The Rochford district: heritage, culture and coast

With 65 square miles filled with heritage, culture and unspoilt coastline, the Rochford district is a historical and picturesque place to explore.

Just 45 minutes by train from London or a 30 minute drive from the M25, the district offers something for all - from historical buildings, miles of coastline and acres of ancient woods, to seasonal events and festivals and a thriving nightlife of restaurants, pubs and bars. With such a vast and varied combination of attractions on offer, there’s the opportunity for every visit to be unique!

With 65 square miles of heritage, culture and unspoilt coastline, the Rochford district is a historical and picturesque place to explore. Less than an hour from London, there’s something for all, from historical buildings, miles of coast and acres of ancient woods, to seasonal events and festivals and a thriving nightlife of restaurants, pubs and bars. With the vast and varied combination of attractions, every visit is unique!

Discover the district of Rochford

 

 

Picture of a logo.
Visit the Rochford District Council
website

Visit the Rochford district and step back through time. The district’s town of Rayleigh features the site of a 10th century Norman castle, Rayleigh Mount, as well as the 18th century Rayleigh Windmill and Dutch Cottage. The village of Rochford has played host to a market since 1247, and houses the 13th century Old House and 16th century Rochford Hall, one-time home of the Boleyn family. Scattered across the district’s many villages are ancient settlements mentioned in the Domesday Book. Ancient woodlands in Hockley are complemented by the new 100-acre Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park.

There is plenty for people of all ages to enjoy. Established events and festivals include the Rochford Art Festival, Rochford District Sports Festival and the ever-popular Wild Woods Day. Regular markets are held across the district, and the many restaurants and pubs offer a variety of fare.

 

The district’s coastline provides a wonderful place for walking, cycling, bird-watching, painting, photography or simply taking in the sea air. Wildlife havens include Foulness Island and the Roach Valley Conservation Zone. The Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme.

Rochford district has so many wonderful features, the only way to appreciate them all, is to visit!

The Rochford district is steeped in history. In Rayleigh there’s the site of a 18th century Norman castle, Rayleigh Mount, as well as the 18th century Rayleigh Windmill and Dutch Cottage. Rochford houses 13th century Old House and 16th century Rochford Hall, and its market has traded since 1247. Hockley’s ancient woodlands are complemented by newer Cherry Orchard Jubilee Country Park

Established events and festivals include Rochford Art Festival, Rochford District Sports Festival and Wild Woods Day. Regular markets are held across the district, and restaurants and pubs offer a variety of fare. 

Relax and enjoy the wonderful coastline. Wildlife havens include Foulness Island, Roach Valley Conservation Zone, and the landmark Wallasea Island Wild Coast project.

The district has many wonderful features to enjoy on your visit!

Highlights of the area

Picture of a white double fronted building.

The Old House in Rochford dates back to 1270. Built of a timber frame with wattle and daub panels, the house was the height of luxury in medieval England. Rochford District Council restored the house to its original glory using as much of the original materials as possible.

Image of the red brick windmill.

The beautiful Rayleigh Windmill is a Grade II listed building more than 200 years old. It has a museum, an exhibition space and information about Rayleigh Mount. It's situated next to a Sensory Garden and is an award-winning tourist attraction. 

Picture of two dogs at the edge of the lake.

Situated in the rolling countryside of the Roach Valley at the south of the district, the 200-acre beautiful wildlife park is a mix of grassland, woodlands and a lake, complete with a network of footpaths and bridleways.

Explore our county

Picture of the iconic Firstsite building at night.
Discover Essex’s creative spaces. They come in all shapes and sizes and are crammed with artistic treasures, from international names to emerging local artists.
Picture of a sunset over the The Naze waters with some rocks protruding from the water.

Explore our 350 miles of coastline, the longest shoreline of any county in England, a place of surprising wild beauty, rich in wildlife and sprinkled with history and hidden cultural gems.

Essex’s history has been shaped by a wide variety of cultures. Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans – all left their mark. Echoes of their influence can still be seen today.
Picture of a cow at the edge of the River Stour and drinking water.
A scenic patchwork of rich farmland speckled with pastelwashed villages of thatch and timber, the views interrupted by mighty oaks and ashes presided over by the hurrying skies.