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Hylands Park - Writtle, Chelmsford

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Address: Hylands House car park London Rd, Writtle, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ or Hylands Park car park 10 Meadgate Terrace, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ.

Please note that our visit here was before the Coronavirus outbreak.

Hylands Park offers you approximately 574 acres of restored historic parkland to explore and enjoy with your dog. As you can see I have provided two car park addresses as the park is a highly visited area, so it can become extremely busy. Also, parking is free, something we really get these days!

We chose to park in the Hylands Park area and how glad were we for that as there was an on-site cafe where we indulged in a fudge caramel latte (yes it tasted as good as it sounds)! They also provided food too including breakfast sandwiches, cakes etc. We were pushing the calorie intake with the latte so we didn’t try any of the foods on offer, but they did not look disappointing. Down from the cafe is a large outdoor play park (Adventure castle) if you are visiting with your children.

When we arrived we were a little confused about where to start walking as there were so many paths to take and discover. In times like this, we normally let Yianni & Yoko lead the way – obviously, we have to get them as far away from the cafe otherwise they would just lead us back there!

Yianni & Yoko decided that walking straight through the middle of the park was the way to go, so off we went. (Warning – make sure to wear your wellies in rainy months as the grass in some areas were extremely waterlogged!) There are several maps around the pathways that will lead you to the different areas of the park.

Our walk lead us through the vast green land and to the back of the park where we began our walk through the forest area known as South Wood. This was a lovely part of the park where Yianni and Yoko could wind through the trees smelling all scents the woodland had to offer. This part of the walk took around 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.

From here we were lead back to one of the fields at the entrance. Fighting the urge for another calorie-filled latte we decided to check out the map of the area and decided to take a walk through the park's pleasure garden.

The pleasure garden is a beautiful garden that dates back to the early 1900s. Here you will find several period garden styles to explore and on-going planting restoration. Dogs must be on a lead due to the beautiful duck pond which is home to a variety of fish, ducks and geese. The area is great for photo opportunities especially if you have a doggy social media account. Unfortunately, as we were visiting in the late winter/early Spring so the garden was under some maintenance but the flowers were beginning to bloom making the construction parts pretty unnoticeable. 

From here we continued our dog walk down to the Serpentine Lake. On our walk down to the lake Yianni and Yoko were free to run and play in the large grass areas. Once we arrived at the lake we read that it was created shortly after 1800 and made to look like a river. It was a lovely spot to sit and enjoy while Yianni and Yoko investigated the area.

From here we made our way back up to the centre of the park where Hylands House is situated. Unfortunately, the house has no dogs allowed policy but I could not write about the Hylands without mentioning the beautiful house which stands among the park. If you are interested in visiting the house it is only open to the public on one Sunday each month, so make sure to check their opening times for visiting.

Next to the house are old stables that have been restored into a selection of artistic shops and a cafe. Dogs are not permitted in the shops but there is a courtyard with a cafe if you feel you need to stop for a rest with your dog.

What is great about this dog walk is it is filled with other dog walkers but as the area is so vast most of the time you feel like there is not another person or dog around.

Your dog can enjoy running around of lead in most areas of the park and the places in which they must be kept on a lead are clearly marked with signs (the only area’s we saw for dogs to be on lead were at the children’s park, the pleasure garden and the close quarters of the house).

This is a dog walking area that we will be surely visiting again and again!

Have you and your dog been to explore the amazing Hylands Park or have another dog-friendly woodland adventure you can recommend? We would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave us a comment below.

Love from the Aurora Pets Team x

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