Forest Centre Room Hire

A unique setting for a range of occasions

Set in the heart of the community forest, the unique buildings at the Thames Chase Forest Centre regularly cater for conferences, meetings, wedding receptions and parties. 

Venue capacities capacities

Meeting room (within the Forest Centre) - up to 10 people

Ford Education Room - up to 50 people (cinema/theatre-style)

Essex Barn - up to 120 people (cinema/theatre style). Weddings and celebrations can seat 100, including chairs and tables.

The Ford Education Room can be set up in Boardroom, Conference, Cinema/Theatre, and Cabaret style, as well as accommodating variations of table and chair combinations alongside entertainment for children's parties or festive occasions.

Chairs and tables are available for use in these venues. They are in-situ in the Meeting room, and can be added to your hire requirements in the Ford Education Room and Essex Barn.

Flipcharts, AV equipment, and stationery can be added to your hire. Tea/coffee making facilities are available with hire of the Essex Barn and/or Ford Education Room in the adjoining kitchen.

For 2019 and 2020 prices please call 01708 642970 or email

Please note that certain times of the year may not be suitable for hiring the Barn - as an authentic Grade II listed building, it retains many of its original features from the 17th century, including a lack of built-in heating facilities!

Wedding Hire Package

The 17th century Essex Barn provides an atmospheric venue for your special occasion. The barn doors can be opened for your guests to wander outside on to the courtyard, and marquee hire is available if you wish to extend your party.

You’ll also have full access to the Ford Education Room beside the Essex Barn, which offers guests a chance to rest ahead of the night to come while the Barn is prepared for the evening party.


  • 13:00 - 17:00 on Friday afternoon
  • 10:00 - 23:00 on Saturday
  • 10:00 - 12:00 Sunday morning

For more information please ask at the Forest Centre Reception or call 01708 642970.

Weddings are only available on specific weekends during the summer season, so be sure to book now to secure this iconic venue for your big day!

Family and Children’s Parties

The Forest Centre is ideal for your family celebration. From the Essex Barn and Ford Education Room your guests can spill out on to the grass courtyard. There is also the playground available nearby for children to burn off some excess energy (children must be supervised by a parent or guardian when using the equipment).

Social and party hire is only available on weekends.

Schools and Youth Groups visits

Encouraging young people to learn more about our local history and environment is at the heart of our work/commitment/promise etc. The listed buildings offer an atmospheric and immersive setting for any school group activity.

The Essex Barn and Ford Education room both provide unique classroom spaces, with the additional living history of the venues enhancing the learning experience. The surrounding Broadfields site is an excellent resource for educational visits. Education volunteers and equipment are available to support your activities.

Meetings and conferences

Here at Thames Chase Forest Centre we provide a truly unique meeting and conference venue. The visitor centre meeting room seats 10 and is ideal for one to one tutorials or small meetings. The Essex Barn and Ford Education Room cater for larger groups.

Meeting room (within the Forest Centre) - up to 10 people

Ford Education Room - up to 50 people (cinema/theatre-style)

Essex Barn - up to 120 people (cinema/theatre style). Weddings and celebrations can seat 100, including chairs and tables.

Whether your event is large or small, a meeting or a show, our aim is to create a friendly atmosphere for you and your clients or group. 

Conference or meeting room hire is available throughout the week and on evenings.

Funeral wakes

Both the Essex Barn and Ford Education Room are regularly used as venues for funeral wakes. We understand that this is often a very difficult period and we are able to provide these spaces to meet your needs, while ensuring as much privacy as possible for your group. 

We are able to provide catering in house for funeral wakes, although you are welcome to provide your own catering, or choose an external supplier, if you wish.

Our Book of Celebrations is a book for memories of loved ones and many other occasions. The book, bound in wood, is beautifully presented and the special words of each entry are recorded by a local caligrapher.

Charitable discounts

There is a significant discount available for charitable organisations and local groups for room hire at the Forest Centre.

Call us (01708 642970), send us an email or drop in to the Centre to learn more.


Food can be provided by our in-house caterer (excluding weddings), or you can supply your own.

By hiring with us you will be contributing to an environmental charity that makes a difference, as well as helping us at Thames Chase Trust carry out our all-important land restoration activities.

If using external suppliers for your event booking, please ensure that they have completed the access form to obtain the code for the height barrier to the site. 

Waste and recyling

At Thames Chase Trust we are committed to restoring the landscape, especially sites that have been degraded by urban spoil and landfill. As such, we request that all people who visit the Community Forest, including the Broadfields site (home of the Forest Centre), take their litter home with them

This includes for people hiring our rooms for parties and events.

We will remind you of this when making the booking, but please also ensure to pass this information on to outside suppliers, such as caterers, equipment suppliers and entertainers.

Car Parking

All income raised from hiring is used to maintain and run the forest centre and improve the landscape within the Community Forest.

A height barrier is in place at the entrance to the Forest Centre from Pike Lane. If your vehicle is above 2m tall, please call us in advance to complete an access form and the code for the barrier.

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