Essex is one of England’s largest counties, the area between London and the North Sea. The oldest recorded town in the county and also the country, is Colchester and is home to Roman ruins and the Norman Colchester Castle. The county boasts glorious countryside, medieval towns and villages and 350 miles of coastline. For a nation that loves nothing more than a day beside the seaside, Essex has it all.
On a hot summer’s day, families flock to popular resorts like Clacton-on-Sea and Southend-on-Sea for their fun-filled piers and various cafes and restaurants. Those in search of a sandy beach can head to Frinton-on-Sea, whilst others may prefer somewhere a bit quieter like Mersea Island, where brightly coloured beach huts line up along the sand.
From Romans, Saxons, Vikings to Normans, Essex’s history has been shaped by a wide variety of cultures and all of which have left their mark. Explore the Norman masterpiece at Hedingham Castle, which stands in 160 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens and woodland. All five floors of the Castle can be reached via a steep staircase, and contain some of the finest decorated stonework in Western Europe.
On your visit to Essex, discover the spectacular Audley End House in Saffron Walden, the 17th century Victorian country house, renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. A day out at Audley End is a fantastic family day out – visitors can explore through the vast grounds and gardens, meet the horses in the stable yard and of course, explore the county’s most spectacular stately home.
For those looking to do a spot of retail therapy, head to Lakeside in Grays, the premier retail and leisure destination in the South East. The shopping mall has the best brands, restaurants and cafes all under one roof. Brentwood and Chelmsford are also worth visiting if you fancy browsing around boutique shops and stopping off at various trendy bars and restaurants.
More information on things to do and places to visit in Essex can be found here.