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Audley End House and Gardens

Must see attractions in Essex 

Essex is truly a county of contrasts with a wealth of hidden treasures to be explored. Audley End House is just one hidden gem of Essex. It's a massive Jacobean house set deep in the Essex countryside and yet a short drive from London. Others include Hylands House in Chelmsford, a neo-classical style villa in around 500 acres of landscape; Layer Marney Tower near Colchester, which was built in the reign of Henry VIII; Ingatestone Hall, built in the 16th century by Sir William Petre, Secretary of State to no less than four monarchs, and whose family still live there today. There are many more gems to be found in Essex, so why not explore the county by downloading some of the itineraries we have prepared for you and start your journey of discovery. 


Audley End House

More information on Audley End House and Gardens.

Built by Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk to entertain King James - Audley End is one of England's most magnificent stately homes. Enjoy over 30 lavishly decorated room interiors by Robert Adam.


Colchester Castle

More information on Colchester Castle Museum.

The largest Norman Keep in Europe. Superb Roman displays, hands-on activities and tours. An award winning experience of 2000 years of history. Exciting events all year round.


RHS Garden Hyde Hall

More information on RHS Garden Hyde Hall.

With sweeping panoramas, big open skies and far reaching views over the countryside, this Essex garden provides somewhere to watch the changing seasons and get closer to nature.



Find out more about firstsite.

The spectacular Rafael Viñoly-designed building, in the heart of the culture quarter, is a modern art gallery in Britain's oldest recorded town. Regular new exhibitions run all year round.



More information on Barleylands.

Set in beautiful countryside, Barleylands Farm Park and Craft Village is an all weather attraction offering both indoor and outdoor activities. It's ideal for a great day out for the whole family.


Layer Marney Tower

More information on Layer Marney Tower.

Magnificent Tudor building with the tallest Gatehouse in Britain and 16th century Italianate terracotta. Climb the tower and marvel at the views of the Blackwater estuary and beyond.


Ingatestone Hall

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16th century manor house built by Sir William Petre, Secretary of State to four Tudor monarchs. Still occupied by his descendants the house substantially retains its original form.


Hedingham Castle

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The 110 feet high Norman keep of Hedingham Castle, the finest and best preserved in England, was built around 1140 by Aubrey de Vere and is still owned by one of his descendants.


Beth Chatto Gardens

More information on Beth Chatto Gardens.

Beth Chatto is one of the most influential living gardeners in Britain, best known for her pioneering, ecological approach to gardening. Her gardens are internationally acclaimed.


Epping Ongar Railway

More information on Epping Ongar Railway.

Step back in time with the longest heritage railway in Essex and experience the romance of travel in bygone times while passing through picturesque countryside, beautiful forest and historic town.


Hylands House

More information on Hylands House and Estate.

A beautiful Grade II* listed neo-classical villa set in over 500 acres of Repton landscaped parkland and gardens. Venue for a variety of different events from craft fairs to music festivals.


Stow Maries Aerodrome

More information on Stow Maries Aerodrome.

Stow Maries Aerodrome is the only WWI Aeodrome in the world. It was in use from 1916 to 1919 as a home defence station in the war against Zeppelin and German aeroplane raids.


Naze Tower

More information on the Naze Tower.

Sited at the beautiful coastal location of the Naze, this historic 86ft navigational tower houses over eight floors, an art gallery, museum, tea rooms and roof platform with spectacular views.


Lee Valley White Water

More information on Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Discover the thrill of white water rafting at Lee Valley White Water Centre, the London 2012 venue where the rapids challenged the world’s best athletes. Book your own white water adventure now.


Cressing Temple

More information on Cressing Temple.

The two magnificent 13th century barns at Cressing are scheduled ancient monuments once owned by the mysterious Knights Templar. Don't forget to visit the Tudor walled garden.


RSPB Rainham Marshes

Find out more about RSPB Rainham Marshes.

Medieval marshes right next to the River Thames where you can see breeding wading birds and large flocks of wild ducks. Birds of prey and rare birds are regularly seen too.

Essex County Council
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