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Explore Thames Chase Forest Centre & Broadfields
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.8/5)

Thames Chase play trail tipisManaged by the Forestry Commission, Broadfields is a community woodland surrounding the Thames Chase Forest Centre, offering lots of features and bags of room for more than enough activity for a 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.

Please contact the Forest Centre directly on 01708 642970 for any queries regarding events, cycle hire and room bookings.

Thames chase children climbingFormerly called Broadfields Farm, the Forestry Commission site is now home to a variety of surfaced trails, ponds, meadows and even an orchard planted with traditional Essex apple and pear varieties.

Scattered around the site are several environmental play areas for children, including the Ants Nest (pictured above), Snake Stepping Stones, Hollow Logs and the Trusty Oak, which offers beautiful views across the whole site. 

Stargazing in Broadfields

Experience stars in the night sky like never before when visiting the forest this winter. Download your beginner's guide to stargazing, then visit our family-friendly "Why stars matter" trail to bring the night sky to life and become a forest-star! Find the trail at the entrance to the natural play trail.

Forest Phone Trail - A sensory adventure!

Try our brand new Forest Phone Trail in any Forestry Commission woodland in England!

No maps… no posts… no arrows… you make your own route at your favourite forest.

Simply visit on your smartphone, and follow the links to the Phone Trail page.


Litter Campaign Summer 2016

This summer holiday please come and say hello to our team in the Forestry Commission gazebo on one of our regular ‘litter awareness’ days.  We will be running regular activities & competitions throughout the summer, and will be offering local children the chance to have their litter posters featured across the site.

There are no bins at Broadfields. We would rather groups and individuals bringing litter to the countryside take responsibility for taking their own litter home. This avoids polluting the Community Forest and is not a danger to either domestic or farm animals or wildlife in the countryside.

Cycle Hire

From April to the end of October, cycle hire is available from the Thames Chase Trust on weekends and school holidays. A variety of both mainstream and adapted cycles are available to hire at £3 for half an hour and £5 for one hour.

To download a map of Broadfields & Thames Chase Forest Centre please click here.

What do other visitors say?

Hello! Is there the possiblity of BBQs on this site? We were thinking of holding a 40th picnic party in your forest: is that a also a possibility? We used to use High Lodge in Thetford for such occasions, but have since moved south! Thanks for your help!

Gemma, 9/Apr/2017

Hi Gemma Unfortunately we do not have BBQ facilities available at Thames Chase Forest Centre. Community Ranger

Forestry Commission Response

I am invited to a private function to be held in the barn. Can you tell me if there is access to toilets, electric sockets and wi fi. Many tbanks

Sonya, 4/Sep/2016

There is access to both toilets and wifi in the visitor centre

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

An excellent family day out. Our 2 year old loved the sticks, puddles and playgrounds. Baby loved the sights and sounds, doggy adored running around. Mum and dad devoured the delicious cake served by friendly staff. The day ended perfectly listening to Brentwood school big band in the sunshine. A fantastic day out for all.

Lisa , 26/Jun/2016

Thankyou for your lovely comments!

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 15th February 2017

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What's Here?

  • Cafe
  • Cycling
  • Easy Access
  • Educational
  • Picnic
  • Play area
  • Shop
  • Walking
  • Visitor centre
  • Toliets
  • Wildlife
  • Cycling Hire
  • Cycle hire is available from April to October.
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 1 all day 1st Nov - 19th March
    2 all day 20th March - 21st Oct
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: TQ585859
Postcode: RM14 3NS

Get directions


Community Ranger

01708 642964

Opening & Parking

Opening Times:
Visitor Centre closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Car park and site open 365 days a year.
1 all day 1st Nov - 19th March
2 all day 20th March - 21st Oct

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.