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Cely Woods

Thurrock is not blessed with amazing architecture, no one ever mistook it for Prague, but one thing it does better than most counties in the UK and possibly Europe is its ability to maximize the value of its natural spaces. This park is not in Grays but it is only 15 mins from there - so close enough to be regarded as Grays as far as we are concerned. This park is a neighbor of Belhus Woods Country Park, and where Belhus is blessed with numerous lakes and seems to be a more aquatic experience, Cely is more like a golf course but without putting-greens and grumpy men in bad clothes, there are plenty of little streams though and even one grand lake but the signs here say that it is "private land" and that trespassers will be "prosecuted" (a rather mean spirited declaration). But that aside it is still a beautiful outdoor experience.

The paths are well signed and pathed and takes you on a genial if not long walk through its park like (not forest like) interior. Its not a particularly taxing walk and is nicely flat so ideal for the cyclist. But like all the other parks in this area once on your way you get the whole sense of being miles from any town or cemented clutter, and even on a warm sunny day you will have it mostly to yourself bar the odd dog walker. This park seems to be there purely for the walkers and cyclist as there is a welcome absence of any commercial incentives, but they do thoughtfully encourage you to linger by putting attractive benches and tables out so clearly picnickers are encouraged, parking is also free here, another keen incentive.

Its a good 15 mins drive from Grays center but we are quick to point out that so is Lakeside on a Saturday afternoon; such is the traffic. And where Lakeside is a soulless commercial hell, Cely woods is a reminder of how beautiful this area is when we don't medal with things too much.

Cely Woods map

Postcode: RM13 9EW (Free parking on Warwick Ln)
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