Essex – a United Kingdom county of freedom and beauty, yet so often overlooked. A place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but still find an abundance of activities to keep your days filled with adventure. From historical sites to spectacular nature reserves, there is something for everyone in Essex. But what should you do when visiting this captivating part of England? This article will provide insight into all the exciting things to do in Essex which will leave you wanting more!
So come along with us as we explore all that Essex has to offer; from its stunning coastline, historic towns and villages, vibrant culture scene, delicious food and drink experiences, and much more. We’ll take you on an unforgettable journey through some of the best attractions that have been carefully crafted over centuries. Whether it’s finding tranquillity amongst the rolling hills or dancing away until sunrise among the cobbled streets – you’re sure to have a memorable time here in one of Britain’s most enchanting regions.
Now then… let’s get started! Put on your walking shoes and jump aboard our virtual tour bus – we’ve got a lot to cover! So sit back, relax, enjoy the ride and prepare yourself for an experience like no other as we take on Things To Do In Essex!
“I recently traveled to Essex, UK, and had an incredible experience! There is something for everyone, from traveling the 350 miles of coastline to seeing Colchester, the oldest town in the UK.
Seeing the 35 islands off the coast of Essex was one of the highlights of my trip. The largest and most inhabited island, Mersea Island, is a fantastic day trip. Although I heard it might be quite the adventure, I was fortunate enough to avoid becoming stranded on the island at low tide.
There are many historical sites, National Trust estates, and parks in Essex. In addition to Tendring Coast & Countryside, I also traveled to Saffron Walden, Brentwood, Thurrock, Braintree, Maldon, and Chelmsford. I could have spent days touring each location because they each had their own special appeal.
Great sites to visit included the Salem Witch Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum. I gained a wealth of knowledge about Essex’s and the region’s past.
There are lots of outdoor activities to pick from if you’re looking for something a little more daring. I went to Bridge End Garden, Green Island Gardens, Go Bananas, Imperial Bird of Prey School, and Partyman World of Play. These locations were all a ton of fun, and I heartily suggest them.
I also got to sample some delectable regional cuisine. I especially enjoyed Wrap and Roll, and I’m already thinking about my future trip there!
Overall, Essex was fantastic, and I heartily suggest it to anyone looking for a fun and action-packed vacation. I can’t wait to go back because there is so much to do and see!”
When visiting Essex, you must visit the Colchester Zoo. The zoo, which has been open since 1963 and is close to Colchester Castle, provides tourists with a variety of exotic creatures to see. This interesting location offers a variety of attractions, including the Sea Lion Show, Reptile World, and Amazona, which is home to exotic birds from all over the world. It’s also a good idea to check the schedule before you attend because there are frequent events held throughout the year.
Why not try out Adventure Island if you’re seeking for more ways to have fun while reconnecting with nature? It guarantees an amazing experience for people of all ages with its exhilarating rides, slides, and waterpark features. Thus, be sure to go if you’re up for a day of high-octane adventure.
For anyone searching for a fantastic day out in East Anglia, a region of wonderful natural beauty that the whole family can enjoy, Adventure Island is a must. In Adventure Island, there are activities for everyone to enjoy, including rides on roller coasters and water slides.
Essex’s Adventure Island is a thrilling theme park with a variety of activities for people of all ages. Since the Solomons family bought the park in 1976, it has been a well-liked tourist destination near the north end of Southend Pier. With over 40 rides and attractions, including dodgems, merry-go-rounds, slides, a ferris wheel, drop rides, spinning rides, water slides, rollercoasters, soft play, adventure golf, go-karting, and more, it is currently owned and operated by Barry Nolomons.
The fact that Adventure Island is free to visit is its best feature. Day tickets start at £22.50, and yearly passes can be purchased online. The park is also very affordable, especially if you’re with a small child (up to 120 cm), as the adult rides for free with their youngster.
There are many thrilling rides available for thrill-seekers to pick from, including the Axis, The Big Wheel, The Screature, Orbiter, and The Claw. With its heart-stopping speed going up, down, and sideways, The Screature is the park’s most terrifying attraction. A multi-exhibit aquarium, an arcade, a classic seashore stand, and a mini golf course are also available.
The workforce at Adventure Island truly distinguishes it from other amusement parks in the UK. They make the overall encounter more delightful because they are amiable, helpful, and playful. Also, because the park is so close to the ocean, you can enjoy breathtaking views from the tops of the big wheel and rollercoasters. Both of Southend’s train stations are conveniently close by, making it quite simple to reach by public transportation.
So if you’re looking for a great day out with the family, head down to Adventure Island. Superheroes frequently visit this amusement park because of its rich history, stunning coastal setting, and affordable rides and activities. After your family outing, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to visit Old MacDonald’s Farm.
The whole family will enjoy visiting Old Macdonald’s Farm in Essex, UK. The farm, which Don Allen and Susanne Wilkerson founded in 1991, has a range of activities for both adults and kids. The Doggy Dog roller coaster, tractor rides, giant slides, sand pits, crazy barn, pony adventures ride, and more attractions are available for guests to enjoy. Also, there are two indoor soft play areas where children can enjoy themselves while adults relax with a beverage and a snack. To keep everyone entertained, there are also dozens of outdoor play places.
Almost 200 animals, including yaks, water buffalo, oxen, bison, goats, and sheep, live on the property. Cow dung, also known as manure, is occasionally dried out and burned for heat in locations without access to firewood. Popular attraction the Crazy Worm only allows adults to ride with a child in tow.
A “Ag-Mazing” hayride, a Reindeer Christmas Village, miniature golf, a ton of photo opportunities, farm “toys” for “kids” big and small, sunflower fields in the late summer, and corn mazes and a pumpkin patch in the fall, are also available at the farm.
The farm serves as the backdrop for the classic nursery rhyme and song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Thomas d’Urfey most likely composed the song in 1706 for an opera. It then endured in many incarnations as a folk song for hundreds of years throughout Britain, Ireland, and North America before eventually becoming standard in the twentieth century. The Roud Folk Song Index number for this song is 745.
In Brentwood, Essex, England, UK, Old McDonald’s Farm & Fun Park has been open since 1991. It now has one roller coaster that is in operation and one that is no longer in operation. Online resources include maps, road maps, aerial photographs, instructions, and a phone number (44 1277 375 177)
A number of activities are available for visitors to Old Macdonald’s Farm, including mini golf, sunflower field exploration, and rides on roller coasters. It will undoubtedly be enjoyable and memorable because there is something for everyone.
As brilliant as the stars in the night sky, Clacton-On-Princes Sea’s Theatre is a treasure of Essex. It’s a unique experience, and every performance in this venue inspires awe and excitement. There is something for everyone at this fantastic facility, including musicals, plays, comedy acts, and live music.
Since 1931, audiences have enjoyed shows at the Grade II-listed Princess Theatre in Essex, England. The theatre was built by Sir A Brumwell Thomas and opened by Prince Arthur of Connaught. Since then, it has grown to be a major attraction in Clacton-on-Sea.
The theater includes a sizable proscenium-arched stage and an attractive 820-seat auditorium with retractable tiered seating. Over the years, it has hosted a number of celebrity performers, and each year it hosts over 150 shows, seminars, exhibits, meetings, weddings, and celebrations.
The theater has a long history of putting on sophisticated musical productions, including a well-known run of works by the Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton, and P.G. Woodhouse collaboration. The theater underwent restoration and reopened in 1989 with a performance of Les Miserables. In December 1990, the smash The Phantom Of The Opera arrived, and it quickly established itself as the longest-running production ever mounted in Australia.
Compared to many other theaters, The Princess Theatre is an excellent asset to Clacton and has affordable ticket prices. Parking is simple, and ice cream and bar pricing are both quite affordable. The Princess Theatre is a must-see if you’re looking for a good time on a Friday or Saturday night.
Located in Essex, UK, Audley End House and Gardens is a magnificent example of early 17th-century architecture. The mansion was initially built between 1605 and 1614 by Thomas Howard, 1st Lord of Suffolk, on the site of Walden Abbey. It was one of the biggest private mansions of its day and was intended to be a royal palace. English Heritage currently owns the home, which is classified as a Grade I structure.
The grounds of Audley End are equally stunning, featuring Capability Brown-designed terraced gardens. Guests can go over to the stable yard to meet the amiable horses, explore the expansive grounds, and see the parterre and organic kitchen gardens. Live interpretation brings the history of the house and service wing to life on specific weekends.
Audley End is renowned for having a lengthy past. Thomas Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, who vivified the home with lavish parties, was given the mansion as a rental after Thomas Howard passed away. Subsequently, Polish S.O.E. soldiers trained at Audley End in readiness for their parachute entry into German-occupied Poland. The 4th Viscount Braybrooke started displaying his enormous natural history collections at Audley End in the 19th century, and they are still there today.
Popular radio and television programs including Flog It!, Antiques Roadshow, and Gardeners’ Question Time have all featured the home and its surroundings. Moreover, Audley End has been depicted in movies including The Balloon and the Baron, Woman of Straw, and Trust.
Anyone with an interest in history or architecture should visit Audley End House and Gardens. It is certain to make an impact due of its grandeur and beauty.
Since the 11th century, the Colchester Castle Museum in Essex, England, has served as a significant historical site. It is situated along a vital road connecting London and East Anglia and was built in 1076 at William the Conqueror’s request. The castle is the largest remaining Norman keep in Europe and is both a scheduled monument and a Grade I listed structure.
Since 1860, Colchester Museum, which contains a sizable collection of Roman artifacts, has called the castle its home. The castle underwent substantial renovations at £4.2 million in 2013 and 2014. The roof was fixed, the museum’s exhibits were renovated to reflect the most recent findings regarding the history of the castle, and the entire property was developed.
The impressive keep of Colchester Castle, the biggest stone spiral staircase in all of Europe, is a point of pride. It was constructed for ceremonial uses and is largely undamaged. The castle also has a sizable garden pavilion that has undergone partial restoration after becoming dilapidated during the 17th century.
Colchester is renowned for having a vibrant city center with a wide variety of eateries and retail options. It also has a large number of galleries, theaters, and artistic institutions. The Colchester Town Hall and the Jumbo Water Tower are notable examples of the region’s Victorian architecture. The Colchester earthquake, which is thought to have occurred in 1884 and had a magnitude of 4.7 on the Richter Scale, severely damaged the surrounding area.
Each traveler to Essex, UK must see the Colchester Castle Museum. This museum offers something for everyone because to its rich history, interactive exhibitions, star exhibits, and adjacent park.
Old Leigh, a picturesque riverfront community in Essex, UK, with a long history that dates back to the Middle Ages. It was previously a major shipping route to London and was referred to as “Legra” in the Domesday Book. The market square and main street of the settlement were located in Old Leigh from the Middle Ages until the turn of the 20th century (known as Leigh Strand). It was “a proper good little towne and verie full of brave and adventurous sailers,” according to Elizabethan historian William Camden.
Old Leigh is now a well-liked tourist destination where tourists can enjoy some of the best fresh fish and shellfish in the nation in a historic coastal town setting. The authentic cockle/seafood sheds, cobbled alleyways, and coastal taverns make it a wonderful place to relax and breathe in the sea air. In addition, there are many stores, galleries, and restaurants to explore.
A number of other attractions may be found in the region, including the Old Leigh Art Studios, Estuary Gallery Barge, Bell Wharf Beach, Belfairs Wood Park and Nature Reserve, Leigh History Centre, Two Tree Island, Leigh Library, Belton Hill Gardens and Nature Reserve, and Leigh Library Gardens.
Investigate the intriguing past of Old Leigh. It used to be a thriving port where ships up to 340 tons were built. Five fishermen are mentioned in the Domesday Book, which gives Leigh the ability to claim nearly a thousand years of fishing activity. In the 11th century, it was a small village of homesteads. Whitebait and shellfish have long been the primary types of seafood caught by Leigh fishing boats.
There are a lot of fascinating facts about Essex as well. It has the longest coastline in the UK (350 miles), the most footpaths of any county (apart from Devon), the most flights from Europe of any airport in the nation, the smallest town in Britain, Manningtree, and 75 places of particular scientific importance.
With some of the greatest fresh fish and shellfish in the nation, Old Leigh in Essex, England, is a fantastic site to visit. It gives visitors the chance to experience a traditional coastal town atmosphere. It is the perfect location for individuals looking for a quiet trip because of its fascinating attractions, rich history, and interesting facts.
An area of national significance, Castle Park in Essex, UK, was shaped over many centuries by the residents of Colchester. Almost 1 million people visit this Victorian park each year, which has relics from more than 2000 years of history. The park is divided into Upper and Lower Castle Parks, with the Upper Park featuring mostly formal gardens and the Lower Park featuring a more rustic atmosphere.
The Temple of Claudius, which was erected when Colchester served as the first Roman capital of Britain, served as the basis for the castle. It has the biggest stone spiral staircase in all of Europe, which was constructed for ceremonial use, and is the largest surviving Norman stronghold in all of Europe.
There are many enjoyable things to do in the park, from relaxing and strolling to listening to music, having fun with games, or having a picnic under the beautiful trees and flowers. The town’s major events, including concerts, food fayres, Medevil fayres, and Roman weekends, are held there in style. A playground for children, a boat pond, and a café are also present.
Dogs are permitted in the Lower Park as long as they are under control, and the area is open to the public and completely accessible. The Lord Mayor of London officially opened the 11-hectare Castle Park on October 20, 1892. In the “English Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England,” it is listed as Grade II.
Saffron Walden is a market town in the Uttlesford area of Essex, England. It is situated 15 miles south of Cambridge and 12 miles north of Bishop’s Stortford. It has 15,504 residents as of the 2011 census and is well-known for its rural setting and medieval structures. During the English Civil War, the town served as the focal point of the Eastern Association, and Oliver Cromwell was there for 19 days in May 1647.
The saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), which was commonly cultivated in the region in the 16th and 17th centuries, inspired the town’s name. The flower’s stigmas were employed as an aphrodisiac, a condiment, a perfume ingredient, a costly yellow dye, and in medicine. This sector of the economy gave Walden its current name.
There are many historical sites in Saffron Walden, including a Grade I listed building that was built in 1497 and has served as a merchant’s home, a malting, a shop, a school for evacuees, and a youth hostel. The town is also home to Walden Castle’s ruins, which were erected or expanded by Geoffrey de Mandeville, the first Lord of Essex, as well as the biggest turf maze of its kind in England.
With a market conducted here since 1141 and market days on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the town is a terrific spot to buy. Together with the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Center, there are a wide variety of individual stores and restaurants to pick from.
Located to the west of the town center, Saffron Walden County High School is a sizable coeducational institution with about 2000 students. In its most recent Ofsted report from 2012, it received an excellent rating.
There are many walking pathways to discover in Saffron Walden for people wishing to engage in outdoor sports. Popular routes include the Saffron Walden to Clavering Circle Walk, Ashdon and Breat Bendysh Wood Circular, Rowney Wood Circular, Clavering, Wendens Ambo, and Newport Circular, Audley End Estate and Ten Acre Wood Circular, Arkesden and Clodmore Hill Circular, and Ashdon and Radwinter Circular.
Saffron Walden is a lovely town overall, full of interesting history and things to do. Saffron Walden offers activities for all interests, including leisurely walks, historical site exploration, and shopping.
Brentwood is a town in the Borough of Brentwood, which is situated in the East of England’s county of Essex. It is located on the M25 freeway and 20 miles (30 km) northeast of Charing Cross. The town’s population was expected to be 54,885 in 2017.
The fact that Brentwood is surrounded by open space and forests has been used as evidence of the Metropolitan Green Belt’s success in restraining the growth of built-up areas outside of London. With evidence of human habitation reaching back to the Iron Age, the town is renowned for its lengthy history. It served as the commercial hub for a nearby agricultural area, the junction of two major thoroughfares, and a rest stop for travelers.
King George V Playing Field, Shenfield Common, and two country parks at South Weald and Thorndon are just a few of the town’s public open spaces. The mountain bike track at Weald Country Park was first selected to host the 2012 Olympics, but it was deemed to be “too easy.” The best cyclists in Britain do, however, attend some of the Criterium Cycling Races that are held in Brentwood.
The earliest Christian ring ever found in Britain, the “Brentwood Ring,” was also discovered in Brentwood. It is now kept in London’s British Museum. The Vatican Museum in Rome is home to the only other ring of its kind in existence.
Many of the bus services that serve the town are run by First Essex. The other major bus service companies are Stagecoach London, Arriva Shires & Essex, and Ensignbus. The daily route 498 of London Buses connects Romford and Brentwood.
The lone handball club in Essex, as well as a sizable volleyball club, are both located in Brentwood. Hugh Grant, an actor, and Robbie Williams, a musician, were both students at Brentwood School, which was founded in 1558.
A terrific area to live, Brentwood provides a good standard of living. According to the Prosperity Index 2021, it is the second-best place to live in the UK. Due to its riches, the borough has become one of Essex’s most affluent and sought-after regions. There are many things to do in Brentwood, like checking out Thorndon Country Park and Old MacDonald’s Farm as well as the Kelvedon Hatch Hidden Nuclear Bunker and Hopefield Animal Sanctuary. Also, there are many stores, bars, and restaurants in Brentwood, making it a popular destination for both tourists and residents.
In the ceremonial English county of Essex, there is a unitary authority area with borough status called Thurrock. It lies immediately east of London and is situated on the north bank of the River Thames. It is well connected to the rest of the UK and Europe by road, rail, river, and air. Almost 157,000 people live in Thurrock, which has a land area of 63.08 mi2.
Two ancient forts may be found in the region, including Coalhouse Fort, built in 1874, and Tilbury Fort, where Queen Elizabeth I delivered her infamous “heart of a king” speech in 1588 while gathering the fleet to meet the Spanish Armada. The historic disembarkation of the Empire Windrush took place there as well, and Thurrock Museum can tell you about many other historical events.
There are many sights to discover in Thurrock, making it a wonderful destination. The Essex Wildlife Trust Chafford Gorges Nature Park, the Thameside Theatre, the Essex Fire Museum, Grays Beach, and Hardie Park are among the popular attractions. It’s a terrific area to spend a day out because there are many of places to eat and buy.
There are many attractions, events, and amenities to enjoy in Thurrock, making it a terrific destination to live and visit. It is a fantastic location for a day trip or a longer stay because of its rich history and fantastic transportation options.
The bustling market town of Braintree in Essex, England, strikes the ideal balance between the rolling countryside and the hectic city life. It has a long history that dates back to when it was simply a little village, more than 4,000 years ago. On the lower portion of the town, known as the Brain Valley, close to the River Brain, people in the area built houses throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages. The Saxons, who took over the town after the Romans left, also lived in this area.
Since Flemish immigrants made the town famous for its wool cloth trade in the 14th century, the town has become known for both its wool cloth trade and silk production. Beginning in the 17th century, the town saw growth. The Warner Textile Archive, which houses the second-largest collection of publicly held textiles in the UK, is also located in Braintree (after the Victoria & Albert Museum).
Today, travelers who want to check out the local attractions frequently travel to Braintree. The Braintree District Museum, Cressing Temple, Braintree Village, Braintree & Bocking Public Gardens, and Fennes Fishery are some of the top sights. The Great Notley Country Park, Flitch Way, Partyman World of Play, and Blake House Craft Centre are just a few of the outdoor attractions.
The town also includes a large number of pubs and bars in and near the town center, as well as a multiplex theater called Cineworld that is situated next to the Braintree Village shopping mall on the town’s outskirts. Together with other restaurants and shops, there is a bowling alley right next to the movie theater.
Braintree is situated 15 km (24 km) west of Colchester, 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Chelmsford, and 35 mi (56 km) northwest of Southend-on-Sea. The town had a population of 43,492 as of the 2021 Census, whereas Great Notley, Rayne, Tye Green, and High Garrett together made up the urban area, which had a population of 55,792.
In Essex, England, there is a thriving town called Braintree. There are many places to go and things to do there. This thriving market town has something for everyone, from designer shops to steam trains and historic barns.
For lovers of birds of prey, Essex, England’s Imperial Bird of Prey School is a top trip. The school, which is situated in Barleylands Farm & Craft Village in Billericay, provides a variety of experience days and events for people of all ages and skill levels. At the specially constructed arena, visitors may take in daily flying demonstrations and get up up and personal with the raptors.
Also, the academy provides customized classroom visits, stationary bird displays, instructive speeches, and more. The academy may bring its raptors to you if you’re planning a special event. The school is an excellent place for a family day out because it is open 362 days a year.
The Imperial Bird of Prey Academy has received excellent feedback from visitors. One visitor reported having a wonderful afternoon learning how to take better bird photos and leaving with some beautiful images of birds perched and in flight. Another person reported having a beautiful morning with the owls and complimented the business for being simple to get in touch with and willing to work with them on scheduling and pricing.
The Imperial Bird of Prey School is a convenient destination for guests as it is close to a number of hotels and eateries. The Imperial Bird of Prey Academy is a must-visit location for lovers of birds of prey because of its magnificent creatures, experienced personnel, and entertaining activities.
The lovely Essex Sunshine Coast in England has something to offer everyone. It is a home county in the East of England and is bordered to the north by Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, to the east by the North Sea, and to the south by Kent. It has the second-longest coastline in England, stretching over 350 miles, including 35 islands.
The main towns of the Essex Sunshine Coast offer a distinctive selection of independent stores in addition to well-known high street brands. The region also has a ton of entertainment options, such as a pleasure pier, arcades, theaters, a golf course, seafront walks, water sports, and an airfield that offers pleasure flights. The main town along the Essex Sunshine Coast is Clacton-on-Sea, a popular but reasonably priced seaside destination.
The Great Dunmow Flitch Trials, the oldest competition in British history, which features married couples competing to show they are the most committed to one another, is also held in Essex. The county is renowned for its array of parks, with the Essex County Department of Parks serving as the country’s first county-wide park system.
England’s Essex Sunshine Coast is a stunning location with attractions for everyone. It is a wonderful spot to visit or reside, with a magnificent coastline, interesting shops, and entertainment options. Also, it is the location of some intriguing historical events like the Great Dunmow Flitch Trials and the Essex County Department of Parks. His works are a testament to his distinctive style, which has had a significant impact on literature.
Essex is a county full of activities and fun. From zoos to farms, theatres to gardens, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful region. Take a trip to Colchester Zoo and be mesmerised by the variety of animals from all over the world. Spend an exciting day at Adventure Island with its range of rides that will keep you entertained for hours on end.
Or why not explore Old MacDonald’s Farm and see how much your kids can learn about farming? If theatre is more up your street, why not catch a show at the Princes Theatre or take a tour around Audley End House and Gardens? The impressive architecture and stunning grounds are sure to transport you back in time. For those looking for some peace and quiet, Braintree provides many quaint shops as well as excellent restaurants where you can relax after a busy day exploring Essex.
Finally, don’t forget to visit Chelmsford or the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy; they provide unique experiences like no other! Plus, who could miss out on enjoying the beautiful Essex Sunshine Coast?