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Essex is a county in the South East of England which is steeped in history. It’s home to amazing countryside and plenty of luscious beaches and coastal stretches. It is one of the seven original ancient kingdoms which formed England. From the beach to centre of Chelmsford city, Essex has a little something for everyone. There’s great food of all cuisines, theme parks and piers, amusements, soft play centres, landmarks, historic buildings and so many other things to do in Essex. Whoever you are, you are sure to have some amazing days out here.
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Passionate about your food? So are we and we are please to tell you that Essex is home to some amazing culinary experiences. Of course you can find all of your favourite fast food spots, but you expect to find those wherever you go. But for some fresh seafood caught that morning or for a perfectly cooked steak then you are going to have to find something more. Our eating out category on Things To Do In Essex can help with that. Let your taste buds run wild while you are here and try as much as you can. Tastes from all around the world to choose from. All types of cuisines and styles of cooking at our fingertips, it’s a great time to be alive.
Away from all of the tremendous restaurants that Essex offers, you can also find a wealth of diners and takeaways which all deliver straight to your door. There are delivery apps where you can have the cuisine of your choice at your front door in a matter of minutes. There is just as much food to choose from to be delivered as there is to eat out with. For dessert you can find plenty of dessert bars offering up an array of pancakes, ice cream, waffles, crepes and everything in between. Your tummy will be spoilt for choice when you are here.
This county is made up of many different towns and has the city of Chelmsford sitting near the centre. This means there are many different places shopaholics can get their fix of retail therapy. Among the town centres, you will also find a mix of shopping centres offering not only all of the usual high street shops but many privately owned shops and boutiques. Within these privately owned stores, you will find many hidden gems and treasures that you won’t come across anywhere else. Depending on where you are in the country you will find a different style in the stores. Visiting the seaside town means that you can find plenty of souvenirs and gifts to bring home from your trip. There will also be lots of amusements and rides for all of the holiday makers in the Summer. Travel into the city centre and towards London and you will find all of your main high street brands along with more of your high end shops. But depending on who you are, there is something for everyone. Find one of the many vintage furniture and antique stores to see if you can dig up a treasure. Come along to some of the auctions that are scattered across Essex to win some absolute bargains.
Essex is a beautiful county in the east of England. It’s one of the home counties as it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north and we have Hertfordshire to the west and to the south we have London. Chelmsford was the first city in Essex and even more recently Southend and Colchester have been awarded city status also. There are now three cities in the county of Essex.
Colchester was once the capital of Britain but not for long. It’s actually the oldest recorded town in Britain. Some of the buildings in Colchester date back 2000 years. Essex holds a few records too. Clacton Pier has the largest pleasure pier in the whole of Europe which is 6 1/2 acres. In the world of piers that is absolutely massive. Considering that the 6 1/2 acres of area are all over the sea. The Pier has been completely upgraded over the last 10 years and has some fantastic rides and attractions added to it. Almost a third of it is undercover so it’s great for all your entertainment. Another record is held by the pier in Southend. Southend has the longest pier in the world and it’s a whopping 1.34 miles long. The Pier has been open since way back in 1829. There’s 350 miles of coastline in Essex and the only other county which has more is Cornwall. In Essex you will find some breath-taking beaches. In the district of Tendring, the council spent £38 million raising the height of the beach so that when the tide is in you can still be on the beach. This allows the tourists to spend more of the day there. In the old days if the tide come in you’d have to get off the beach. Jaywick has some beautiful beaches and sand dunes.
There are 35 islands off the coast of Essex and it’s Mersea Island which is the biggest and most populated island. You can only reach Mersea Island at certain times of the day because the tide rises and cuts off the route. Tendring district is made up of a few towns. Clacton, Frinton, Walton, Harwich, Brightlingsea and Manningtree. Manningtree is the smallest town in Britain and Great Bentley has the largest green of any town in Britain. The largest village in England is Tiptree so there are many records held by the county of Essex. Another interesting fact and record is that the village of St Osyth is the driest part of the whole UK. Grinsted Church is the oldest foreign church in the world! The name Essex is of Anglo-Saxon origin and it actually means East Saxons.
The county is of course well known for the reality TV show The Only Ways Is Essex or TOWIE for short. This show put Essex on the map. Being the neighbouring county to London, it’s great for commuting into the city. If you’re someone who works in London but would rather not be paying London prices, Essex makes for a great alternative. Along the coast you will find the beautiful Martello Towers. These towers stretch right across the length of the coast.
The county is home to some great towns as well as the three cities. Towns you can find here include Harlow, Brentwood, Epping Forest, Loughton, Maldon, Clacton on Sea, Witham, Epping, Harwich, Frinton, Walton, Basildon, Braintree, Manningtree, Great Bentley, Great Dunmow and plenty more. Essex is a great county to explore with beautiful lakes, lovely woods, fantastic beaches and many attractions. Being in one of the driest counties in the UK means you won’t have to worry about the rain. Lots of fantastic history is rooted here. With some of the oldest buildings in the UK being here. Great shopping centres such as Lakeside. The list of things for the kids to do is just endless. You can find piers along the coast with arcades and amusements surrounding. There are many farms and petting zoos such as Old MacDonald’s. With so many attractions scattered across the county there are just so many things to do in Essex. Here are some key places to visit while in Essex. Maldon Splash Park, Marsh Farm, Central Park in Chelmsford, Martello Tower F in Clacton, Clacton Pier, Tiptree Tea rooms, Adventure Island in Southend, Harwich beach, Sea Life Centre in Southend, Hadley country Park, The wildlife Discovery Centre in Waltham Abbey, Maldon promenade Park, Aberton reservoir, Rayleigh Museum, Riverly country Park in Waltham Abbey, Braintree District Museum, Southend Pier, Brightlingsea Museum, Planetarium, Mistley Towers, Great Notley Country Park, The upside down house at Lakeside, Beth Chatto plants and gardens, Rye house, Chelmsford Cathedral, Colchester Zoo, Colchester Castle Park and lots more. Get married or plan your next event at Martello Tower F in Clacton.
It’s always worth mentioning all the holiday parks that you find in Essex. There are many great places where you can stay. Whether you are in a mobile home, caravan, luxury lodge etc. In these holiday parks you can do all of your fishing, golf, swimming or just chill at the clubhouse. They are completely ideal if you are travelling with the family and have little ones. There are many many holiday parks scattered throughout Essex and many by the coast so you get the best of both worlds. Essex really is a fantastic county to visit.
And for me personally, after coming from Tottenham in North London. Living in Clacton is like being on a permanent holiday. I’ll go out in the morning and cycle along the beaches down to the pier. Stop on the beach and do a bit of martial arts training, then I’ll cycle back. Sometimes I go to Walton and there’s nothing like cycling along the beach on a sunny morning and looking at the Sun shining over the sea. Everybody has a smile on their face and are very friendly. It’s just fantastic. We can pop up the road to Frinton or Walton, go shopping in Colchester or jump on the train to go to London. Clacton on Sea has a train which takes you straight into Liverpool Street for about an hour and 20 minutes. I also often go swimming in the sea in the Summer. We have Clacton Pier which is absolutely fantastic for spending a few hours. So many different things to do there and cycle along to the beaches in Jaywick which are beautiful.Every Wednesday you can find a huge bike meet on Bentley Green which is the largest green for a village in the UK. For nightlife we have plenty of clubs and pubs in Essex. If you like the nightlife we have everything for everyone so if you haven’t been to Essex make sure you plan a trip soon.
There are two main airports in Essex. You have London Stansted Airport and Southend Airport. Having two airports in the county is very handy for your travel plans. There are train services right across the county which go directly into Liverpool Street so we have great access to London. We also have some fantastic nightclubs in the cities and towns across Essex. The night life here is famous across the UK. It is used as a great destination for many TV programmes. When travelling through the county, you might want to stop for some retail therapy. An ideal spot to start is Thurrock Lakeside. It’s a massive shopping centre that will cater for everybody’s needs no matter what you are looking for. In Chelmsford we have some great places like Bond Street. Braintree is home to freeport which is another great place to go and do shopping with some of the most fashionable stores. It’s quite nice to just venture around Essex for the day.
Colchester Zoo is one of the highest rated zoo’s in the whole of Europe. Taking the kids to Colchester zoo is a great day out one of the best zoo’s in the UK. If animals and wildlife are your thing then you’re in for a treat. There are loads of natural parks and wildlife reserves all across Essex which are absolutely fantastic.
For sports in Essex, you will find Essex County Cricket Club and various football clubs including Chelmsford City football club. There are many games for you to attend. Essex is home to some of the best colleges, universities and private schools. In Colchester there is Essex University. Then you have some of the great private schools in Lexden Colchester. Essex University is based on the edge of Colchester and Tendring and has many students from all around the world. They come up with some innovative ideas and will lead the way in correlating with local businesses. There are a variety of markets across Essex to explore and car boots with major car boots in Colchester and Chelmsford.
Another great great place to visit if you’re interested in finding out about Roman British life then Mountfitchet Castle is another fantastic outing for the day. In Waltham Abbey we have the Royal gunpowder mill which has been there for years and it’s great to find out about. Morden is a historic town in the water history very close to Chelmsford. It is well known for its salt or Maldon sea salt which they sell millions of boxes a year. It’s also one of the best places and was voted one of the best places to live in the UK. It’s very clean and has a lot of water there. Being close to London as well makes it a wonderful place to live. Dedham Vale is another place to visit which is obviously constable country and it’s great to take a visit around there. In Dedham you can take a nice boat ride along the river and stop in Dedham Vale. Enjoy the local pubs and restaurants.
Brentwood is a great place to live in Essex as you’re literally half an hour from London. TOWIE or The Only Way Is Essex uses Brentwood as its main area for filming. Most of the stars are local to the area. It can be quite expensive here though. The average price of a home is around the £550,000 mark but because of its close location to London it’s understandable and you’ve got some beautiful properties and lovely scenery here. These are some of the reasons why people move out there from London. Other ideal places to live in Essex include Saffron Walden and Epping which is even closer to London. Then you have Harlow which is another very big town north of London in Essex. It’s very close to London and has a lot of attractions. Another thing I’ve noticed in Essex is if you’re interested, there are mini classic car enthusiasts and some of the biggest shows right across Essex with the classic American cars and classic British cars. On Sundays popping along to see these fantastic vehicles. In Clacton On Sea the Clacton Air show is a two day event at the end of August and brings approximately 200,000 people to the Tendring area. You can see great displays from the red arrows. See the wing walkers where someone is actually standing on the wings of a biplane and just flying over head. The Lancaster bombers are there as well as great world war planes doing displays but it is the red arrows that steal the show having all the different coloured flames coming out and trails of smoke. They demonstrate their skills by drawing a heart shape etc.
I have personally lived in Essex for the last 21 years after moving from Tottenham in North London and emigrating to Florida in 2001. I lost my business there and moved back to Clacton as my mum had bought a guesthouse. I believe it was the best decision I could’ve made as Clacton has been an absolutely fantastic place to live and bring up my family. Take a boat and view the seals along the coast. Visit one of the many wild bird sanctuaries and the wildlife reservations. You can go and view all the natural birds of Britain. Find and collect shark teeth from prehistoric animals on the beaches in Walton on the Naze. Here you can also find the Naze Tower and art gallery. The tower is about 86 foot high and it is a landmark that can be seen from a long long way it also has a viewing platform on the top and you can see over the coast across Essex and Suffolk. There is a fantastic classic car show which is held in Walton On The Naze. Find the Walton Pier just down the road which has recently undergone some amazing refurbishments.
Frinton On Sea which is between Clacton and Walton is a beautiful seaside town that’s like going back in time. It has wide clear roads and is a very affluent area with beautiful sandy beaches. Many beautiful local shops are here along with a theatre, train station and the golf course. There’s also a tennis club and cricket club.
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