The first thing to strike you about Broaks Wood is sure to be the silence.
We’re so accustomed to background noise filling our ears that often we don’t even recognise it.
But when you take your first few steps into Broaks Wood, the stretching arms of trees and wildlife welcome you and for a moment, the modern world falls away.
The world of the woods
Then slowly, as your ears become adjusted to the world of the woods, the twittering song of birds and the soft wind rustling through the trees begin to emerge.
Take another step further and suddenly the crunching leaves and snapping twigs underfoot become noticeable, echoing through the whole wood.
The silence begins to be filled with the small noises of nature.
The giant redwoods of Essex
There are five miles of open paths throughout the wood for you to explore.
Along your adventure, a highlight of your trip is sure to be the Giant Redwood Grove.
You might've heard of the giant redwoods of California, but we bet you didn’t know you could find them in Essex as well.
The redwood tree is the tallest growing tree species in the world.
Turn up in Essex maybe a couple of hundred years down the line and these trees might stand as tall as the greatest skyscrapers.
Search out the carved tree
Try and locate the tree with ‘Everything I hold dear resides in those eyes x’ carved into it.
If you're with your loved one, you might try and persuade them you wrote it for them.
But once they see how weather-worn the carvings are, we can’t promise they might have some rising suspicions.
Watch the secret life of the woods
You might stumble across a little wooden hut along your travels.
Hunker down in this bird hide and check out what the wildlife gets up to when they think nobody’s watching.
You may have to add on an extra hour or two - watching birds and squirrels dart from tree to tree can be incredibly mesmerising.
It’s estimated that the woods date back to the last ice age, 12,000 years ago.
We like to imagine walking in the footsteps of Manny the Mammoth and Sid the Sloth from Ice Age.
One thing they’d definitely agree with us on is how good a blackberry picking spot Broaks Wood is.
There’s no doubt those clothes you’re wearing will have a fair few purple coloured stains at the end of your adventure.
The best way to sum up Broaks Wood is the last quote of their forest code on the welcome board - it ends with “take only memories away”.
Quite a beautiful little piece of wisdom for a very beautiful place and a problem we're sure you won't have as your wanderings come to an end.