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FREE things to do and places to visit.

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Abberton Reservoir

Church Road, Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, Essex, CO2 0EU, Tel: 01206 738172, www.essexwt.org.uk/reserves/abberton-reservoir

Join Essex Wildlife Trust at Abberton Reservoir and explore their Brambly hedge trail; find Wilfred with his catapult or look at Primrose's pretty bonnet.

 
 
 
Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre

Hornchurch Country Park, Squadron’s Approach, Hornchurch, RM12 6DF, Tel: 01708 520364, Email, www.essexwt.org.uk

Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre is situated in Hornchurch Country Park and has fantastic views over the Valley which gives it its name.

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  • Rail station: Hornchurch (1 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Free entry
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Naze Visitor Centre

Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, CO14 8LE, Tel: 01255 679379, Email, www.essexwt.org.uk

The Centre is open all year round and houses an education room as well as a café and gift shop. There are a number of displays including fossil and geology displays and information regarding bird migration and sightings.

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  • Rail station: Walton On The Naze (1 mile)
  • Parking: with charge
  • Children welcome
  • Free entry
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
360 Play Basildon

Festival Leisure Park, Festival Way, Basildon, SS14 3WB, Tel: 01908 670160, Email, www.360play.co.uk

Somewhere to go whatever the weather and not just another indoor play centre, 360 Play is a revolution in family entertainment with indoor and outdoor rides, creative and imaginative play set around a 3 storey play frame.

  • image for Indoor Pursuits Centre item typeMore Details
  • Rail station: Basildon (2 miles)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Rotunda at Admirals Parks
Green Flag Award

Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 2PL, Tel: 01245 605566, www.chelmsford.gov.uk/admirals-park-and-tower-gardens

A beautiful city centre park leading into Tower Gardens and West Park, Admirals is one of Chelmsford's most popular parks.

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  • Rail station: Chelmsford (1 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Free entry
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
The Rage
VistEngland VAQAS

Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 1EE, Tel: 01702 443400, www.adventureisland.co.uk

Adventure Island is the UK's No.1 free admission fun park. There are over 50 rides and attractions to enjoy, which are situated either side of the world's longest pleasure pier in Southend-on-Sea.

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  • Rail station: Southend Central (0 mile)
  • Parking: with charge
  • Children welcome
  • Free entry
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Alderford Street Watermill

Alderford Street, Sible Hedingham, Essex, CO9 3XH, Tel: 0774 090 1323, Email, www.visitparks.co.uk/places/alderford-water-mill/

One of the most complete historic watermills in Essex with most of the original machinery. Restored working water wheel. Open weekends in spring and summer.

 
 
 
Andrews Park

Patching Hall Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 4BX, Tel: 01245 605566, Email, www.chelmsford.gov.uk/andrews-park-0

An attractive park area located along Patching Hall Lane, Andrews Park is a popular space for local residents, school children and visitors.

 
 
 
Aqua Springs

Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YH, Tel: 01206 282010, Email, www.aqua-springs.co.uk

The ultimate health spa experience. Providing you with a complete environment of rest and relaxation, to soothe, revitalise and transform. Try the range of beauty & relaxation treatments.

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  • Rail station: Colchester (0 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Audley End House and Gardens
VistEngland VAQASEssex Tourism AwardsEnglish Heritage

Audley End, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF, Tel: 01799 522842, Email, www.english-heritage.org.uk/audleyend

Step back in time and see Victorian life come to life before your eyes at Audley End House and Gardens. You can experience what life was like at one of England’s grandest stately homes.

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  • Rail station: Audley End (1 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Audley End Miniature Railway

Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JB, Tel: 01799 541354/542134, Email, www.audley-end-railway.co.uk

The Audley End Miniature Railway and Enchanted Fairy and Elf Walk is a family fun day out near Saffron Walden, Essex full of innocent fun and imagination

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  • Rail station: Audley End (1.3 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Barleylands Farm Park and Craft Village
VistEngland VAQASEssex Tourism AwardsSelf-assessed Accessibility Information

Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex, CM11 2UD, Tel: 01268 290229, www.barleylands.co.uk

Get ready for free range family fun at Barleylands Farm Park. Say hello to cuddly farmyard friends, meet birds of prey, run wild in the indoor play or jump aboard the tractor and trailer ride.

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  • Rail station: Billericay (3 miles)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
The Old Granary

The Old Granary, Hawk Hill, Battlesbridge, Essex, SS11 7RE, Tel: 01268 769000, Email, www.battlesbridge.com

5 interesting old buildings housing over 70 dealers in antiques & crafts. On the banks of the River Crouch in a picturesque hamlet, with tea rooms and 18th century pub. Visits to the Classic Motor Cycle Museum on Sundays or by appointment.

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  • Rail station: Battlesbridge (0 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Free entry
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Windsurfing

Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2YH, Tel: 01702 612770, Email

Beach Club on Thorpe Bay Beach is a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre and the only ‘Fast Forward’ windsurfing instruction centre in the eastern region.

 
 
Bedfords Park Visitor Centre

Bedfords Park, Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, Romford, Essex, RM4 1QH, Tel: 01708 748646, Email, www.essexwt.org.uk/reserves/bedfords-park

The visitor centre is in the middle of the 215 acres of Bedfords Park, open 7 days a week 9-5, 9-4 in the winter. It has a gift shop, seating area and a small cafe offering refreshments.

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  • Rail station: Harold Wood (4 miles)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
VistEngland VAQAS

Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6EX, Tel: 01702 212511, Email, www.southendmuseums.co.uk

The gallery houses some 2,000 works, including works by Constable, Molenaer, Lear and Seago. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions and is the home of the Essex artists open exhibition.

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  • Rail station: Southend Victoria (0 mile)
  • Parking: free
  • Free entry
 
 
 
Belfairs Woods by Gillian Crosby

Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, SS9 4LR, Tel: 01702 477467, Email, www.essexwt.org.uk

A modern, attractive and welcoming Visitor’s Centre set in the ancient Belfairs Woodland. We have a small café, an education facility and an interesting shop. We offer a number of walks, talks and events throughout the year.

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  • Rail station: Leigh-On-Sea (2 miles)
  • Parking: free
  • Children welcome
  • Free entry
  • Disabled access
 
 
 
Belhus Woods Country Park
Green Flag Award

Romford Road, Aveley, South Ockendon, Essex, RM15 4XJ, Tel: 01708 865628, Email, www.visitparks.co.uk/places/belhus-woods-country-park/

Woodland, open grassland and lakes suitable for walking, picnics and fishing. Visitor Centre with refreshments on site. Guided tours by arrangement.