Hadleigh is a town in southeast Essex, England, on the A13 between Thundersley, Benfleet and Leigh-on-Sea with a population of about 18,300
With its magnificent medieval churches and historic castle Hadleigh is a quintessentially English town. It has extensive views overlooking the Thames Estuary and is a popular residential area with a unique mixed architecture and buildings dating from many different periods.
Home of mountain biking at the London 2012 Olympics, this world-class sporting venue boasts a huge network of bike trails alongside a large car park, café, bike shop and hire, classroom and children’s play area. The tracks are free to ride. Not a pro? Don’t worry – they have even added extra trails to the Olympic course so that anyone can have a go, even little ones.
Walking and wildlife
At 152 hectares (387 acres), Hadleigh Park is one of the largest in Essex, renowned for its views and undulating hills, pasture, hay meadow and marsh, old hedgerows and ponds, making it an ideal place to walk. In spring, the bluebells, archangel and celandine put on a magnificent display. Summer sees the meadows in bloom with scores of butterflies drifting over, ideal for a picnic. In autumn, blackberries and sloes are a great attraction. Winter brings large flocks of birds and perhaps a chance to go sledging!
Step back and glimpse history at the replica Iron Age roundhouse adjacent to the carpark or take a pleasant 1km walk to visit the impressive 13th century ruin of Hadleigh Castle. The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Farm with its tea rooms and rare breed centre has been supporting community members to develop employment skills for over 100 years.