Marks Hall Country Retreat

Essex, Dunmow

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Marks Hall Country Retreat, 13 miles north-east of the M25, is the first UK location to offer horse riding lessons and excursions for the family holidays. It is a 500-acre farm of horses and wheat with its own stream, in the family for 5 generations and the Entry Level Countryside Stewardship Scheme for 20 years. There is also the children's stable-management course: putting varnish on the horseshoes, grooming, cleaning bridles and saddles, and the stable before adding fresh, clean straw. Deer can be seen throughout the year on the farm too, fauns appearing around June, July. A large badger set can be visited in the evenings when perhaps these shy creatures may be seen.
Kids get to play on straw bales around June/July. The tents for this perfect glamping farm holiday back onto the 10-feet wide river/stream, and another classic game is putting bread at the bottom of a jam jar to catch tiddlers in the mill pool. On the land, the grass is cut for a rounders/football space, with a volleyball net ready also. Even kayaking is offered!
For trips out, the Essex Way is right here, with loads of adjoining footpaths too. Come with your dog and walk! Just 10 minutes away are both Great Dunmow, a vibrant market town, and National Trust Hatfield Forest, which has a boating lake for parents to go out with kids, and a pretty tearoom for afterwards. There are Blackwater River barge trips available on the coast at Malden, 40 minutes away.

Open from 1st Jul to 28th Oct
Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1QT, England


Family friendly

Facilities and things nearby

Horse riding
Kayaking / Canoeing
Food shop
Town or village

Good to know

Dogs allowed


GPS: 51.7788°N, 0.3203°E
  • London Stansted Airport - 13 km
  • London Luton Airport - 48 km
  • Cambridge Airport - 49 km
  • Harwich - 68 km
  • Folkestone Eurotunnel Port - 97 km
  • Dover - 100 km

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