What does Great Oakley have to offer?

On the face of it, Great Oakley is a typical Essex village, with a mixture of old, traditional houses and newer builds.

But dig deeper and you will discover a beating heart of community activities and amenities.

For a start, there’s the shop, Great Oakley Convenience Store, owned by the popular Mr. K, who when he goes on holiday, is replaced by local paid volunteers who look after the shop in his absence.

Then there’s the Village Hall, which hosts regular events and meetings.

There’s the nursery, for under fives.

There’s the church, All Saints, on the outskirts of the village, run by Great Oakley’s very own lady vicar, the Reverend Liz Barnes.

There’s the primary school, also called All Saints, with its neighbouring pre-school, the ‘Oakey-Dokeys’. A forest school, shared between All Saints and the Oakey-Dokeys, is also due to open soon.

And, of course, we mustn’t forget the football team, Great Oakley Football Club, which plays regularly throughout the season.

A short film about Oakley Orchards and how it fits into its locality.


The local that’s run by locals.

Question: what do you call a pub with 138 landlords? Answer: The Maybush Inn.

Great Oakley’s local watering hole is a pretty good example of the village’s flourishing community spirit.

It closed down for a while and was threatened with re-development until a group of locals clubbed together and chipped in money to get it reopened.

Now it’s open all day, every day, totally staffed by volunteers who are paid in ‘beer vouchers’, which can only be redeemed in The Maybush.

One regular says it’s impossible for him to go into the Maybush for a quiet drink because

The Maybush Inn was threatened by permanent closure. Members of the Great Oakley community clubbed together to rescue it.

there are just too many people who come up to speak to him. Strangers might fare better, but don’t bank on it. Great Oakley is a welcoming sort of place.

Just 15 minutes from Great Oakley, The Wrabness peninsular that borders the estuary of the River Stour is a haven for wildlife.

What else can be found hereabouts?

Hamford Water National Nature Reserve is nearby. A short distance to the North is the estuary of the River Stour, also a haven for wildlife, particularly at Wrabness, where there are woods that teem with birds and animals, and where Wrabness Nature Reserve can be found.

Genteel Frinton-on-Sea and its next-door neighbour, the bucket and spade resort of Walton-on-the-Naze, are less than 20 minutes away.

Further afield is the seaside resort of Clacton, with its amusements, pier and many other attractions, half an hour distant.

The busy port of Harwich is closer still. Among its many charms, an historic town centre and the oldest purpose-built cinema to survive with its silent-era screen, projection room and original frontage still intact, the Electric Palace Cinema. It’s less than 15 minutes’ drive away.

Or, if you don’t feel like climbing behind the wheel, you can always take the bus. Great Oakley is served by regular services between Harwich and Clacton, even on Sundays.

London, just over an hour away.

Want to visit London? Manningtree Station is a fifteen-minute drive, with frequent services to London Liverpool Street, approximately an hour away.

Great Oakley is fifteen minutes drive from Manningtree Station, which has frequent Services to London Liverpool Street, approximately one hour away.