The Picnic District 4 – Kingley Wood, Rayleigh



Kingley Wood is one of the smaller, lesser-known woods in our district – but it has a long history, and thousands of people see it every day as they drive along the A127. As the District Council website explains:

Kingley Wood stands on a steep hill slope beside the A127 and is visible as you approach Rayleigh from London. This small wood is one of the only surviving ancient woodlands in Rayleigh but it has a rich and varied wildlife and well-documented history. Kingley Wood is made up of a mixture of Oak, Hornbeam, Sweet Chestnut, Ash and Holly. The ground flora is dominated by Bluebells, and home to a small population of Wood Anemone and Yellow Archangel. The woodland is also a local wildlife site….. Kingley Wood can be approached on foot from Western Road, Eastern Road, Hollytree Gardens or Weir Farm Road, Rayleigh. There is no car parking on site.


You walk along a footpath, suddenly come to a playing field, perfect for a picnic. On the other side of the playing field is the wood. It’s not the biggest wood in the world, and it is on a slope and a bit noisy from the traffic – but it’s not crowded! But at one time it might have been quite crowded – when the nocturnal ‘lawless court’ was held here.


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  • I would certainly agree that Kingley Wood and adjacent parkland is a beautiful open leisure area. There is of course road noise from the A127, but it need not spoil any visit (you can’t have everything!). Years ago people walked across the A127 over to Thundersley Common and beyond, that can now only be safely done by diverting via the Rayleigh Weir, but it still gives extra opportunities to the more adventurous hiker. Kingley Wood is a good place to visit in its own right – especially at this time of year.

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