Maldon is a river town located in Essex. Maldon District covers a fairly large area of Essex, but this post will focus on the things to do in the areas directly around Maldon town! From glamping to mini golf, there are lots of cool things to do in Maldon!
Things To Do In Maldon
Maldon Promenade Park
One of the biggest draws to Maldon is Promenade Park! It’s definitely one of my favourite things to do in Maldon! Prom Park is on the banks of the River Chelmer. It’s a large park with several different attractions.
There is a large playground, a crabbing lake and a sandpit. Unfortunately, you can’t swim in the river at Promenade Park, as the mud surrounding it is far too deep (see below!). So a sandpit is the next best option! A recent addition is the Maldon Promenade Petting Zoo, entrance is £4.95 per person.
A nice walk along the promenade finishes up at the statue of Byrhtnoth, he was a military figure involved in the Battle of Maldon in the 10th century. The statue looks out over the river estuary.
Pirates Bay Miniature Golf
Pirates Bay is a really good quality 18 hole crazy golf course. Of course, quality comes with a higher price tag. Adults are £7.50, under 13s are £5.50 and under 5s are £2.50. It’s best to arrive early to try and beat the crowds, especially if it’s on a nice day! It’s open year-round from 10 am and closes at 6 pm in the low season and 8 pm in the summer season.
During a normal summer season, the Maldon Splash Park is great for young visitors. Various water fountains that spray out water, that children can splash around in! A 20-minute session costs £2.50 per child (with an additional 10 minutes to dry off and leave).
There are different takeaway kiosks dotted around the park. Many sell ice creams and drinks but some also do hot meals. My personal favourite is ‘Deb & Bri’s Kiosk’, I ALWAYS get a slush float (slush with ice cream on top)! Most people choose to sit on the grass area or the sea wall to eat, there’s not really any other seating options. The Barge Tearooms, looks like a unique dining option, as it’s on a barge in the river!
Several different companies operate riverboat trips. The river at Maldon is tidal, so the timings of the cruises depend on when the high tide is! At low tide, the boats are stuck in the mud! Cruises range in prices and duration, with some including food and others that are just a standard boat trip. This is a good resource to find out some of the upcoming cruises.
Throughout the year Maldon Promenade Park hosts different events. From fairs, to the Maldon Motor Show (free to enter but has parking fee), to fun runs.
Maldon Mud Race
The Maldon Mud Race is a popular annual event that takes place at Maldon Promenade Park. As mentioned above, the riverbed of the River Chelmer consists of deep mud. Once a year, when the tide goes out, competitors attempt to run across the mud. I took part a few years back and it was ridiculously HARD. I even had to get pulled out by a tow rope! It’s all good fun though!
Parking at Maldon Promenade Park
Promenade Park has a large pay and display parking area. Costs are £1.20 up to 1 hour, £2.40 up to 2 hours, £6 up to 4 hours and £7.70 all day. Machines do accept card payments.
If the weather isn’t good and you have kids, Madison Heights is home to Monkey Puzzle, an indoor soft play area. There’s also a roller rink and Izumi oriental buffet. I haven’t been to Madison Heights for years, but Izumi always used to do pretty good food!
KnowEscape: Maldon Escape Rooms
During all the lockdown, we did a virtual escape room online with Maldon Escape Rooms! It was a bit like an interactive zoom call with a live games master. They’ve now returned to proper in-person escape rooms so I’d like to check them out!
You can actually walk to Heybridge Basin via the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation (the canal) or along the banks of the River Chelmer. The canal was created in 1797. There are 12 locks altogether between Chelmsford and Heybridge. But the only one you’ll come across between Maldon Town and Heybridge is the final one at Heybridge Basin. This lock connects the canal to the river estuary. It used to be used as a way to transport cargo, however, it is now used for recreational use.
Heybridge Basin is another great place to sit and watch the boats go by. There are a couple of pubs with beer gardens (The Old Ship and The Jolly Sailor) and The Lock Tearoom (another of the Tiptree franchise).
If you’re not walking, there’s a small pay and display car park in the village.
Chigborough Farm – Paddleboarding & Glamping
Another fun thing to do in Maldon is to go stand up paddle boarding! Frangipani SUP run various types of lessons and practise paddles on the private lake located on Chigborough Farm. I did my BSUPA ‘Ready to Ride’ certification with them. The calm conditions of the lake make it an ideal location for beginners or those that are fairly new to SUP. Chigborough Farm also offers glamping accommodation, including a lakefront glamping cabin, which uses a raft to get to and from the banks!
Osea Beach Huts
The coastal path from Heybridge can be followed for miles, but another interesting thing to see are the Osea Beach Huts! It takes around 40 minutes to walk from Heybridge. When the tide is in, the beach huts are surrounded by water!
Osea Leisure Park also has some fun glamping options, such as ‘pods’ and safari tents, if you are looking for a weekend getaway!
The Museum of Power
Heading in the other direction out of Maldon (in Langford, towards Hatfield Peverel), is The Museum of Power. It has various exhibitions of old steam pumps and engines. The museum is open Wednesday – Sunday and entrance fees are £6 for adults and £2.50 for children (5-15yrs). They usually hold different events throughout the year, including a car show that I’ve been to many times. There’s also a tearoom at the Museum of Power, I’ve heard good things about the breakfasts that they serve!
I may be an adult but I LOVE the miniature steam railway! Train rides cost an additional £1 per person, but in my eye, it’s worth it! It follows a 1/4 mile track around the grounds of the museum.
The Astoria Model Village is fun to walk around too. You enter it through a tunnel (not a crawling tunnel!)!