Mardyke Woods

Visitor information

Discover one of the oldest surviving woodlands in Essex, composed of Brannett’s Wood, Millard’s Wood and Low Well Wood!

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.

Sitting right next door to the busy urban community of Grays, Mardyke Woods provides an escape into an interesting mix of ancient and modern that all ages can enjoy.

Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Veolia North Thames Trust, Forestry England is in the process of improving the woodland habitat for wildlife and creating a more welcoming space for people. With so much to see and do in the woods, this funding will provide more opportunities for local people, schools and youth groups to access and enjoy this beautiful woodland on their doorstep.

At a glance

  • Walking 
  • Cycling 
  • Horse riding bridleway links 
  • Play areas
  • Dogs welcome

Things to do

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore Mardyke Woods and soak up the beautiful scenery. 

There’s an excellent network of paths providing you with a range of route options around the woodland.

Walking is the perfect way to get some fresh air and explore some of the area's most beautiful landscapes. 

Mardyke Woods offers 1.2km of un-surfaced paths for you to walk on. 

Nearby forests

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. 

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.

Pond side path on open grassland

Come and roam the planted glades and wildflower meadows of this ancient farmland. You will be rewarded with excellent views of the Ingrebourne Valley, especially towards Hornchurch and Elm Park with an impressive hilly South Essex skyline in the distance.

Autumn Forest Floor

With 4km of pathways and connections to Hornchurch Country Park, you can do it all on Ingrebourne Hill. 

There’s a great deal to look out for. Whether it’s mountain bikes hurtling around the specially built track; taking in relaxing views whilst enjoying a picnic beside the lake; playing in the Spitfire Scramble play area, or just observing the wildlife.


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