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Visit Essex | Official tourism website for days out, holidays and much more

We welcome you to Essex for a memorable day out or a short break away.

Essex is a real county of contrasts offering a rich tapestry of everything that makes Britain great. There is a wonderful collection of old and new, and Essex manages to combine modern facilities, fascinating towns and villages and ever-changing coastlines to create the perfect day trip or short break. Boasting the palatial splendour of historic houses such as Audley End House and Gardens in Saffron Walden, to newly created architectural masterpieces such as Firstsite in Colchester, together with affordable accommodation, Essex should be the destination of choice for your next visit.

Visit Essex Big Weekend!

Visit Essex Big Weekend
The Visit Essex Big Weekend in 2017 attracted 86,000 bids in the public Ballot, offering Essex residents the chance to win free entries/ gifts/backstage tours and more, to 49 visitor attractions throughout the county. 2018 aims to be even bigger and better! This year’s event will take place over the weekend of 24th/25th of March and the public Ballot and website will open on 12th February. So make a note in your diary NOW so you don’t miss out! The idea of the Essex Big Weekendis to allow you the chance to go to places you may not otherwise have visited, have a great experience and then go home and tell all your friends and family!

You also get the chance to take part in our ‘selfie’ competition over the weekend to win great prizes! More information to follow shortly.

The Essex Pass

Barleylands

Plan your visit

Picture of two children learning to cook from cook dressed in Victorian costume.

There is a wealth of places to visit and explore in Essex from historic houses and gardens, museums, theatres, outdoor activities and much more.

Picture of a night performance with fireworks and street theatre.

There are plenty of events for the whole family to enjoy throughout the year, from fairs and festivals to concerts and theatre, yet another reason to visit our county.

Picture of two young couples eating seafood.

The county has some of the freshest, finest food available. Whether your preference is fish and chips by the sea, or a gourmet dinner in luxurious surroundings.

Travelling around Essex

Essex is on London's doorstep and is served by an excellent rail network and local bus routes as well as accessible travel links from all over the UK and Europe.

You can also.....

A couple in front of the tower by night.
Whether you are searching for a fairytale castle, a historic barn, or something completely different, you will find the perfect venue to suit you. Over 150 venues in Essex will provide ambiance, charm and character for your big day.
Picture of the auditorium.
Wow your clients with a top class venue for your next meeting. How about a meeting in an ultra-modern eco friendly building, a historic Thames Sailing Barge or the tallest Tudor Gatehouse in England? Essex will not disappoint you.
A group of people on high ropes
Why not make a big splash at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, host venue for the white water rafting at the London 2012 Olympic Games, or climb to great heights on the high ropes at Rope Runners or Gilwell Park. 

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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.