Top Attractions in Essex

As one of England’s most populated counties, Essex is perhaps unsurprisingly full of opportunities for families to take advantage of, so whether you enjoy the countryside, culture, sport or shopping, Essex has it covered. As well as this, with many such opportunities and attractions offering exciting events and deals over the winter months, there really is no excuse to be stuck for things to do when either living or visiting our great county.

Cultural Attractions in Essex

audley endFor those of you who love nothing more than exploring the culture and history of the area, a trip to Audley End House will certainly not be a disappointment, with one of the country’s most spectacular stately homes featuring historic stables and Victorian groom. For those with children, stories are brought to life in the nursery suite with the help of authentic Victorian toys, with a coal gallery offering sounds and smells from back in the 19th century.

Another popular attraction is Hedingham Castle, one of the finest a Norman towers in the country. Hedingham hosts regular events throughout the year, including siege reenactments and jousting events.

Essex has many wonderful churches spread across the county, including England’s oldest chapel, St. Peters One The Wall Chapel in Bradwell-on-Sea, which marks the end of St. Peter’s Way, which stretches across the county, starting in Chipping Ongar. The chapel was built in 654 AD, by the famous Lindisfarne monk St Cedd.

Sports in Essex

chelmsford city football playerFor sports lovers, a day at the increasingly popular Coral Romford Greyhound Stadium is certainly a unique experience, with adults being able to make the most of some of the most tempting greyhound racing odds around on site. However, for those of you taking kids to an event, save time and check online beforehand, with Coral full coverage of all events in the build up to Christmas. The sport has seen its popularity increase dramatically over recent years, with home favourite Fivestar Clipper currently in excellent form, recently winning his 29th race on home turf.

There are several good football teams in Essex, and while there are no premiership teams. Colchester United, Chelmsford City and Braintree Town are all successful teams, and Southend and Canvey have had some success over the years too. You can find information of many Essex football clubs here.

Essex also has a race course, Chelmsford City Racecourse (formerly Great Leighs), which hosts regular meetings throughout the year. See our page on sports clubs in Essex for more ideas.

Family Attractions

One of the Zoo's Lions

One of the Zoo’s Lions

Elsewhere, the award winning Colchester Zoo offers an excellent day out for all ages. Visitors are provided with the opportunity to feed animals such as elephants and giraffes, as well as viewing the daily life of over 260 different species in 60 acres of parkland.

If Colchester is a little too far for you to travel, the Tropical Wings Zoo near Chelmsford is an alternative, with the venue being one of the few in the country to hold free-flying butterflies all year round. Meanwhile, the likes of Barleylands, Lee Valley Park Farms or Old MacDonald’s Farm all offer slightly more relaxing experiences, perfect for families with young children.

For those with youngsters with seemingly never ending amounts of energy, then why not enjoy some of Essex’s most idyllic countryside with a bike ride. With any number of country parks providing a safe environment for children, there really is no excuse not to don your helmets and sample some of the quieter parts of the county.

However, if you in fact prefer the hustle and bustle of the high street, the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock will certainly be to your liking. As one of the biggest in Europe, containing shops to meet the needs of all, and with the countdown to Christmas well and truly underway, this is likely to be one of the more popular attractions in the coming weeks.

Discover things to do in Essex here.

  2 comments for “Top Attractions in Essex

  1. Burt Knaman
    March 8, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Romford is not in Essex.

  2. EssexPortal
    March 8, 2017 at 1:18 am

    We’re still hopeful London will give it back. Besides, we like to cover the London borders, is not like there’s a wall.

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