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Essex

Things to do in Essex


What's on in Essex?

Essex is rich with history and a brilliant family day out can be found throughout the county. Britain’s oldest recorded town – Colchester – features arguably the finest zoo in Europe, and seaside town Southend boasts the longest pier in the world, as well as a free admission family fun theme park, Adventure Island.

The most looked at attractions in Essex in the last month are Epping Forest Visitor Centre, Foxburrows Farm and The Original Great Maze.

In the last 30 days, Nature, Historical and Animals & Wildlife were the most popular categories.


Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve

Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Nature

Conservation centre run by the Essex Wildlife Trust.
Adventure Island

Adventure Island

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Kids, Theme Parks

One of the best value theme parks in the South East with over 40 rides. 
Arena Essex Raceway

Arena Essex Raceway

Where: Purfleet, Essex    Category: Entertainment

Arena Essex Raceway is a stock car and speedway racing track. Here you can watch amazing racing action, whether it's the contact formula where you'll see the biggest and best crashes, or the non-contact formula where the cars a...
Audley End House & Gardens

Audley End House & Gardens

Where: Saffron Walden, Essex    Category: Historical, Nature

Audley End is one of England's most magnificent stately homes. Built by Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk to entertain King James I. Note: English Heritage members can visit attraction for free.
Barleylands Farm Park & Craft Village

Barleylands Farm Park & Craft Village

Where: Billericay, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife, Kids

Now celebrating its 30th year discover even more free range family fun at Barleylands. In the Farm Park get closer to farmyard friends and join in animal activities in the new indoor animal barn. Plus new for 2014 there’s...
Basildon High Sports Climbing Wall

Basildon High Sports Climbing Wall

Where: Basildon, Essex    Category: Active

Everyone Can Climb! Our centre offers sessions for absolute beginners through to experienced climbers on our climbing wall or bouldering area. The starting age is just 4 years old for our Pebbles Club, with a further range of a...
Beecroft Art Gallery

Beecroft Art Gallery

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Museums

The gallery houses some 2,000 works, including works by Constable.
Bradwell Outdoors Centre

Bradwell Outdoors Centre

Where: Southminster, Essex    Category:

Land based activities for children and adults. See website for details.
Brentwood Karting

Brentwood Karting

Where: Brentwood, Essex    Category: Active, Kids

Brentwood Karting offers a wide range of karting formats and options. Race on your own, as part of a team, or simply turn up and drive some practice laps.
Bridge Cottage

Bridge Cottage

Where: Dedham, Essex    Category: Historical, Museums

Just upstream from Flatford Mill, the restored thatched 16th century cottage houses an exhibition about John Constable. Set in an area of outstanding beauty.
Chelmsford Cathedral

Chelmsford Cathedral

Where: Chelmsford, Essex    Category: Historical

15th century building.
Coalhouse Fort

Coalhouse Fort

Where: Tilbury, Essex    Category: Historical

Coalhouse Fort had links with centuries of coastal defence, the fort was in operation during the two World Wars.
Colchester Leisure World

Colchester Leisure World

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Active

East Anglia's largest sports and leasure complex. Facilities include a leisure pool with flumes, fitness pool, gym, health spa and squash.
Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife

With over 270 species set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes, more than 50 daily displays, new undercover soft play complex, 4 adventure play areas, The Lost Madagascar Express road train and so much more...your day ou...
Colne Valley Railway

Colne Valley Railway

Where: Hedingham, Essex    Category: Travel

Pleasant rides on a section of the former Colne Valley railway line with a pretty award winning station.
Cressing Temple Barns

Cressing Temple Barns

Where: Braintree, Essex    Category: Historical, Nature

Two of the world’s largest and finest Templar timber-built barns and beautiful grounds with a stunning Walled Tudor Garden.
Danbury Country Park

Danbury Country Park

Where: Danbury, Essex    Category: Nature

Part of an old park, wodland, lake with ducks and gardens.
Dutch Cottage Museum

Dutch Cottage Museum

Where: Canvey Island, Essex    Category: Historical

The oldest of originally three (known) Dutch Cottages on Canvey Island, this one is dated 1681. It was occupied into the twentieth century until it was made into a museum in 1962.
East Anglian Railway Museum

East Anglian Railway Museum

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Museums, Travel

A working museum representing 100 years of railway. Working signal boxes, restoration shed, locomotives and more.
East Essex Aviation Society & Museum

East Essex Aviation Society & Museum

Where: St Osyth, Essex    Category: Museums

P51D Mustang on display together with other World War II exhibits.
Epping Forest Visitor Centre

Epping Forest Visitor Centre

Where: Loughton, Essex    Category: Nature

Visitor Centre for information on and exploration of Epping Forest.
Epping Ongar Railway

Epping Ongar Railway

Where: Epping, Essex    Category: Travel

Epping Ongar Railway is Essex’s award winning longest heritage railway and the closest to London, running from Ongar to North Weald and into Epping Forest. The railway runs a fleet of former mainline steam and diesel loc...
Force 10 Essex

Force 10 Essex

Where: Abridge, Essex    Category: Active

Established in 1987 and voted the number one paintball site in the UK, Force 10 Essex offers one of the best paintballing experiences available. With top of the line equipment and facilities and with an impeccable safety record...
Force 10 Southend

Force 10 Southend

Where: Rochford, Essex    Category: Active

Force 10 Southend Paintball houses some excellent game zones and featuring some classic paintball missions such as capture the flag. Rumour has it there is a brutal Mercenary who has 2 machine guns within his armoury. Each play...
Foxburrows Farm

Foxburrows Farm

Where: Chigwell, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife, Nature

At Foxburrows Farm you can see many animals including owls, rabbits, sheep, pigs and many more.
Gnome Magic

Gnome Magic

Where: Dedham, Colchester, Essex    Category: Nature

Gnome Magic is an unusual place to visit with a garden that extends into a woodland where around 500 Gnomes, Witches and other creatures dwell.
Go Bananas The Big One

Go Bananas The Big One

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category:

Go Bananas is a large indoor adventure play centre. As well as a large play area there is a 3 storey climbing frame, a tiny town adventure for toddlers, a climbing wall and a Spaceball for the brave.
Greensted Church

Greensted Church

Where: Chipping Ongar, Essex    Category: Historical

Greensted Church is the oldest wooden church in the world, dating from the 11th century.
Hadleigh Castle & Country Park

Hadleigh Castle & Country Park

Where: Hadleigh, Essex    Category: Historical, Nature

The remains of a once almighty fortress constructed over seven centuries ago, only the barbican and two towers remain. The country park is made up of woodland and fields, overlooking the Thames estuary.
Hainault Forest Country Park

Hainault Forest Country Park

Where: Chigwell, Essex    Category: Nature

Ancient woodland, lake, farm, nature trail and picnic area.
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre

Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre

Where: Billericay, Essex    Category: Nature

100 acre woodland reserve, overlooking the reservoir, with nature trails and bird hides.
Harlow Stadium Greyhound Racing

Harlow Stadium Greyhound Racing

Where: Harlow, Essex    Category:

Harlow Dogs includes an upstairs restaurant and bar, and a downstairs bar whilst you watch the races.
Hedingham Castle

Hedingham Castle

Where: Hedingham, Essex    Category: Historical, Nature

Hedingham Castle’s Norman keep, 110 feet high, was built c.1140 by Aubrey de Vere and is still owned by one of his descendants. There are four extraordinary floors to explore, including a magnificent Banqueting Hall spann...
High Woods Country Park

High Woods Country Park

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Nature

330 acres of woodland, grassland and wetland.
Hylands House

Hylands House

Where: Chelmsford, Essex    Category: Historical

A beautiful grade II listed neo-classical villa set in over 500 acres of parklands and gardens.
Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Where: Brentwood, Essex    Category: Historical, Museums

3 storey ex-government regional HQ, buried 80ft underground. Features include a kitchen, dorms, power, filtration, plotting floor, government administration room, 120 yard long tunnel, communication room and scientist's room.
Lakeside Karting

Lakeside Karting

Where: Thurrock, Essex    Category: Active, Kids

Lakeside Karting offer a wide range of karting formats and options. Race on your own, as part of a team, or simply turn up and drive some practice laps.
Layer Marney Tower

Layer Marney Tower

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Historical

Tudor building with the tallest gatehouse in Britain.
Made By You - Pottery Painting

Made By You - Pottery Painting

Where: Leigh On Sea, Essex    Category: Kids, Museums

We are a family run Pottery Painting and Craft Studio based on London Road, Leigh-on-Sea (Half way between Waitrose and Chalkwell Park and opposite the Tesco). We specialise in hand fired personalised pottery pieces. In the st...
Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park

Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park

Where: South Woodham Ferrers, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife, Kids

All your farmyard favourites with tractor & trailer rides plus extensive indoor and outdoor play areas. There is also a restaurant, gift shop, milking demonstration, special events & birthday parties.
Mayhem Paintball

Mayhem Paintball

Where: Abridge, Essex    Category: Active

Since 1987, Mayhem Paintball have been entertaining fun-loving ballers from the London area and beyond - from local celebrities to Arabian royalty. With 16 playing arenas - including our Call of Duty replica map - each geared t...
Mercury Theatre

Mercury Theatre

Where: Colchester, Essex    Category: Entertainment

The Mercury Theatre in Colchester is the most active producing theatre in the East of England, and is a vital centre of excellence in the East's growing creative economy. The Mercury exists to put theatre at the heart of the co...
Mountfitchet Castle Experience

Mountfitchet Castle Experience

Where: Stansted, Essex    Category: Active, Historical, Museums

Experience incorporating Mountfitchet Castle and a Norman Village. Note: As there are numerous animals roaming freely within the grounds, dogs are not allowed at the castle.
Prittlewell Priory Museum

Prittlewell Priory Museum

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Museums, Nature

Well preserved 12th century Priory housing a museum of the Priory's history and a historic collection of radios. Set in the middle of a lovely park.
Rayleigh Indoor Karting Stadium

Rayleigh Indoor Karting Stadium

Where: Rayleigh, Essex    Category: Active

Rayleigh Karting Stadium is the longest indoor circuit in Essex with racing for between 1 and 100 Drivers. No experience necessary here and it's the nearest thing to Formula 1 for amateurs. They also host events that test drivi...
Redwings Horse Sanctuary Ada Cole

Redwings Horse Sanctuary Ada Cole

Where: Roydon, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife

Redwings Ada Cole is home to around 70 horses, ponies and donkeys, including handsome Gelderlander Zippy, cheeky donkey Del Boy and lovely little Shetland mare Tinkerbell. Another recent and most welcome addition to Ada Cole is...
Romford Dogs

Romford Dogs

Where: Romford, Essex    Category:

Romford Greyhound Racing is at Romford Stadium which has a 4,300 capacity and 3 restaurants.
Romford Ice Arena

Romford Ice Arena

Where: Romford, Essex    Category: Active

Romford Ice Arena is situated in the heart of Romford. As well as normal ice skating sessions you can learn to skate, join the ice hockey team, have a party and even join in at the foam party on ice.
Royal Gunpowder Mills

Royal Gunpowder Mills

Where: Waltham Abbey, Essex    Category: Historical

300 years of secret history, combined with 175 acres of natural parkland, historic buildings and structures.
RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve

RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve

Where: Purfleet, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife, Kids, Nature

Rainham Marshes is a fantastic day out for all the family! You can explore this lovely nature reserve throughout the year, and get close to the amazing wildlife. There are a number of hides and viewing places that give great vi...
Sea Life Adventure

Sea Life Adventure

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife

Come close to the wonders of marine life.
Southchurch Hall Museum

Southchurch Hall Museum

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Museums

13th/14th century timber-framed moated manor house with Tudor additions.
Southend Central Museum & Planetarium

Southend Central Museum & Planetarium

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Museums

Displays of archaeology, wildlife and local history.
Southend Marine Activity Centre

Southend Marine Activity Centre

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category:

Southend Marine Activities Centre has a range of watersports and other outdoor activities. It also has an outdoor educational centre offering courses to both schools and public.
Southend Pier

Southend Pier

Where: Southend-on-Sea, Essex    Category: Landmarks and Monuments

Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world at 1.3 miles. Since a fire struck in 2005, the end of the pier doesn't have many features but the railway does still run to the end.
The Original Great Maze

The Original Great Maze

Where: Braintree, Essex    Category:

The Original Great Maze changes each year, the maze is made of crops and stands at 8 feet (not open all year round).
Tilbury Fort

Tilbury Fort

Where: Tilbury, Essex    Category: Historical

The best and largest example of 17th century military engineering in England. Trace the history from Henry VIII up to World War II.
Tropical Wings

Tropical Wings

Where: South Woodham Ferrers, Essex    Category: Animals & Wildlife

Tropical wings is a wildlife centre with a massive selection of different animals. You can see the keepers feeding the wallabies, lemurs and meerkats, an indoor parrot flying display and a birds of prey flying display. You can ...
Walton Pier

Walton Pier

Where: Walton on the Naze, Essex    Category: Active

Take a ride on the Red Baron, be thrilled on the Waltzer, release that road rage on the Dodgems or strike it lucky in the Tenpin Bowling Centre. Walton Pier has attractions for all ages.
Wat Tyler Country Park

Wat Tyler Country Park

Where: Basildon, Essex    Category: Nature

120 acres of meadow, woodland, ponds and marshland. There is also a motorboat museum, craft shops, children's playground, historic buildings and miniture railway.

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