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Things to see and do

There is plenty to do at Hylands Estate, whatever the weather and whenever the time of year! We have a wide range of events and workshops taking place throughout the year, which can be viewed in our What’s On section. However, our grounds are open all throughout the year for you to visit when the park is open, making it the ideal visitor destination to explore at your leisure.

We have many cost effective and free activities available. Scroll down to find out more.

Walks around Hylands Estate

Explore Hylands Estate on foot following our five mapped walks, ranging from a 30 minute stroll to a four mile leisurely hike. Choose either the Repton, Lower Estate, Pleasure Garden, Estate Boundary or Jubilee Walk. There are way-markers on the estate showing the route for each of the walks. You can download our Walks Leaflet, which includes directions for each walk and a marked map showing the routes. You can also pick up one of these leaflets in the Information Point at The Stables.

A couple walking through the fields of Hylands Estate.
A young boy scanning a QR code on the Hylands History and Gardens Multimedia Tour.

Hylands History & Gardens Multimedia Tour

Our free multimedia tour shares the rich history of Hylands House and our extensive gardens. Hylands House was first built almost 300 years ago, and the gardens have been a major attraction for most of our history. Over time, each new owner made their own mark on the house and grounds. Now, our new multimedia tour, will take you through the history of the Estate, telling the story of how we came to be as we are today.

Open Estate Days

Join us every third Sunday of the month from 10am to 3pm where Hylands Estate, including the house, is fully open for you to explore and enjoy at your leisure. Discover more about the history of Hylands House at the monthly exhibition in the library and guided tours. Urban Food Fest join us with their food and gift market just outside the house. The Stables courtyard and artist studios are open for you to browse, with its vibrant community of artists, designers, and makers.

An aerial view of Hylands House with the Urban Food Fest market taking place outside,
A girl walking across a wood and rope bridge in the treetops.

Go Ape

Go Ape’s 35th and first ever location in Essex has now opened in Hylands Park. Go Ape Chelmsford offers three adrenaline-filled high ropes activities that are designed to push participants physically and mentally. Activities at Go Ape Chelmsford are suitable for people aged 4 to 94, so you can bring the whole family along for the fun.


Geocaching is enjoyed globally by millions of people and is a great bonding activity for families, friends, or even co-workers! There are many caches hidden around Hylands Estate. These might be found around trees, under bushes, or on fences, but you never need to dig for them. You can find caches by downloading the official Geocaching app and switching on your GPS. The app will identify caches near you and help you navigate towards them.

Hands holding a small geocaching capsule surrounded by bushes.
A man holding a map in the woods while someone next to him holds up a compass.


Orienteering is a relatively unknown but exciting outdoor sport that sees participants use a map and compass to navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint. Part of the fun is that there’s no set route for the checkpoints, so participants get to decide which way is best to go in the quickest time. thanks to recent funding from Active Essex, the Essex Stragglers Orienteering Society has established a new orienteering course at Hylands Park.

Horse & Carriage Rides

The Hylands Horses have been resident at Hylands Estate since 2008 to fulfil Chelmsford City Council’s ambition of having working horses on the Estate. Joe, a shire horse, and Roy and Falcon, who are Suffolk Punches, are owned and cared for by Hawthorn Heavy Horses. Public carriage rides are available on selected Open Estate Days, and you can book for experience days and private events directly from their website.

The Hawthorn Heavy Horses carriage going through Hylands Park.
Sourdough toast topped with avocado, grilled halloumi and pesto.

Food & Drink

The Deli’s newest location in The Stables offers a varied menu that, as well as their usual offering, boasts plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Savour fresh, made-to-order sandwiches and seasonal salads, plus their famous homemade sausage rolls, cakes, pastries and tarts crafted by staff at The Deli’s farm kitchens in West Hanningfield.

Get Involved

Getting involved with Hylands Estate is easy, and we welcome anyone to come and learn more about us and our history. You can either become our local historian or get your hands dirty in our gardens! There are opportunities to become members of the Friends of Hylands House who help fundraise for key developments on the grounds, or you can volunteer with our community of friendly garden volunteers.

Beyond Hylands Estate

If you plan on being in the region for longer than a visit with us, there’s plenty to do to continue your stay in Chelmsford and Essex. From night life, hotel stays, events and high quality restaurants, to coastal visits, tours, walks and family attractions. Visit our partner websites for more information and plan your stay.

Sustainable Routes to Hylands Estate

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