Family Friendly Pubs in Essex

The White Horse in Ramsden Heath
White Horse Play Area
Part of The White Horse’s Play Area.

What makes a great family pub? Good food, with a reasonably priced children’s menu and facilities to keep the kids entertained. That is about all really.

We have seen fewer play areas in recent years, and some pubs have stopped allowing children in completely due to escalating insurance costs. But there are still many excellent family pubs in Essex. Here are our favourites. Not all have great gardens for kids, but all are family friendly.

The White Horse in Ramsden Heath

Best Choice - Essex PortalThe White Horse is a large pub which serves good food. They have a very well equipped childrens play area in a safe, fully enclosed garden. In the winter they put up an ice rink for kids (not free).

The White Horse has won a host of industry accolades and continues to push boundaries in pursuit of the perfect British pub.

The Six Bells in Boreham

6 Bells in Boreham
Play Area of the 6 Bells in Boreham

The Six Bells is a traditional family pub and have a really good children’s outdoor play area with swings, slide, climbing frames and a see-saw.

Receive an award from Chelmsford and Mid-Essex CAMRA for ‘Best Local Family Pub‘ (which means that the beer is good too!). Booking recommended.

The Plough Harvester in Chelmsford

The Harvester was one of the first chains of pubs to cater for families.  The Plough Harvester in Chelmsford has loads of healthy food options for children. It also has a large garden with plenty of seating.

The Three Jolly Wheelers in Chigwell

The Three Jolly Wheelers in Chigwell is a country pub & restaurant oozing rural charm and rustic character. It is owned by Vintage Inns. Good childrens menu with 2 courses and a Fruit Shoot for £6.95. Small beer garden area.

The Treacle Mine in Grays

The Treacle Mine attracts diners from South Ockendon, West Thurock and Chafford Hundred as well as Grays. Food covers all the British classics plus a range of sizzling skillets. All kids’ meals are just £2.99. £4.50 gets them a moreish main, tempting pud and thirst-quenching drink, any day, any time. On Wednesdays kids eat for £1! They have plenty of high-chairs and baby changing facilities too.

The Chafford Hundred in Grays

This is a Brewers Fayre pub with Buffett Palace. Good children’s menu. They have a PlayZone indoor play area, plus also host Parent and Toddler mornings on weekdays between 10am and 11am.

The Rose Inn, Great Wakering

Lovely Country Bar & Restaurant on the outskirts of Southend On Sea serving good Real Ales and quality food. Children can stay until 9pm. Play area within the beer garden. Good Sunday roasts – but get there early (they open at 11.30am).

  • Wakering Road, SS3 0PY Great Wakering
  • 01702 588008

Toby Carvery in Harlow

Toby Carvery’s are similar to Harvester’s. Large family pubs with good value food. Also like having Sunday Roast every day.

  • Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, CM20 2LQ
  • Tel: 01279 442151

Kings Oak in High Beach, Epping Forest

A very trendy venue that caters for families well. They have a ‘Cheeky Monkey’ menu. The Forest Garden is great for kids, with climbing frames, swings and slides. Bouncy castles in the summer.  Not many Essex pubs can boast of such a safe environment for the kids to play in.

The Anchor Riverside Pub and Restaurant in Hullbridge

Great food and a large beer garden overlooking the river. There was a separate children’s garden but this was closed – possibly for the same reasons as others have closed (rising insurance costs). Also has a large family room. In the summer they often have activities for children, such as face painting, bouncy castles and crafts.

  • Ferry Road, Hullbridge, Essex, SS5 6ND
  • Telephone: 01702 230 777

The Cock Inn, Rochford

Cock Inn Rochford with its Massive Beer Garden
Cock Inn Rochford with its Massive Beer Garden

The pub was once a farm house and is still surrounded by farmland. It has a massive beer garden that is enclosed, great for kids to run around in. It is a very popular pub with families. Food usually served quickly.

The Cock Inn is a Fayre & Square pub. They often do deals on food (such as 2 for £10) and have a good childrens menu. Children Welcome until 9pm, Dogs Welcome outside on a lead.

  • Hall Rd, Rochford, Essex SS4 1PD
  • Phone:01702 540429

The Hare at Roxwell

Great food in a traditional pub. Lovely patio garden which spills out onto a lawn and overlooks fields and countryside. A small stream runs along the back of the pub. Some play houses in the garden.

  • The Hare, Bishops Stortford Road, Roxwell, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 4LU
  • Tel: 01245 248788

Red Lion, Witham

The Red Lion is a 14th Century building. Was known as the Black Boy in the C18th. Children and dogs are welcome. They host barbeques and hog roasts in the summer.

  • Newland Street, Witham CM8 2AF
  • Tel. 01376 512 199

One Comment on “Family Friendly Pubs in Essex”

  1. The White Horse in Ramsden Heath was excellent today. The kids enjoyed their meals, enjoyed the colouring sheet and [;ayed in the excellent garden. Possibly the best beer garden in Essex.

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