Picture of two trains.

Leave your car behind and explore the Essex countryside by train

Leave the car and congestion behind and enjoy the countryside as you travel along some of our beautiful train routes!

The Gainsborough Line which runs from Marks Tey to Sudbury is a great train ride though Constable Country with fantastic views and sight of the awesome 32 arch Chappel Viaduct. Discover the wealth of wildlife at the Blue House Farm Nature Reserve at North Fambridge on the Crouch Valley Line or the quaint Wivenhoe Quay on the Sunshine Coast Line. There is lots to see and discover along the five branch lines in Essex, so board a train and relax as you spend your time exploring our county.

Leave the car and congestion behind and enjoy the countryside as you travel along some of our beautiful train routes! There is lots to see and discover along the five branch lines in Essex, so board a traincand relax as you spend your time exploring our county.

Picture of a map of the various Essex train branch lines.
Download the leaflet 'Explore Essex by train' with information on all the Essex branch lines and ideas for great days out.

The branch lines

Picture of The Crouch Valley Line map.

This route runs from Wickford through Battlesbridge, South Woodham Ferrers, North Fambridge, Althorne, Burnham-on-Crouch and finishes at Southminster. This part of the Dengie peninsula is ideal for walking and cycling, offering exciting outdoor experiences in dramatic landscapes. 

The route runs through the Dengie, ideal place for walking and cycling, offering exciting outdoor experiences in dramatic landscapes.  
Picture of the Sunshine Coast line map.

The route runs between Colchester and Clacton/Walton, travelling through the Hythe, Wivenhoe, Arlesford, Great Bentley, Weeley, and to Thorpe Le Soken. Here the line splits in to two lines, one going to Clacton and the other to Kirby Cross, Frinton and Walton. Use this line for great days out on the coast.

The route runs between Colchester and Clacton/Walton. Use this line to get to the Discovery Coast and have great days out with the family.

Picture of The Mayflower Line map.

A journey on the Mayflower Line takes you through varied countryside to the coast, from Manningtree to Harwich. Every town and village has its own unique features with walks and places to visit from the local stations. The walks from Wrabness station along the River Stour, offering beautiful views across the river, are very popular.

A journey on the Mayflower Line takes you through varied countryside to the coast, from Manningtree to Harwich.

Picture of The Gainsborough Line map.

A delightful rural journey running through landscape straight out of Constable’s paintings. The line runs through leafy cuttings, emerging across the great 32 arch Chappel viaduct, striding high above the River Colne and the villages of Chappel and Wakes Colne.

A delightful rural journey running through landscape straight out of Constable’s paintings.

Picture of The Flitch Line map.

The route passes through historical towns and villages allowing you to explore places such as Braintree, Witham or Great Dunmow. Why not combine a walk or cycle ride with refreshments being served at Rayne Station, now the Visitor Centre and ranger base for the Flitch Way.

The route passes through historical towns and villages allowing you to explore places such as Braintree, Witham or Great Dunmow.

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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.