Days out for everybody

Wondering what to do in Essex?

Essex is truly a county of contrasts. Steeped in history and infused with unique architectural, historic and natural treasures, encapsulating everything that is great about the coast and the countryside. There is a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be discovered and explored including FREE things to do in Essex. The county offers visitors a huge range of things you must see and do and wonderful places to visit. Whatever your interests, you can be sure of a great day out. Don't forget to take up our SPECIAL OFFERS when visiting.

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Picture of a mum and her little boy kneeling down and looking at flowers.
Family fun at RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Days out to remember

Featured attractions

Picture of the back of the building as seen from the garden.
Audley End House and Gardens
Picture of a colourful bed of flowers and hedges.
RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Picture of the front of the castle with flower beds.
Colchester Castle
Picture of a couple sitting on a barge and travelling along the River Lee.
Lee Valley Regional Park
Picture if the golden clad building from the front.
Firstsite

 

The county boasts a coastline of over 350 miles, fronted by verdant marshlands and evocative creeks. For a nation that loves nothing more than a day beside the seaside, Essex’s coast has it all. From remote places or bustling beaches with all mod cons, the Discovery Coast offers plenty to see and do, from Harwich in the north to Southend-on-Sea in the south.

With a history that pre-dates the Romans but influenced our nation’s greatest events, from the oldest recorded town to the Magna Carta, the Tudors to both World Wars and a vibrant culture composed of art, film, music, dance and literature, Essex is both surprising and rewarding for visitors.

What could be more quintessentially English than a country house? Essex is blessed with a wealth of historic venues that make a fantastic day out for all the family. The first jolt to the senses is arguably the sight of Audley End House and Gardens. One of England’s grandest stately homes, it offers a stunning backdrop for the perfect day out.

With one of the mildest climates and the least rainfall in the country, the county has a wealth of stunning gardens and green spaces, each possessing a distinctive character and atmosphere all of its own. Whether you’re a connoisseur of natural beauty or cultivated splendour, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in the gardens of Essex.

For lovers of more traditional country pursuits, Rural Essex is ideal for stretching your legs and going for a ramble or a ride. Contrary to popular belief, Essex is an essentially rural county and despite its proximity to London, its rolling countryside, quiet lanes and picturesque villages remain undiscovered by the majority of visitors. With over 3,500 miles of public footpaths, bridleways and byways, there’s plenty of countryside for you to explore.

Wherever you choose to go, the warmth of the welcome is second to none. With so much to discover and enjoy, you’ll be able to share in Essex’s sunny disposition.

The county boasts a coastline of over 350 miles, fronted by verdant marshlands and evocative creeks. For a nation that loves nothing more than a day beside the seaside, Essex’s coast has it all. From remote places or bustling beaches with all mod cons, the Discovery Coast offers plenty to see and do, from Harwich in the north to Southend-on-Sea in the south.

With a history that pre-dates the Romans but influenced our nation’s greatest events, from the oldest recorded town to the Magna Carta, the Tudors to both World Wars and a vibrant culture composed of art, film, music, dance and literature, Essex is both surprising and rewarding for visitors.

What could be more quintessentially English than a country house? Essex is blessed with a wealth of historic venues that make a fantastic day out for all the family. With one of the mildest climates and the least rainfall in the country, the county has a wealth of stunning gardens and green spaces, each possessing a distinctive character and atmosphere all of its own. For lovers of more traditional country pursuits, Rural Essex is ideal for stretching your legs and going for a ramble or a ride.

Wherever you choose to go, the warmth of the welcome is second to none. With so much to discover and enjoy, you’ll be able to share in Essex’s sunny disposition.

This month's feature

Picture of a family riding into the sunset.

Attractions at your fingertip

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.