Easter | In search of Peter Rabbit & Friends at Langdon Hills

Lady holding a map for a Peter Rabbit themed trail

I'm always looking for somewhere new to go for a walk, and if they have a trail or something to keep Alfie occupied, then even better! As we were staying at mum’s over the Easter weekend, on Easter Monday, she found somewhere literally just up the road that sounded like loads of fun.

Langdon Hills is a site owned by the Essex Wildlife Trust and the Peter Rabbit & Friends Trail is a permanent fixture. The land is also home to The Haven – the last Plotlands house in the UK. During 1930-70, there were over 200 homes of this kind in Laindon, Dunton, and Langdon Hills – the history is fascinating. While The Haven currently closed, it’s being restored and preserved to become a museum – and I would love to return once it’s complete. There's also a visitor centre with café and shop – and I believe a wooden play area is also under construction, meaning lots to do and see.

While cold food, refreshments and snacks are available at the café, we packed a picnic. There's plenty of green space to sit and eat and watch the world go by, but we sat amongst Toms Orchard, another piece of land originally occupied by the plotlands. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed plenty of BBQ leftovers.

Peter Rabbit & Friends

We got a map from the visitor centre for £1 and set on our way. The route was largely stone paths set within the woodland, on either side. There were eight characters from Beatrix Potter books to find:

  • Mr Jeremy Fisher
  • Tommy Brock
  • Mr Tod
  • Mrs Tiggy-Winkle
  • Squirrel Nutkin
  • Benjamin Bunny
  • Jemima Puddle Duck; and, of course
  • Peter Rabbit

The characters were carved out of wood and looked so realistic I've been on themed walks and trails in the past that have been less realistic and ultimately, not as impressive. The map was really easy to follow, and we found all the characters. Alfie loved stopping at each one for a photo. The map also had some lovely descriptions about all of the characters.

There were three main paths, known as avenues (First, Second and Third) – and the Central Avenue also went across each of them, forming a square in the centre. The structure must have been a nod to the Plotlands. Most of the characters could be found at the end of the paths, or just around the corner. But as you'd expect, Jemima Puddle Duck was by the water, where there was a beautiful lake.

Boy stood in green woodland, formerly occupied by plotlands
The walk wasn't too intense – it isn’t too far or long, nor are there too many (if any!) steep inclines. As it is all stony paths, it should also be fine for pushchairs and potentially, wheelchairs.

On our way back to the Discovery Centre entrance and car park – to stop off for an ice cream stop – we also came across a really beautiful garden, which was so peaceful and serene. Amongst all the many plants and flowers, there was also a rockery, a fairy tree and garden, and a pergola with a large bee hotel. We could have definitely spent longer here – enjoying nature at its best, and even bug hunting – but of course, we had an impatient ice cream wanter!

We lucked out with pots of Rossi's ice cream (yes, even I had one. It was Easter weekend, so why not!) and I bought a jar of Tiptree Morello cherry jam. I love all of their preserves (and most of their other products, for that matter). Mum also bought Alfie a game – Poo Bingo. The man in the shop said it was their most popular game and I can't think why… it’s kept him entertained for hours on end, already.

Wooden sign for The Rockery in a peaceful garden
Parking is fairly extensive and it's free – although donations are welcomed. I highly recommend a visit to Langdon Hills with kids. And if you can’t get to Langdon Hills, the Essex Wildlife Trust also boast some other great locations with themed trails, including:

  • Brambly Hedge at Abberton
  • The Wind in the Willows at Hanningfield; and
  • The Gruffalo at Thorndon

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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