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“Pretty place with lots to see”

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Blake House Craft Centre
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Set in beautiful Essex countryside, the carefully preserved farm buildings at Blake House Craft Centre are centered around a courtyard, which was previously the Blake House farmyard. Wander around the fine variety of shops in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, where there really is something for everyone; from a basket of flowers to ballet shoes, from dolls houses to decorations for your home and from antiques to elegant fabrics, you can treat yourself or find the perfect gift. Enjoy a bite to eat at Timbers; our licensed restaurant, housed in an 18th century listed corn barn, then challenge friends to a round of crazy golf on our 9 hole minigolf course. Let the kids use up some energy in our play area and make sure you don’t miss our latest maize maze challenge! The Original Great Maze brings you an aMAZing new adventure each summer, so come and get lost for a great day out for all the family!
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Essex
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Pretty place with lots to see”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2013

I have been here a number of times before, but this time was with my husband and a very close friend of ours. There are many small, quite quirky shops, all with "crafty" type of commodities, such as plants, candles, toys, and so on. There is also a restaurant called "Timbers" which does really nice food all day, and also does evening entertainment on certain dates each month, one of which (each month) is a "Tribute Night". The quality of the performers they get there are superb (I've been there twice now)! It also has a wonderful, "natural" maze there which is very well known in the area. As we only went there really to have something to eat (and I bought some plants), I can't say much about the shops in general, but it certainly seems to be a nice place to visit.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank NissyEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Games 2 replay”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2013

I went to have a look around on Monday to find that the shop (games 2 replay) was shut on Mondays. After looking at the opening times I saw it opened at 10:30 - 4, so I went back on Tuesday at 11 to find the shop was shut again even though it said it was open! I asked the lady in the jewellery shop next door and she informed me that the lady who run the game shop was normally late and she would be here soon. So I waited around till half 11 and she still didn't turn up. Would be nice if there was a way to find out if she actually opens the shop on time or of she could change it to a more realistic opening time for her as I wasn't the only person waiting around for her to turn up. ANNOYING!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank sophie e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colchester
Level Contributor
106 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Great family fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2013

Went with my sister, niece, nephew and friend. We chose not to buy a map, but we did do the animal hunt. We had a great morning going round in circles bumping into the same people, we managed to find some of the animals, we also managed to get to the looking tower! Would recommend that you take a drink in with you. They have picnic benches and plenty of grass around so you could take a picnic. You can come out and go back in on the same day as many times as you like.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Gemma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The maze don't take card payments and left us in there and went home!!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013

Now luckily, we found our way out (they knew we didn't have a map) and we were all ok, but honestly! I cannot believe they had locked up and gone home leaving us in the maze with no warning that it was near closing time.

I was pretty annoyed the maze didn't take card payments considering the nearest cash point is about a 15 minute drive.

The maze was fun, although very very hot! it wasn't always clear whether it was a real path through or not at times too.

We ate in timbers which was fine but £27 for 4 sandwiches and 3 drinks which is quite an expensive lunch i thought!

The other shops are a bit random but if you specifically want a dolls house shop etc i guess you would visit, just make sure you have cash as it seems some of the shops also don't take card payments!!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank catmad11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
108 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Maze is hilarious, but wellies, wellies, wellies!!!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

Arrived here after seeing a tourist guide listing for the "Original Great Maze", however were completely unprepared as this maze is definitely designed for 'outdoorsy' types. There was a large scout group in full orienteering style clothing who were caked in mud from toe to hip exiting as we arrived.

The lovely assistant looked at us in disbelief [wearing flip flops and canvas shoes] but we plowed on regardless and had a hilarious time, although it was straight into the shower on return home [and shoes in the bin!]

We had allowed 1.5 hours for this visit but very quickly realised there was no way we could do the maze in this time without opening the 'cheaters' map, and with this guiding us it still took nearly an hour to complete and we only found half the animals.

If we had been better prepared i.e. welly boots/hiking boots, back pack, water bottles, snacks, etc etc we probably could have done the whole thing in around 3 hours and found all the animals.

We looked around the rest of the craft centre, but it was quite a bizarre mix of 'vintage' [i.e. secondhand but overpriced] and generally mass produced overpriced craft stuff so we didn't really bother with the shops.

As a hilarious and random activity, this was great but I would not have gone significantly out of my way to visit it.

I was quite concerned to note that the signs at the entrance talked about wheelchairs and buggies being able to enter for free, I would consider this really quite dangerous as the ground is in no way shape or form suitable for wheels and many of the paths were far too narrow for even a slimline wheelchair to pass. Unless you have a 'hiking/rambling' style wheelchair or buggy please don't consider this a viable location.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank DK1bunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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