Image of an old mill from across a lake.

Explore Essex with the National Trust

According to the National Trust "There's more to Essex than first meets the eye. Tucked away you'll find lots of hidden gems." From Hatfield Forest, an ancient woodland with streams, lakes, mature oak, chestnut and coppiced hornbeam to Paycocke's House, a stunning Tudor merchant's house with magnificent woodcarving and elaborate paneling, to one of Europe's oldest timber-framed buildings with cathedral-like interior, the Grange Barn in Coggeshall. The Essex National Trust properties will more than surprise you so let us introduce you to them all.
Picture of a dad and his two boys sitting on a tree stump and looking at the lake.
Hatfield Forest

National Trust properties

Picture of the the back of the building showing also the garden.

This stunning half-timbered Tudor merchant’s house with a beautiful and tranquil cottage garden is complimented by a lovely tea room and well stocked gift shop.

Picture of the outside of the mill as viewed from the lake.

Built as a banquet hall in Elizabethan times, this charming folly was converted into a mill in the 19th century and continued working until the 1930s.

Picture of a green area with a couple of trees.

Hatfield Forest is the best surviving example in the country (it was founded by Henry I in around 1100), and is home to more than 3,500 species of flora and fauna.

Picture of the cottage and the bridge from across the river.

Just upstream from Flatford Mill, the restored thatched 16th century cottage houses an exhibition about John Constable, several of whose paintings depict this property and surrounding countryside.

Picture of a medieval barn.

A magnificent timber-framed barn dating from the 13th century constructed for the monks of the nearby Cistercian Abbey. There is an exhibition on the history of the barn.

Picture of a couple of people horse riding.

This is the second largest heathland in Essex with clear streams, valleys, mighty oaks and chestnuts and great spottng reptiles (including adders), nesting birds and insects.

Picture of green plants.

A visit to the wood in spring will not only provide a feast for the eyes when the bluebells are in flower, you may also hear nightingales sing.

Picture of the wide open countryside and the sea around the island.

A remote island in the Blackwater Estuary. Visiting Northey is a unique pleasure. As well as being a SSSI site, it is also the site of the Battle of the Maldon 991, Britain’s oldest recorded battlefield site.

Picture of two girls running in a field with daffodils.

Once the home to a medieval motte and bailey castle, all that can be seen today are the earthwork remains which is a green oasis with an urban wildlife haven and sweeping views across the Crouch Valley.

Picture of a girl walking her dog in the countryside.
Copt Hall Marshes are part of the Blackwater National Nature Reserve. The salt marshes and fields are rich in bird life.
Picture of the building's exterior.

This charming house is one of the country’s finest examples of an early 18th century merchant’s home. It's surrounded by a contrasting landscape of big skies, wild marshland and thriving industry.

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.