Things to do and see near Rye Farm

Layer de la Haye

The Village of Layer de la Haye is about a 10 minute walk from the farm. There is a village shop to purchase your newspapers, bread, milk, and alcohol along with quite a comprehensive range of groceries. We also have 2 pubs within the village, that both serve traditional pub food, The Layer Fox and The Donkey & Buskins. Just outside the village is The Hare and Hounds in Layer Breton.

For the smaller people there is also a large recreational field in the middle of the village, with a small play park too.

Mersea Island

Explore the coastline of East and West Mersea, enjoy the fresh air and the clean beaches, just 7 miles from Rye farm. If you have a love of seafood, West Mersea is well known for its local Oysters. However, if seafood is not your thing, then you will be spoilt for choice for some lovely tea rooms, local pubs and eateries. For the more active, there is Mersea Boating Lake where you can have a go at Paddleboarding, Kayaking, Canoeing, Sailing and even test your skills on their Aqua Park. Great fun for all the family.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo, just 3 miles away from Rye Farm, is home to 180 species, and is set in 60 acres of parkland and Lakes. As you navigate your way around the zoo, you will visit many different habitats and see animals from around the world, from the humid habitat of the Komodo dragons, to their very own Africa plain, home to White rhino, giraffes, ostrich, Zebra and Kudu. There are plenty of outdoor play areas to keep little ones happy, and an indoor play area, if the weather isn’t on your side. Parking is free and available on site too.

Abberton Reservoir Nature Discovery Park

The Reservoir is part of the Essex Wildlife Trust and can be seen across the fields at Rye Farm. For the keen walkers it is easily accessed through our fields and the footpaths, or alternatively just a short 2 mile drive away and has ample free parking. It is a wetland site of international importance for wildfowl. Up to 40,000 ducks, swans and geese visit each year. It provides you with excellent bird watching opportunities that cannot fail to impress, as well as fabulous view across the reservoir. The reservoir is well equipped for any disabled guests. There is a small tea room, shop and toilets, so all you need in a beautiful area.

Also nearby is Fingringhoe wick, another large nature reserve and part of the Essex Wildlife Trust

Colchester Castle, Castle Park and Colchester Town

Just 4 miles from Rye Farm, and plenty of parking in and around the Town centre. Discover shops, a variety of eateries, cinema and not forgetting First Site Galleries.

Colchester Castle is a Norman castle, dating from the second half of the eleventh century. It is full of interactive displays and star exhibits or treat yourselves to a guided tour. The Castle is set in a wonderful garden, with plenty to keep you occupied. An amazing play area for the children, café, large areas of grassland to sit, take a picnic and enjoy the views, or even test your golfing skills at “Putt in the Park”, suitable for all the family.

Bannatyne Colchester Kingsford Park

Just 2 miles from Rye Farm, Kingsford Park offer a wide range of indulgent Spa packages and treatments, in luxurious single and dual treatment rooms. Or why not pop in for a coffee or a bite to eat in their restaurant. If you do have an electric car, this is our most local charging point, so why not combine the journey.


Situated just 8 miles from Rye Farm, Tollesbury is at the mouth of the river Blackwater and is a great place to walk and enjoy the surrounding nature, and boats in Tollesbury Marina.


At the heart of Tiptree is the world famous Tiptree Jam Factory. After a little walk around the Tiptree Jam Museum, you can sample some of their scrumptious delights in their very own Tea Room, before taking a wander around their shop for gifts and souvenirs. You will not be disappointed!

Layer Marney Tower

Located nearby in the neighbouring “Layer” Village, Layer Marney Tower is the largest Tudor gatehouse in the country. Next to the Tower is Layer Marney Church, a beautiful Tudor building well worth visiting.