Facilities at Rainham Marshes

Full facilities information

Visitor centre

Open from 9.30am - 4.30pm from November - January, and 9.30am - 5pm from February - October.

Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The cafe opens at 10am and closes half an hour before the visitor centre does. 

Car park

Open from 9.30am - 4.30pm from 1 November - 31 January, and 9.30am - 5pm from 1 February - 31 October. 

Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

  • 100 spaces
  • 4 Blue Badge spaces
  • Car park and main exit road are locked when the reserve closes.
  • No height restrictions.
  • No formal drop-off point.

Situated in the visitor centre.

Accessible toilets

Accessible toilet on ground and first floors, as well as half way round the reserve.

Opens at 10am, and closes half an hour before the reserve closes.
Vegan options
Vegetarian options
Gluten free options
  • Hot food will be served until 3pm.
  • Our cafe gives magnificent views over the reserve and the River Thames.
  • We serve our own exclusive coffee that is grown, imported and roasted by us. It's Fairtrade, organic and certified bird-friendly by the Smithsonian Institute, so now you can help save nature simply by enjoying a great cup of coffee!
  • Highlights from our menu include fabulous home-made cakes, locally-made soup, freshly-prepared jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings, locally-baked pies and pasties and made-to-order toasties, paninis and sandwiches.
  • Children are welcome, we're happy to serve smaller portions and we can also warm baby food in the microwave.
  • All produce is sourced locally where possible, including ham, bacon, sausages, soup and pies.
  • For more information on our full menu and ingredients please visit the 'What's in my dish' website.

The shop stocks a range of binoculars and telescopes, books, bird food, bird feeders, nestboxes and outdoor clothing.

Baby changing

Situated on the first floor of the visitor centre.

Picnic area
  • There are a couple of tables around the wildlife garden, which is also next to the visitor centre.
  • Alternatively, a table in the adventure playground and toddler's play area.
  • Visitors are welcome to consume their own food and drink here.
Pushchair friendly
Viewing point
  • There are four hides around the reserve, viewing platforms and lots of places to stop.
  • On the family-friendly southern trail there are the Purfleet hide and Marshland Discovery Zone.
  • The Shooting Butts hide and Ken Barrett hide are on the northern trail.
  • Everyone is welcome to use all viewing areas and hides.
Nature trails

Three signposted trails.

Educational facilities

Education team offer a wide and exciting array of curriculum linked field study visits at our Environment and Education centre, fully equipped classrooms, specific study areas, pond dipping areas.

Play area

There is a toddlers play area next to the visitor centre. The adventure playground and climbing boulders are on the reserve near the woodland. You can hire bicycles from reception in the Visitor Centre.