird hides on the reserve are located at top water level so when the reservoir is...More

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Reviewed 15 March 2018

Visited the centre and had lovely Tea and Cake other food available to enjoy The walks are excellent and Hives for watching the birds available The shop is excellent for cards binoculars etc Great time had 😀More

Thank deeroots1
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 18 March 2018

Dear deeroots1 Thank you for taking time to leave a review about your visit to Abberton and great to hear that you enjoyed the reserve as well as our centre and Skylark tearoom. We hope that you'll come back and see us again and maybe...More

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Reviewed 23 February 2018

First visit for many years,what a difference,wonderful new visitor centre.I am not a dedicated bird watcher I just enjoy wildlife in general.Wonderful walks and a vast number of birds to see.After a good walk round visited the tea room,clean,bright and great food.Seats by windows have...More

Thank roger_ashcroft
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 February 2018

Dear roger_ashcroft Thank you for taking time to review your visit and it's lovely to hear that you enjoyed the nature reserve as well as the tearoom. We look forward to seeing you again very soon. Regards Jo Wray

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Reviewed 5 February 2018

We came when the sun was blaring, so we did manage to get a little sunburn and heat exhaustion - but was still worth seeing all the wonderful wildlife. It's a large place to visit with lots of activities for little ones to do. There...More

Thank JadeStrikesBack
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 6 February 2018

Dear JadeStrikesBack Thank you for taking time to review your visit to Abberton; lovely to hear what you thought about the site. We hope that your family will come back and learn more about wildlife on your next visit. Thank you Jo Wray

Report response as inappropriate
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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
0
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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
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