Rye Meads Nature Reserve
Rye Meads Nature Reserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
This wetland nature reserve has something to offer everyone and will appeal to families, walkers, birdwatchers and photographers alike. With 8 hides and 3 large lagoons the reserve plays host to a variety of species such as Tufted duck, Common tern, Green sandpiper, Cetti's warbler, Kingfisher, Water vole, Fox, and most recently Black-Necked Grebe. A great place for children and families with spotter trails, and regular events, but also very popular with birders and people after a relaxing walk or some peace and quiet. The friendly visitor centre offers two classrooms, a bird feeding station, hot and cold drinks and refreshments, and toilet facilities, plus free parking for RSPB members. Opening times are every day from 9 am to 5 pm (or dusk if earlier). Please note that the reserve is closed on Christmas and Boxing Day.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
136 reviews
Excellent
72
Very good
55
Average
8
Poor
1
Terrible
0

therichastill
Stevenage, UK1,858 contributions
Solo
Trying to get to Rye Meads Nature Reserve is a little challenging. I always seem to take a different route whenever I visit. There aren't many signposts. I really should use a set nav!

However it is well worth visiting. There are a large number of hides to visit to enjoy the wildlife. Make sure you take your binoculars.

The kingfisher hide is a must, speak to the staff who can give you more information and directions.

The A414 runs along one side of the reserve and the River Lea and the railway along another side but these can be ignored so you can enjoy the wildlife.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah M
Stevenage, UK26 contributions
As members of the RSPB we were keen to visit. Plenty of parking - free. Peaceful walks - easy walks. Spotted kingfisher as well as range of usual waterside birds.
Lovely place to get away from it all for the afternoon. Staff were friendly and welcoming.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GerbilQueen
Hertford, UK714 contributions
We found this place by accident, but have come to love it as somewhere to cycle and walk without traffic although the noise from the A414 is a bit overwhelming. The reed beds are beautiful and for a real twitcher it must be a great place for bird watching.
Definitely somewhere we will be going back to again and again, especially as we can cycle there from home. There was a random toilet cubicle along the way, but unless you can use the loos in the yacht club I didn't see anywhere else for emergency relief!
Expect mud and potholes and slippery bits - certainly after the heavy rainfall we've had, but I'm looking forward to seeing it in the summer. Oh and there were lots of birds!
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Terry D
5 contributions
Couples
Spent a lovely part day. Saw water vole and a good range of birds. Hides closed due to covid which is understandable. Friendly helpful staff.
However, be aware. We were eaten alive by mosquitoes. Between my wife and I, over 80 bites. So... If visiting, strong inspect repellent is a must with legs and arms covered. Can't fault the reserve though.
Written September 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nick M
Buntingford, UK65 contributions
Couples
Providing the birds are nesting, you are virtually guaranteed sightings of the kingfishers at the Rye Meads Nature Reserve. A telephone call to the extremely helpful staff will advise on the current situation.
We have visited the Reserve on 3 occasions and have seen the kingfishers every time. On our last visit (May 23) we were lucky for the bird to land and rest for a full 30 seconds on the post closest to the hide. This allowed to us to take some memorable photos one of which is attached.
Written May 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Inez C
London, England, United Kingdom51 contributions
Couples
We went here over Bank Holiday weekend. The reserve is very close to a speedway track (which had a fixture) which was a bit incongruous with the noise of the bikes but didn't detract at all. It is very well kept and had a number of "themed" hides such as coot , reed and kingfisher for different species. Obviously with any kind of avian reserve it's a matter of luck as to what you get to spot but for me the highlight had to be the kingfishers who kept darting in and out of their nest gathering food for their chicks. Criticism? It could do with more of a café, as there's a drinks machine and crisps etc available to buy but nothing else (whereas one of the sister sites at Rainham Marshes has a fantastic café with fabulous cakes and I think the best sausage rolls I've ever had!) This is a minor point though and it is definitely somewhere to visit
Written May 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richbonf
London46 contributions
I have visited Rye Meads quite a few times with my family, most recently in Jan 2012. As you approach the Reserve it can seems a little offputting, the brown duck information signs lead you past an industrial estate, via a few scrap yards. Once over the River Lea the landscape changes into a waterworld akin to the Norfolk Broads. I have two daughters ages 3 and 8 who love to visit this reserve. Its completely free, and once you get away from the car park the atmosphere of the park and the nature really relaxes all those who visit. There are RSPB staff always willing to help in the hides, and many of the visitors will often point out what is worth watching, to novices such as me and my family. You will need a pair of binoculars to get enjoyment out of the birdwatching, although if you if you need to, you can borrow them at the information centre.

Star of the show is the elusive Kingfisher, the RSPB have built a nesting enviornment for them with a double decker hide to view from. I have seen Kingfisher on about half my visits. So well worth returning if you don't see it first time.

Rye Meads is a surprising area of beauty, that as a free trip out, represents a great cheap way to encourage your kids outside, and educates them about wildlife. I will definitely return.
Written January 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alphonso M
London, UK75 contributions
Solo
Although there are clear signs asking people to mindful of others my visit today was marred by some other visitors who just wouldn’t stop talking during the whole time they were in the hides, and that in no hushed tones, and much of it not even about the birds. In the end they drove me out of the hides. One woman was pointing out to her friends a particular sighting with her arm directly in front of me, less than a foot away.
When she did this a second time I said, “Excuse me”. She was clearly affronted and muttered something to the effect of ‘Well, I never.”
Written August 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SJBaked
Roydon, UK200 contributions
Staff really child centred and patient especially as young kids have limited waiting ability. Plenty to see and lots of walking. Parking costs a bit though.
Written August 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John and Claire T
Hertford, UK9 contributions
Family
Rye Meads is a part of the vast natural area stretching between Hertford and Broxbourne, incorporating Ware and Stanstead Abbots.

Running alongside the River Lee (Also known as 'Lea') this area of natural and man made beauty is easily approached via the footpath which runs from Hertford to Limehouse in London, totalling some 20-odd miles, so there's plenty for everyone!

Along the long walk (If you so choose) you'll see the canalised river (Navigation) along with all the cruisers and narrow boats, locks and weirs. There are parks, fields, nature reserves and mudflats, which are great for walking, cycling and Dog lovers alike.

Plenty of traditional pubs along the way, so don't bring any tucker, best enjoy the local fayre...

The starting point is down to you, but don't forget where you parked! Be aware, alongside the Lea, there are some pretty decrepit industrial areas among the trees and fields, but there's always something to see.
Written July 29, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Rye Meads Nature Reserve (Ware) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Rye Meads Nature Reserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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