Things to do at Hanningfield Reservoir

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Things to do At Hanningfield Waterside Park

Spend time with the people you care about in a fabulous setting.

Bring along the family to enjoy a wander around this breathtaking reservoir, or through the warming woodland. Hanningfield is renowned for its nationally important populations of wildfowl and the reservoir is a wonderful haven for nature and wildlife. With numerous bird hides to watch from and plenty of viewing points to stop and have a rest, you are certain to spot some fantastic displays of natural wonder. Why not also enjoy our adventure playground that is designed to let young creative minds wander through play and discovery. From thrill-seeking tots to daring teens, our outdoor adventure playground encourages children to engage in the open air whilst boosting their health and fitness. Feeling peckish, we have the perfect spot for a bite to eat. Cafe on the Water and Gift Shop, offers delicious meals, spectacular views and that little bit of retail therapy to take home a token to remind you of a great day out.

Although we do love our four legged furry friends, due to the site being a Site of Special Scientific Interest and full of wildlife and wildfowl, we are unable to allow dogs on any part of our site at Hanningfield. Assistance dogs are still welcome.

Please can we remind all visitors that entering the water for unauthorised swimming, water sports / inflatables fun or just for a quick cool down is not allowed. We like to keep all our visitors safe and to do this we must request that you stay out of the water and its hidden dangers at all times.

Plan Your Trip Things to do at Hanningfield

A photo of a hot chocolate sat om a table in the Cafe by the water in Hanningfield Waterside Park


Enjoy stylish interior, quality food and drink, plus the option of eating indoors or out on the fantastic decking area with awe-inspiring views. The perfect place to catch up with friends and family.

Gift shop

Offering home gifts from near and far, homemade jams and jars of honey, handmade wooden toys and much more, you can’t but help take a look around this exquisite shop and take yourself a treat home.


Take a wander through the woodland and see what you can find. Joining up with the Essex Wildlife Trust this entrancing walk can open up your imagination and helps boost your health and wellbeing.


There is nothing better than packing up a delicious picnic and enjoying family time at a breathtaking location. We have the perfect spot for you right here.


Recognised as a site of special scientific interest for its nationally important populations of wildfowl. It is among the top places in the country to watch both woodland and wetland birds.


A fantastic sport, with tons of health benefits and something the family can enjoy together. Once you get that first bite, you will be hooked.

Two sail boats on the reservoir at Hanningfield Waterside Park


Learn more about sailing at Hanningfield by visiting

The playpark at Hanningfield Waterside Park. Photo of a metal slide attached to a wooden play frame

Adventure Playground

Our adventure playground is a play space that is designed to let young creative minds wander through play and discovery. From thrill-seeking tots to daring teens.

Photo of the outdoor seating at the Cafe on the Water. It over looks the reservoir and the clear blue sky above.

Cafe on the Water at Hanningfield

Our cafe is a one of a kind, and a must-do pit stop when enjoying Hanningfield Waterside Park. It is not just the food that will have you returning again and again, take a seat out on the decking and be taken away by the breathtaking views!

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