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“A beautiful place”

Rye Meads Nature Reserve
Ranked #2 of 18 things to do in Ware
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: 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, regular events and a monthly wildlife explorer club, 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.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A beautiful place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

Having lived locally for pretty much my whole life, I was surprised I didn't know about this reserve sooner! My husband and I spent a lovely few hours wandering around the reserve, and were very lucky to spot the beautiful kingfishers. My only grumble would be that the twitchers were out in force with their huge cameras, pretty much hogging the kingfisher hyde for themselves. However, the other hydes were quieter and there is information near them all showing what to look and listen out for! There is the option to leave the reserve and take a longer route via an area where otters have been spotted, but you will have to continue the path around the route; the gate is exit only. There seems to be good disabled access although after heave rain there may be some soggy patches of pathway. I think the carpark was £2 to non-members, and the reserve was free to enter. Take a picnic and enjoy a day out surrounded by nature!

Visited April 2013
3 Thank jackiewaleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Buntingford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“If you like Kingfishers”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

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.

Visited May 2013
4 Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
175 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“A very peaceful place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2013

Had a day here recently and really enjoyed ourselves. The staff are very friendly, helpful and want you to get the most from your visit.

Highlight of the day was seeing a Kingfisher, made us very happy.

Will be back.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Alox B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haytor Vale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
261 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Combined RSPB and Herts & Middx Trust”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2013

The RSPB part of the reserve is a delight with numerous hides.We sat looking for the Kingfisher, but he/she did not appear. Next time hopefully. The visitor centre is informative, staffed by delightful people.

This is ideal for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are even hides with wheelchair friendly spaces.

Note: for non members there is a £2 parking fee.

We then went to the Herts & Middx Trust.The path runs along the main road for most of the way which is a little disappointing.The final part you walk along the road.

Personally, next time I will stay in the RSPB reserve, and spend more time there.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
262 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
“Excellent little place FREE and a nice afternoon.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

Had a great couple of hours there with my 3yr old daughter and wife plodding about from hide to hide. OK so the young one didnt care much for bird watching so we kept the visits to each hide breif so as not to annoy the fully blown twitchers. We liked the modern visitors center. We liked the walk. And the maps were good.

SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO BRIAN BISHOP a great guy who I used to work with 8 years ago and he helps volunteer one weekend a month. You are a star BB. Well done to all out there who run a great centre. My advice? Go along and give it a go.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank 365drills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RyeMeads, Information Assistant at Rye Meads Nature Reserve, responded to this review, September 13, 2014
Hi there! Was just looking at your lovely photos of the reserve, and was wondering whether you might allow us to use a couple of your family enjoying the reserve just for our event posters and similar? Many thanks in advance.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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