Essex is made up of some of the most picturesque villages in England and it's towns are some of the most vibrant. From Walton on the Naze to Dedham on the Essex/Suffolk border you'll find yourself in awe of the natural beauty Essex has to offer.
Essex is home to Britain's oldest town, Colchester. Visit Colchester and learn about over 2,000 years of history. Colchester's Norman Keep is the largest of it's kind in Europe and it's museum provides visitors with a great sense of what it was like during the time of Boudicca. Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town, with over 2,000 years of history to explore.
If you are with the family, Colchester will not disappoint when it comes to family attractions. Colchester zoo is one of Europe's finest zoos and the variety of animals will keep you and your children entertained for hours. Colchester Zoo is home to over 200 species across 60 acres of land.
Another fascinating attraction to visit is Layer Marney Tower. Step back in time to 1520 and walk the grounds or view the magnificent Long Gallery. There's plenty to do for the kids including visiting the lambs in the Spring.
For those visiting who are interested in horticulture. The Beth Chatto Gardens at Elmstead Market are a must visit. Art enthusiasts need to visit the stunning Constable Country on the Essex/Suffolk border that includes Dedham.
Saffron Walden is an ancient town that was once a centre for wool production. The most famous attraction in Saffron Walden is perhaps Audley End House and Park (English Heritage) which is one of England's most grandest stately homes. Thaxted is one of the many quaint towns in Essex and has many streets lined with medieval buildings.
There's plenty of coastline in Essex to enjoy. Walton-on-the-Naze is a family seaside resort that has the second longest Pier in Britain. Those interested in wildlife and nature should visit The Naze - a nature reserve. Frinton-on-Sea is just round the corner from Walton-on-the-Naze and again is perfect for all the family with sandy beaches and a small yet delightful town centre full of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
If you keep going on past Frinton you will reach Clacton-on-Sea which is also popular with tourists and visitors alike. Clacton has it's own pier with plenty of arcade games and attractions as well opportunities to try watersports and activities.
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex and has an imposing 18th C. Shire Hall. Those interested in gardening will be pleased to know that near to Chelmsford is the RHS Garden Hyde Hall which has over 28 acres of garden with including dry garden, roses, perennial borders and alpines.
To the east of Chelmsford is Maldon which is at the top of the Blackwater Estuary and was one a hilltop town and port. There's plenty of history in Chelmsford with many historic buildings such as Moot Hall. Heading west If you head west you can visit the legendary Epping Forest that covers over 6,000 acres. Don't forget to bring your boots or bike!
(Photo: ©VisitEngland/Diana Jarvis)