One of Epping Forest's top attractions has vowed to be back with a bang when it reopens for the first time in two years this weekend.

The Royal Gunpowder Mills, in Waltham Abbey, has been closed throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but its doors will open again to visitors on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Three hundred years of explosive and top secret history is waiting to be exposed when visitors walk through the gates to travel back through time.

The newly refreshed 170-acre site will be brought to life as volunteer information teams reveal information about the site's intriguing past and the role it plays in so many films, music videos and TV shows.

Now recognised as a place of special scientific interest, the public can also learn about the part the Mills once played as a top-secret research centre for Cold War inventions and rocketry too.

Epping Forest Guardian:

For the first time, all exhibits, activities and tours are now included in the ticket price. The wide pathways and fresh new signage make it easy for visitors to explore the listed buildings, exhibitions and science shows, as well as the nature reserve's diverse range of animals, birds and plants.

Whether you are whizzing around with children and a buggy, looking for a more relaxed stroll, or need a clear path for a wheelchair, the easy level routes which run throughout the main visitor areas make it simple to enjoy.

The wheelchair accessible Tractor Tour makes sure no–one is left behind. Experiencing the site’s expanse and beauty from a lofty seat, visitors will also have the chance to meet an expert and to ask more questions at the end of the route.

The knowledgeable guides share an insight into a life at the Mills that was shaped from years of making explosives and propellants and help visitors to understand more about its outstanding contribution to science.

Epping Forest Guardian:

In addition, the team of train drivers who drive and maintain the Gunpowder Railway has increased, enabling it to run every weekend and show off its refurbished stop, along with new and insightful information panels.

For those who like a big ‘bang', Professor Nitrate’s colourful character and innovative outdoor show excites with explosive chemical reactions and rockets launched along zip wires. And, for youngsters who are keen to try the need for speed themselves, the newly maintained children’s playground, complete with zip-wire, is ready and waiting for them to let off steam.

Visitors should take time to notice the newly created conservation initiatives dotted around the natural areas and spot the Royal Gunpowder Mills conservation team as they make nature resides side by side with the preservation of the past.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Throughout its lifespan, the Royal Gunpowder Mills has been an integral part of the local economy and community.

Continuing this integral work, a fresh range of in-person and virtual learning activities for organised groups and schools has been created. Featuring costumed performers from the site’s past, the new schools’ programme and activities brings the site’s unique history and its importance in military history, national defence, mining and quarrying alive.

Tickets cost £10 per person with £8 concessions for pensioners and under-16s. The price includes: introductory film, main exhibition, rocket vault visit, make and launch your own air powered rocket, armoury, Professor Nitrate’s outdoor science shows and a choice between a 30-minute Tractor Tour around the site or a trip on the narrow gauge Gunpowder Railway.

For more information, visit