Jeskyns Community Woodland

Visitor information

Walk, play, ride, cycle or just relax with a coffee in the great outdoors

Jeskyns is home to 360 acres of newly planted woodlands, meadows and orchards. With a good network of surfaced walking trails, children's play areas, café and even a dog activity trail, there is something for everyone to explore at any time of the year.

You can visit a Fairy and Elf Village, introduce the family to the Gruffalo and his friends, say hello to our cows, take the dog for a paddle or just sit and watch the world go by under wide skies full of singing skylarks.

At a glance

Dogs welcome
23/05/2022 12:39
Cafe for take away only
23/05/2022 12:39

For those that wish to explore further, the Darnley Trail links Jeskyns to five neighbouring countryside sites, including Shorne Woods Country Park and Ashenbank Woods.  

A community of fairies and elves have recently discovered Jeskyns and they liked it so much that they have decided to set up their very own village! 

Look for the gate in the Sand Pit Play Area to discover wonderful tiny new residences such as Acorn Apartments, Mushroom Manor, The Old Boot Inn and Tree Top Village. 

Just 500m from the Café on a surfaced trail even little legs won't find it too hard to get to! Sorry, dogs not allowed, but there is a comfy bench outside the play area where dog owners can rest whilst children explore.

The horse trail is a grass surfaced 6km trail that circumnavigates the whole of the site. Access on to the trail is through a horse step through stile at the entrance (no gate).

Whilst it is marked as a “horse trail” riders will likely encounter other visitors on it including pedestrians, dogs and cyclists. Please bear this in mind if you are bringing a nervous horse or you are an inexperienced rider.

If you are visiting with your horse box, please contact us at to arrange access (48hours notice needed the first time). We will ask you to supply vehicle and contact details and then issue you with the access code which you can use for ongoing future visits.

Weekdays tend to be quieter than weekends. Whilst we make provision for horse box parking this is a popular facility and so we cannot guarantee parking space.

No permit is needed to ride at Jeskyns.

For more information on our facilities, opening times and contact details, please see our visitor information.

Try your hand at orienteering, a map reading challenge for all levels.

The aim for everyone is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map. If you are a little more competitive the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time.

There is a permanent course at Jeskyns, designed by Dartford Orienteering Klubb. Various trails are available for children and families, beginners and experts.

Nearby forests

Long grass on the edge of a woodland with bright blue skies

Mardyke Woods was already well established when the Romans first arrived here in 54BC and is therefore well deserved of its official status as an Ancient Semi Natural Woodland!

There's a variety of woodland paths for you to explore, two adjacent play areas for your active little monkeys and is convenient for the nearby Mardyke Way riverside walk, where you can connect up with the Davy Down Urban Riverside Park.

Community on bridge over small stream in woodland

As one of Thames Chase's largest woodlands, Cely Woods has an excellent network of paths and is a rich habitat with numerous insects and flowers. 

The wildlife across the wetlands is a year-round treat. Try observing it from the wooden bridge that straddles the stream and see what you can spot! 

You can also continue through to Belhus Woods Country Park via a safe road crossing on Romford Road, where you can grab some refreshments from the Visitor Centre. 

walking generic

Thames Chase Forest Centre & Broadfields offers lots of features and bags of room for an exciting family day out.

The Thames Chase Trust runs the Thames Chase Forest Centre, providing the perfect venue for a quick snack or wholesome lunch, as well as the opportunity to purchase local crafts and gifts. Among the Thames Chase Forest Centre buildings, you can still see the original 17th century Essex Barn, stables and farm house.

Sun setting behind silhouetted trees

Named after the Bonnetts family who farmed these fields as part of their Central Farm from the 1920’s, Bonnetts Wood is now the perfect place to relax and unwind. 

Flower meadows, small streams and native trees provide the ideal setting for quiet nature watching, connected by a network of paths winding through the area.

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