Places to Visit
Ongar offers a range of places to visit and explore, to suit all ages, tastes, abilities and budgets, many of these are available for much of the year.
Below is a small taster of ideas, but please also visit our What’s Happening page for upcoming special event details which include art festivals, fetes, heritage transport days and many more…
- St Martin’s Church; a c1080 church in the centre of Ongar, made from flint rubble and re-used Roman bricks, come and see this peaceful church and lean about its history and see rare “ankar hold” where a hermit would attend.
- Epping Ongar Railway; running full size steam and diesel hauled trains and interconnecting heritage bus service to North Weald and Epping London Underground Tube station.
- Ongar Castle; Ongar’s castle is thought to have been constructed by Richard de Lucy in 1155. Richard established a “chipping”, which is a regular market on the outskirts of the castle, which is still held each week. The castle would have had a wooden tower and the mound is about 55 ft. While the property is now in private hands, there is an informative display board adjacent to the library.
- Budworth Hall; Ongar’s centrally placed arts and community centre is not only a notable 19th Century gothic architecture, but also hosts many of the events in our What’s Happening section. This includes the Ongar Festival of Real Ale, Country & Western Dances, Keep Fit Classes, Clubs and Societies, and even pet obedience training.
- Greenstead Church; visit the oldest wooden church in the world, dating from 645 AD, the Saxon building is set within tranquil countryside, find out what the “leper’s squint” is, the grave of the unknown Crusader and where the body of St Edmund was rested on its way to Bury. On special days the railway operates a heritage bus, and there is an easy walk route back to Ongar where you can re-trace the footsteps of our forefathers.
- Zinc Arts Centre; is one of the largest “disabled led” arts organisations in the UK, and provides a dynamic and forward looking arts organisation, specialising in disability arts and social inclusion. The centre provides enjoyable workshops in many disciplines and exhibitions throughout the year, further details on their calendar page.
- Walk in the footsteps of famous Ongar-ites; view our walks section, which includes a walk which views the houses where the author of “Twinkle Twinkle little star” and African explorer David Livingstone once lived.
- For those who like to stretch their legs a little further, Ongar is located on the Essex Way, a cross-county footpath which provides a 81 mile walk route from Epping to Harwich, and Ongar is ideally suited on the route to take a comfort break, refreshments or a souvenir of your visit.
- For the more adventurous, there is high ropes, archery, air rifle target, water zorbing water tag maze and paintball alley at Rope Runners.
- Golf Clubs; Nearby Toot Hill Golf Club offers 6,254 yards through an 18 hole, par 70 course. Bentley Golf Club has a 6,703 yards, par 72 course which hosts the Essex County Championships and Essex Captains and is silver ranked in the HSBC Regional Course Rankings. Blakes Golf Club offers an 18 hole inland links course, and North Weald Golf Club is a championship 18 hole course which hosted the Essex Amateur and PGA East Region Championships.
- Secret Nuclear Bunker is located between Ongar and Kelvedon Hatch, and is the deepest and biggest cold war bunker open to the public in the south east. Walk around the displays and rooms where 600 military and civilian personnel would have lived and operated a regional government following a nuclear incident.
- North Weald Aerodrome & Museum. The 400 acre aerodrome is more than just planes, and hosts a number of open air events throughout the year, including archery, HGV & specialist driver training, antiques fairs, bus rallies, classic and sports car shows, cycle racing, charity events and recently now offers “drive in” movies. The museum and war memorial celebrates the aerodromes important contribution to the Battle of Britain, which included stationing of squadrons from Norway. The aerodrome and museum are easily accessible from Ongar via the heritage railway or bus services.
- Ongar Leisure Centre; offers trampolining, exercise classes such as “Spin”, Pilates, gym and toning as well as swimming, with clubs and activities for many age groups.
- Brentwood Leisure Centre; hosts a wide range of events, from performances by national musicians, antiques and toy fairs, kids holiday clubs, fitness centre and charity functions.
- Ashlyns Organic Shop and Restaurant, Farm and Children’s Play Centre; situated to the west of Ongar on the A414, organic shop with butchery and petting farm with farm walk, children’s play barn and outdoor adventure playground.