Essex – a beautiful county nestled between London and the North Sea, where Britain’s answer to ‘The Hills’ was born, The Only Way Is Essex. While the popular reality series may feature heavily in Brentwood, this charming county has a lot more to offer than spray tans and exotic bars. In fact, Essex is a favourite of those who choose to have a holiday close to home. If the English countryside is calling this summer, find out below the top 5 things to do in Essex.
For The Adventurers: Escape Live
Number one on our list of things to do in Essex is our very own Escape Games. Does the thought of being locked in a room with your nearest and dearest thrill you? Is your perfect pastime taking part in mindboggling puzzles? Do your friends and family often refer to you as Sherlock? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then look no further for fun than Escape Live Essex. Escape rooms are rapidly gaining popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. Exciting, tense, an innovative way to bond with loved ones, the concept is simple: get locked in a room and work together as a team to find clues and work out the exit. The twist is, you have to escape within 60 minutes. Are you up for the challenge?
For Seafaring Explorers: Southend Pier
Perhaps your puzzle-solving skills are somewhat lacking. Have no fear; the exciting Southend Pier is there to sate your need to see the sea this summer! Created in 1829, this historic Grade II listed landmark is the longest pleasure pier in the world, reaching an incredible 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary. Boasting mini golf with a 12 hole course and a 1.25 miles train journey to take you from the shore to the pier head, this beautiful visitor attraction was redeveloped in 2000 and is not to be missed. Fancy exploring the museum and reclining on the sun deck at the pier head overlooking the stunning shoreline? If your answer is a big yes, Southend Pier is the place for you this summer!
For The Culture Vultures: Chelmsford Museum
Situated in the heart of Oaklands Park, Chelmsford Museum is ideal for all ages. It is currently undergoing an extensive £2million development, but that’s no reason to miss this stunning culture spot. Children especially can enjoy the interactive displays, and even pick up a quiz to guide them, and the rest of the tribe, around the museum. The museum was founded in 1835 and houses the Bright Sparks exhibition, which celebrates the industries of Chelmsford. For those particularly interested in military history, Chelmsford Museum illustrates the story of the Essex Yeomanry and regiment and includes artefacts and uniform to wonder upon.
For Animal Enthusiasts: Colchester Zoo
Home to over 260 awe-inspiring species, Colchester Zoo is the perfect day out for those who love to get close to nature. How couldn’t it make our top 5 things to do in Essex? You will navigate your way through a variety of unique habitats and meet their inhabitants, from the Africa plain featuring ostrich and zebras to the Elephant Kingdom. If it’s truly a special occasion, why not consider booking a wild encounter for two? This incredible experience lets you meet a range of species, including penguins, lemurs, tigers, and giraffes.
For Luxury Lovers: Hylands Park
If elegance and luxury is more your style, the beautiful Hylands Estate will make you feel right at home. With over 574 acres of historic parkland, this area has the prestigious Grade II title and features the stunning neo-classical villa, Hylands House. Visitor open days occur on the first Sunday of every month and gives you the chance to explore the farmers and craft market, as well as offering free entry to the house and historical exhibitions and experience carriage rides. The youngest members of the family can enjoy running around the extensive adventure playground, which not only has a fun castle theme but is, in fact, an award-winning accessible space. The playground was specifically designed to include disabled and special needs children, providing musical stimulation and a cradle swing.
Essex is a beautiful county with a vast variety of activities the whole family will love to explore and do. Above are five fun suggestions to please everyone, from those seeking adventure to those who feel at home with the animals. Our top 5 things to do in Essex will keep you busy.