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Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre
Ranked #8 of 64 things to do in Colchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

The walk available is very short and very limited especially compared to nearby Fingringhoe Reserve which is amazing.little to do as it is so new.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank 1Excitedtourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Very poor for disabled people and very clicky”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We found this centre very clicky and if you weren't already part of the 'group.' No-one apart from the lovely receptionist was particularly friendly. This included when we tried to get onto the balcony overseeing the reservoir as no-one was interested in getting out of the way for her. The car park is an annoying distance from the water meaning that my wife (who is of limited mobility) couldn't sit in the car to watch.. If a little more thought had been given to the set up then it would have been so much better.

Visited May 2013
5 Thank newlamborghini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
116 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“A pleasant surprise”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

It has been 11 years since I last did some birding at Abberton Reservoir (Trip Advisor please note the spelling error in your title reference!) so finding the newly built visitor centre there was something of a surprise. The building is light and airy and full of interesting information as well as a regularly updated sightings board. The staff are welcoming and very knowledgable.
Although the reserve area that has been created near the main causeway is still in its infancy there were many birds to be seen including very many Skylarks and a few Corn Buntings both of which are in serious decline in the UK. Common Terns abounded probably in part due to the provision of nesting rafts. The newly planted woodland will take time to produce the birds but the potential is there.
It will be good to return in a few years time to view developments.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank GiffLancashire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
136 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Interesting visit”
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Excellent place to learn about both the local and visiting birds. Family friendly and good parking. Better to go on fine day and helpful to have some binoculars

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Dora R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 22, 2013 via mobile

Whata great facility! Well arranged and everybody can find there something for themselves. There are plenty of walks and places to observe birds in their natural habitat. There is a place for picnic and playground for kids. Beautiful place to relax.

Visited June 2013
Thank Magskom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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