London Spy

Venue guide: Hadleigh Farm

London Spy

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Where is it?: Castle Lane, Benfleet, Essex.

Find it on the map: Here

How do you get there?: By National Rail or road. The closest railway station to Hadleigh Farm is Leigh-on-Sea, which is around a 45-minute trip east from London's Fenchurch Street station. You are then faced either with a 30-minute uphill walk on rough farm tracks to get to the venue or a shuttle-bus journey. If you wish to drive to Hadleigh Farm, it is about 35 miles east of London and can be reached via the A13. You then follow the signs for Hadleigh Castle and the park-and-ride service.

Capacity: 3,000.

What events will be held there and when?: Mountain biking (August 11-12).

Public facilities: There are tea rooms and a shop at the farm's training centre.

History: The challenging, hilly course has largely been constructed out of grassland and woodland within the 800-acre Hadleigh Farm. The farm is run by The Salvation Army for educational purposes and includes a centre for rare breeds of animals. The site overlooks the Thames Estuary and is a short walk away from the ruins of the 700-year-old Hadleigh Castle. The course also takes in the neighbouring 390-acre Hadleigh Country Park, one of the largest parks in Essex, which is managed by the county council. It has yet to be decided what will happen to the course when the temporary seating structures are taken down after the Games, but the council is keen to have the course adapted for public use.

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