Belhus Woods Country Park
South Ockendon, AveleyType of walk
Flat, ParkWhat's here
Free Parking, Paid Parking, Off Lead Areas, On Lead Areas, Picnic Areas, Water On Route, Toilets, Refreshments Available, Wheelchair FriendlyAbout this walk
This is a country park with visitor centre, woodland, open fields and grassland and a few lakes for fishing, model boating and conservation.
Terrain is pretty flat, with the occasional knobbly bit such as tree roots or muddy patches (in winter), and some styles which might limit some routes around the park for wheelchair users, but overall it’s very easy going. That said, it is possible to make it to the “main” lake without obstructions. Just be aware that once you leave the car park areas the “paths” are either gravel, bare earth or a mixture of the two. There are all sorts of routes around the park and I would say that trail marking is almost non existent, so grab a map if you’re not familiar with the layout.
I go there almost every day as I enjoy the variety of scenery and the lakes for the dog to cool off and get a drink. For the most part, once you leave the car park area by the visitor centre you are usually well away from roads and there are few gaps in the fencing to allow a dog to get itself into trouble. I tend not to use the western side of the park, across the road, and find ample to satisfy me by sticking to the eastern side. Note that the road separating the two halves is a fast country lane and, while there is a pelican crossing to aid humans and dogs on leads, it is a risk for uncontrolled dogs darting across. Personally I steer clear of the danger by keeping to the eastern side of Romford Road/Aveley Road.
Other interests at the weekend include an archery club, a boys’ football team, a small bird of prey centre and the model boaters. Duck feeding is a common pastime too.
Parking is £2.20 for the whole day (as at Feb 2013) near to the visitor centre, but across the road over by Warwick Lane there is free parking for a few cars. Parking charges are waived for tax exempt vehicles. There is a season ticket option, which covers other Essex country parks including Weald, Thorndon and Cudmore Grove, and if you are a regular visitor works out to just over £1 per week, so quite good value.
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7 years agoPlease note that Google Maps mislabels Belhus Woods Country Park as being west of Romford Road. That's not accurate (as far as I know). There is plenty of dog walking land on that side of the road, but it is less secure at the boundary, offers fewer water features and lacks the facilities (visitor centre, toilets, refreshments) to the east. Belhus Woods as I know it, lies to the east of the main road, with the visitor centre and (paid) parking at the point A marked on the map.
6 years agoTook a picnic to Belhus Wood this weekend and both me and the dog had a really lovely time. Great for a relaxing stroll, no hills or climbs just a pretty park with something new round every corner. My dog played for hours in the water and took herself through the forest to find new sticks for the water. She met lots of new friendly pooch pals on the way. We will defiantly go back!
6 years agoAs of April 2014 the daily parking charge has risen to £2.50 and the free parking exemption for some vehicles has been withdrawn. For regular visitors an annual season ticket is fairly priced and covers several Essex parks.
4 years agoApril 2016 - car park changes no vary with the duration of your stay. I haven't noted the details of the tariff as I buy an annual season ticket for parking, which comes out at less than £1 per week with senior discount.
How to get there
Romford Lodge, Romford Rd, Aveley, South Ockendon RM15 4XJ, UK
Nearby dog walks
Basildon, Langdon Hills
Langdon Hills Country Park (westley Heights)
Hilly, Flat, Forest, Park·Dog walk
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