Forget the ordinary and dive into the extraordinary! Essex, bursting with hidden gems and vibrant character, offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be unearthed. Whether you're a seasoned local or a curious newcomer, prepare to be surprised and delighted by these 10 unique things to do in Essex in 2024.

1. Craft Your Own Brew

Channel your inner alchemist at Brentwood Brewing Company and transform hops into handcrafted ales in their Brewery Day experience. Learn the magic of the brewing process, from grain to glass, and take home 18 pints of your own creation – bragging rights included!

Brentwood Brewery Experience Day

2. Master the Art of Afternoon Tea

Refine your social graces at The English Cream Tea Company's private afternoon tea etiquette masterclass. Discover the art of creating rapport, sharing with finesse, and navigating the intricacies of this beloved tradition. You'll be the picture of elegance come teatime!

English Cream Tea Etiquette Masterclass

3. Paddle Across Essex Waters

Embrace the serenity of Frangipani SUP and conquer the gentle waves on a stand-up paddleboard. With locations in Boreham and Chigborough, they offer lessons, courses, and activities for all levels, so you can learn, practice, explore, and even race!

Paddleboarding in Maldon, Essex

4. Distill Your Gin Genius

Unleash your inner mixologist at the award-winning Meadow Oak Distillery. Their Gin School & Distillery Tour Experience includes a G&T welcome, a tour of the facilities, and the chance to craft your own 70cl bottle of gin to take home. Choose your botanicals, distill, bottle, and label – become a gin connoisseur in a day!

Mead Oak Distillery Gin, Essex

5. Get Creative with Clay

Mould your masterpiece at The Chameleon Café in Great Dunmow and learn the art of throwing your own pot. From pinching and coiling to using the wheel, you'll master the basics of working with wet clay. Paint your creation and take home a unique souvenir of your newfound skill.

Chameleon Cafe Pottery Painting in Essex

6. Step into the Shoes of a Zoo Keeper

Ever wondered what it takes to care for exotic animals? Colchester Zoo's Keeper for the Day Animal Experience grants you exclusive access to their dedicated team and amazing creatures. Clean the tiger's den, prepare food for the penguins, enrich the elephants' environment, and get up close to giraffes and sea lions – a truly unforgettable experience!

Meerkat at Colchester Zoo, Essex

7. Connect with Nature's Wonders

Deepen your appreciation for the natural world with Essex Wildlife Trust's engaging nature courses. Learn about butterfly identification, wildlife gardening, or heathland management, all under the guidance of friendly and knowledgeable tutors. Discover the wonders of local wildlife and contribute to its conservation, one step at a time.

Bird watching in Essex

8. Take the Helm of a Locomotive

Fulfil your childhood railway dreams at Epping Ongar Railway. Take the controls of a steam or diesel locomotive in their Driving Experience, tackling challenging gradients and mastering the controls. Or, step into the Signal Box Experience and manage the railway traffic from North Weald's historic signal box – a unique perspective on a bygone era.

Epping Ongar Railway Steam Locomotive in Epping Forest

9. Explore Colchester's Roman Legacy

Journey back in time at Colchester Castle, a magnificent Roman fortress dating back to the 1st century AD. Climb the ramparts, wander through the atmospheric grounds, and discover the fascinating history of this ancient city.

Colchester Castle, Essex

10. Unleash your Culinary Greatness

Bake bresh artisan bread, French Patisserie, and much more at The Cookery School at Braxted Park! Their full-day courses encourage you to use a range of locally sourced products and ingredients whilst you receive expert guidance and tuition from some of the country's finest award-winning chefs. Say goodbye to beans on toast – it’s time to really impress at your next dinner party!

The Cookery School at Braxted Park, Essex

These are just a taste of the many unique experiences waiting to be discovered in Essex. So, pack your bags, embrace your adventurous spirit, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this vibrant English county. Learn more about any events taking place in Essex over on our What’s On page.




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