GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Abberton Reservoir

10 miles (16 km)

This is a circular cycle ride on the quiet roads and country lanes surrounding this large reservoir near Colchester, Essex. Abberton is the fourth largest reservoir in England with an area of nearly 5 square kilometres (1,200 acres).
The route starts at the visitor centre and takes you to Great Wigborough, Peldon and Malting Green. This route is designed for cyclists but walkers can enjoy walks from the visitor centre at the start of this route. The reservoir is excellent for bird watching with thousands of wildlfowl to look out for on the water. These include Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Coot and Black-headed Gull which can be spotted from the three bird hides. The visitor centre also has a wealth of information on the wildlife you can expect to see in this lovely wetlands area.
If you'd like to extend your walking in the area then you could head south and visit the lovely Mersea Island. The round the island circular walk visits a number of nice beaches and the pretty Cudmore Grove Country Park.


CO2 0EU - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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Abberton Reservoir OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Abberton Reservoir Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Peldon Rose Inn is located just to the south of the reservoir. They have a good menu and a beautiful large garden with a pretty pond. A little nearer is the Plough at Peldon. You can find them at postcode CO5 7QR.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Just to the west you could pay a visit to the large village of Tiptree. There's some nice trails here around the Tiptree Heath Nature Reserve where there are some interesting plants and Exmoor ponies to see.
Just to the east you can visit Wivenhoe and enjoy walks along the River Colne on the Wivenhoe Trail and the Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea Walk. The Fingringhoe Wick Essex WT reserve is also located in this area. The noteworthy site is one of the finest nature reserves in the country and the first to be taken under the care of Essex Wildlife Trust. There's some lovely trails taking you around the marshland, lakes and heathland at the reserve. It's a great area for bird watching with many different species to observe.
On the northern side of Colchester there's High Woods Country Park. There's some pleasant cycling and walking trails with a lake, woodland trails and a visitor centre as well. The picturesque Ardleigh Reservoir can also be found in the immediate area.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Essex Walks page.


Bird feeders by the Visitors Centre at Abberton Reservoir - - 771826

Bird feeders by the Visitors Centre at Abberton Reservoir

Abberton Pumphouse - - 207444

Abberton Pumphouse. This pumping station is on the north shore of the reservoir near Blind Knights

Abberton Reservoir - - 37806

Abberton Reservoir from the B1026 causeway. The valley was flooded in the 1930’s by the South Essex Water Company. The Reservoir was used for navigation and bomb run practice by 617 Squadron “The Dambusters” in 1943. Guy Gibson referred to it as “Colchester Lake” in his biography “Enemy Coast Ahead”. It is now a wildfowl reserve of international significance.

Abberton Reservoir (southern shore) - - 207477

This is a view of the southern part of the reservoir

New Reserve Abberton - - 2911434

New Reserve on the western side of the water near the car park. There is an Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor centre here with a wealth of information on the wildlife you can see at the site.

Abberton Visitor Centre - - 242349

Abberton Visitor Centre. The Essex Wildlife Trust lease the land from the Essex & Suffolk Water Company.


GPS Files

GPX File

Abberton Reservoir.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Share>Save to Files')

Memory Map Route

Abberton Reservoir.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>'Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Share>Save to Files)