The Royal Gunpowder Mills

Type:Heritage / Visitor Centre

Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1JY

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Tel01992 707370

Wildlife Tower, footbridge and canal-side building at the Royal Gunpowder Mills Waltham Abbey.

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The Royal Gunpowder Mills combines science, history and nature in am amazing day out that's fun for all the family.



  • Accessible Lift - All the publically accessible buildings on the site are ground floor accept the main exhibition building where there is an accessible lift.
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors - All the publically accessible buildings on the site are ground floor accept the main exhibition building where there is an accessible lift. As this is a heritage site, there is some uneven ground but most areas and buildings are wheel chair accessible as is the Land Train which conducts guided tours of the whole site.
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp / Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors


  • Café
  • Catering by in-house Caterers
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant/catering
  • Picnic area

Children & Infants

  • Children's outdoor play area
  • Cot Available

Establishment Features

  • All weather attraction - Although we hold special events which take place outdoors, our main exhibitions are under cover and the site can be visited via our covered land train or military truck experience.
  • Cater for groups
  • Groups by arrangement
  • Marquee Space Available
  • Open on bank holidays
  • Team / Corporate Activities

Key Features

  • Forest Location - The large site includes unique Alder plantation and associated wildlife. The whole site can be visited by the Land Train or Military Truck Experience.
  • In countryside
  • In town/city centre - The site is on the outskirts of Waltham abbey, itself a historic market town.
  • Indoor Attraction - The main exhibition, armoury and rocket collection, plus Professor Nitrates Mad Lab are all indoors.
  • Outdoor Attraction - The Royal Gunpowder Mills is a very large unspoilt site with areas designated of special scientific interest (SSIs). The dangerous nature of gunpowder manufacture, and the later chemical explosives, made it sensible to space buildings apart. So the industrial processes can be explored within a natural environment. Trees were allowed to flourish between the buildings as they provided an additional safety barrier should an explosion occur in a building, and canals link all parts of the site.

Parking & Transport

  • Coach Parking
  • On Bus Route
  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)
  • Secure cycle parking - The car park includes an open, but covered cycle parking area.

Payment Methods

  • Groups Accepted

Target Markets

  • Family Fun
  • Marketed Towards Children - Children love Professor Nitrates Mad Lab shows.
  • Marketed Towards Families
  • Marketed Towards Senior Citizens
  • Marketed Towards Students / Youth
  • Special provisions for cyclists

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted - The Royal Gunpowder Mills has a dedicated education team and regularly delivers a range of programmes for local schools.
  • Guided tours
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups
  • Guided Tours Available for Individuals - The Royal Gunpowder Mills is lucky to have an army of knowledgeable volunteers who can answer technical (and not so technical) questions and bring the past and processes alive. Some of the volunteers are past employees. The land train tours of the site include guides who explain the history of the site, its buildings and the processes which went on there.
  • Guided tours by arrangement - Visitors who have a specific interest in a particular aspect of the history or processes or items exhibited at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, can arrange to have a volunteer guide with relevant knowledge available when they visit. This is by arrangement and dependant on the relevant expertise being available.

Map & Directions

Road Directions

The Royal Gunpowder Mills is located in Beaulieu Drive, off Highbridge Street (at traffic lights and opposite McDonalds), a ten minute walk from the centre of Waltham Abbey. The entrance is at top north end of Beaulieu Drive.

There is free parking 

From J26 of M25, take A121 to Waltham Abbey; or from J25 of M25 go to Waltham Cross and then A121.

Public Transport Directions

By Bus 

The site is just a 10 minute walk from Waltham Abbey Town Centre.

Nearest bus stops in Highbridge Street are served by the following local buses:

21, 212, 213, 240, 250, 251, 255, 505, 517.

By Rail

Nearest station is Waltham Cross, connecting London Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale underground (Victoria Line) to/from Cheshunt/Broxbourne/Hertford East.

We are a 25 minute walk east from the station.

You may also take a bus or a cab (office at station).


  • Other Awards Self-assessed Accessibility Information 2022

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