essex tourist board

Places to visit in Essex

There’s more to Essex than reality TV. History buffs will love travelling through time as they start by exploring Roman Britain, and venture through motte-and-bailey Norman keeps, Tudor forts, and finally Victorian country estates and gardens. Essex has more than history though, it’s also got enough shopping centres and spa breaks to help you let go, relax, and enjoy a break from the ardours of modern life. If you’re still not convinced, why not ride one of England’s last running steam train services, marvel at the wonders of science at The Time Machine, or admire the tranquillity and perfection of Essex’s horticultural gardens.

essex tourist board

20 Experience Results

View results as:

  • (-) Remove Essex filter Essex
  • South East England (20) Apply South East England filter
  • Extreme Sports (1) Apply Extreme Sports filter
  • Tours and trails (1) Apply Tours and trails filter
  • Free (1) Apply Free filter
  • Coastal towns (1) Apply Coastal towns filter
  • Harbours and fishing villages (1) Apply Harbours and fishing villages filter
  • Areas of outstanding natural beauty (1) Apply Areas of outstanding natural beauty filter
  • Forests and woodlands (1) Apply Forests and woodlands filter
  • Gardens and Parks (4) Apply Gardens and Parks filter
  • Wildlife and Nature Reserves (1) Apply Wildlife and Nature Reserves filter
  • Literature, film and TV (1) Apply Literature, film and TV filter
  • Museums galleries and libraries (1) Apply Museums galleries and libraries filter
  • Attractions (1) Apply Attractions filter
  • Dog friendly (1) Apply Dog friendly filter
  • Outdoor Activities (1) Apply Outdoor Activities filter
  • Toddler Friendly Holidays (1) Apply Toddler Friendly Holidays filter
  • Zoos wildlife and safari parks (1) Apply Zoos wildlife and safari parks filter
  • Vineyards and wine tasting (1) Apply Vineyards and wine tasting filter
  • Castles and Historic Properties (5) Apply Castles and Historic Properties filter
  • Industrial Maritime And Transport (2) Apply Industrial Maritime And Transport filter
  • Military history (1) Apply Military history filter
  • Shopping and fashion (1) Apply Shopping and fashion filter
  • Picturesque places (2) Apply Picturesque places filter
  • Spring (3) Apply Spring filter
  • Summer (15) Apply Summer filter
  • Winter (1) Apply Winter filter

essex tourist board

All aboard heritage steam trains at the Epping Ongar Railway

Pay a visit to Epping Ongar Railway, and ride on running steam and diesel engines between period stations, through countryside and forest.

Location: Chipping Ongar, Essex

essex tourist board

Enjoy the ultimate shopping experience in Colchester

Discover easy and interesting shopping in Colchester; with its great mix of big name stores and specialist shops, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Location: Colchester, Essex

essex tourist board

Take a guided walking tour and discover the real Colchester

Britain’s oldest recorded town has a raft of different tours exploring different aspects of the town’s history, all hugely enjoyable too.

essex tourist board

See breathtaking vistas at Beth Chatto's Plants & Gardens

Explore these breathtaking and inspirational gardens created by 10-time Chelsea Gold Medal Winner and Gardening Author, Beth Chatto OBE.

essex tourist board

Unleash your inner explorer at Hatfield Forest

No other venue provides a better backdrop for young budding explorers than Hatfield Forest.

Location: Takeley, Essex

essex tourist board

Experience Victorian family life at Audley End House and Gardens

Experience a real life period drama as you explore life above and below stairs at this decadent mansion.

Location: Saffron Walden, Essex

essex tourist board

Visit the oldest recorded battlefield in Britain

Viking raiders used Northey Island as a base during the Battle of Maldon in AD991. Today it’s a lot more tranquil...

Location: Northey Island, Essex

essex tourist board

Be King or Queen of the Castle at Hylands Park

Whether it’s a short stroll or a long walk there are many routes to choose from at 574-acre Hylands Park.

Location: Chelmsford, Essex

essex tourist board

Discover a new visitor experience at Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle is the biggest Norman keep in Britain, in fact, it’s the biggest ever built by the Normans anywhere in Europe.

essex tourist board

Visit the dramatic landscape that inspired John Constable

Follow in the footsteps of John Constable and explore Dedham Vale and Stour Valley an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Location: Dedham, Colchester

essex tourist board

Sample a selection of wines at Dedham Vale Vineyard

Dedham Vale Vineyard is a great place to experience wine tasting whilst enjoying the pristine rolling English countryside.

Location: Boxted near Colchester, Essex

essex tourist board

Take a seaside break 50s style

Discover this iconic English seaside resort that people have been holidaying at since 1871 when the barrel organs on the pier first whirred into action.

Location: Clacton on Sea, Essex

essex tourist board

Audley End House

An atmospheric portrait of daily life in Victorian times.

essex tourist board

Harwich Maritime Heritage Trail

Take a voyage of discovery around the old port of Harwich and discover a wealth of maritime history.

Location: Harwich, Essex

essex tourist board

Seal watching in Arthur Ransome’s ‘Secret Water’

Explore Walton’s ‘Secret Water’, the setting for Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’ book.

Location: Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

essex tourist board

Trot over to meet Redwings Horse Sanctuary's rescued residents

Come nose to nose with some of Redwings Horse Sanctuary's most delightful residents at Redwings Ada Cole Rescue Centre in Essex.

Location: Nazeing, Essex

essex tourist board

Treat your partner to an unforgettable date at Colchester Zoo

Treat your loved one to a Perfect Partner experience at Colchester Zoo to celebrate a landmark birthday, anniversary or even to propose marriage…

essex tourist board

Have a close encounter with Daleks and medieval peasants in Essex

Choose to travel back in time to medieval England in 1066, the toys of your childhood or even WWII (though chances are you’ll want to do all three).

Location: Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex

essex tourist board

Find a little piece of heaven on earth in Colchester

Green Island Gardens features stunning gardens professionally designed by Fiona Edmond and set within woodland destroyed by the 1987 hurricane.

essex tourist board

Climb, jump and crawl at Wild Forest Gym

Check out the UK’s 1st Obstacle Training Centre and Natural Movement Gymnasium for adults and children aged 7+.

Location: Brentwood, Essex

Related Items

essex tourist board

Visit grand stately homes, English seaside resorts, diverse British wildlife, and a vast network of waterways. There are attractions for all the family in Norfolk.

essex tourist board

Visit Suffolk to see swanky coastal towns, landscapes straight from Constable and Gainsborough, and the home of the old Kings of East Anglia. Suffolk is quintessentially English.

We've something we want to share

Want to receive travel tips and ideas by email?

VisitEngland would like to invite you to take part in a short survey about our website, it should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Go to the survey

To add items to favourites …

… you need to be logged in.

If you already have an account, log in.

Or register a new account

Access your account

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » United Kingdom » England » 15 Best Places to Visit in Essex

15 Best Places to Visit in Essex

East of London and with a continuous suburb that clings to the north side of the Thames Estuary, Essex is a county that has got a bad rap in the past.

But journey north and east and the countryside becomes ever more picturesque and the towns gain more personality.

Dedham for instance has the romantic Water Meadows painted by John Constable and Saffron Walden possesses a marketplace as pretty as any in England .

The coast is lovable too, with child-friendly seaside resorts, fishing communities and the port of Harwich, which is brimming with maritime lore.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Essex :

1. Colchester

Colchester Castle

The oldest town, not just in Essex but the entire country, Colchester was the capital of Roman Britain for a time.

If this has caught your attention then Colchester Castle should be your first stop.

Built in the 11th century the keep here is the largest of any castle, ruined or standing, in all of Britain.

There’s a newly revamped museum inside to bring you up to speed on Colchester’s rich history, and it’s always adding new finds from the town’s Roman excavation sites.

The landscaped and well-tended gardens in Castle Park are just the ticket for a few minutes of repose, and Colchester Zoo is up there with the best  and raises money for wildlife conservation projects in South Africa.

2. Southend-on-Sea


Like many English seaside resorts, Southend’s heyday was in the 50s and 60s before you could get affordable flights abroad.

But unlike a lot of its rivals, Southend has evolved and continues to pull in day-trippers from all over the southeast.

One of the draws is the pier, which at 2.16 kilometres is the world’s longest pleasure pier.

If a walk to the pierhead seems too much of a trek, take the train, which runs the full length of the structure.

Younger kids and teenagers will get the most out of Southend; even more if Adventure Island is in your plans.

It’s next to the pier and is like a large permanent funfair.

3. Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden

High in the northwest of the county and far from London’s urban sprawl, Saffron Walden is a cute medieval market town within striking distance of Cambridge.

There has been a market here since the 12th century, which sets up on Tuesdays and Saturdays on the square next to the beautiful Guildhall, which is made of wattle and daub over stone arcades.

Myddlyton Place and Castle street, lined with colourful half-timbered buildings, are exceedingly pretty too, and the 15th-century St. Mary’s is Essex’s largest parish church.

You can also step in to a BBC period drama at the majestic 17th-century Audley End House, which has been in the Baybrooke family since the 1700s.


The oldest town in Essex after Colchester, Maldon’s earliest years were a constant struggle against the Vikings, who would sail up the Blackwater estuary to raid the town throughout the 10th century.

The banks of the Blackwater are a little more sedate today,  and Promenade Park, laid out in Victorian times, is picnic central on sunny days, with tree-lined avenues and lawns by the water.

From there you’ll notice the Thames sailing barges, flat-bottomed boats that once transported all kinds of goods up and down the Blackwater and Thames estuaries.

There’s long been a military presence in east Essex, and near Maldon it’s endowed the area with two attractions: The Combined Military Services Museum and Slow Maries Airfield, which puts on air shows with First World War planes.

Dedham, Cows by the river Stour

On the River Stour and close to the boundary with Suffolk, Dedham is a refined village with links to two prominent British painters.

From medieval times to the 1800s Dedham got rich through the wool and textile trades, and the weavers and mill owners built large timber-framed houses and later regal flat-fronted mansions.

John Constable painted Dedham’s mills and its countryside in the early-1800s; the scenery hasn’t changed much since then, especially on the Stour where cows and sheep graze in the water meadows.

The early-20th-century painter Alfred Munnings lived in Dedham for 40 years and his splendid home is now a gallery for his work.

Harwich Quay

Stranded on a peninsula at the entrance to the estuaries of the Rivers Stroud and Orwell, Harwich is Britain’s second-busiest passenger port.

Many of the people who arrive in Harwich will just be passing through, but the town has a thrilling maritime legacy that recalls legendary privateers like Sir Francis Drake and Martin Frobisher.

The Mayflower was launched from Harwich in 1620, and its captain, Christopher Jones was born in the town.

The older part of Harwich is on a grid system plotted in the 1200s, and is protected as a conservation zone for its jumble of cantilevered and flat-fronted houses.

The Electric Palace Cinema from 1911 is the oldest unchanged cinema in Britain, and still has its original silent screen.

7. Mersea Island

Mersea Island

The most easterly inhabited island in Britain, Mersea isn’t as remote as that description makes it sound, as it connects with the Essex mainland by road along a causeway.

The local economy is oysters-driven, and there’s a clutch of seafood restaurants at West Mersea that are a hit with day-trippers.

The Company Shed is a rough-and-ready BYOB place in an old wooden hut, but has fantastic oysters, lobster and crab.

There’s a vineyard and hop farm on the island and lots of opportunities to ramble and appreciate the open seascapes.

8. Waltham Abbey

Waltham Abbey

The abbey that gives this market town its name has been in use since the 600s, although the current Norman architecture dates to the 1100. It’s still loaded with history and while the abbey church survived the dissolution in the 16th century the rest of the monastic buildings were demolished.

In the grounds you can see an original gatehouse guarding a bridge, and the abbey is also the resting pace of King Harold, killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The problem is that nobody is too sure where he’s buried! For three centuries gunpowder for the army was manufactured in Waltham Abbey, and at the Royal Gunpowder Mills there’s a presentation of weapons going back to the 1500s and lots of interactive displays to keep kids engaged.


The village of Thaxted, a few minutes from Saffron Walden will win you over as soon as you see the painted houses on Town Street.

These are in pastel shades, and it’s interesting to see how some of the older ones with telltale cantilevered upper floors had been given a classical makeover in the 1700s.

The view up the street of the arcaded Guildhall and the buttressed stone spire of St. John’s Church in the background is special.

Equally winsome is John Webb’s Windmill, and it’s here for you just on the edge of the village if you ever wanted to see the mechanism of one of these building.

Epping Forest

Despite being outside the M25, Epping is the eastern terminus for London Underground’s Central Line.

So while it’s integrated into the city’s transport system Epping has the appearance of a rural market town, with a massive forest and farmland backing onto it.

The high street is within a conservation area and has rows of beautiful listed houses, including a string of terraced cottages from the 1600s.

Epping Forest is 1728 hectares of woodland and heath, and has historical flourishes like Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, which was actually built for her father, the hunting fanatic Henry VIII in 1543.

11. Clacton-on-Sea


There’s also a familiar old-time vibe about Clacton, as you’ll tell from the Princes and West Cliff Theatres, great for broad, family entertainment.

As with Southend it’s the kids who will adore this seaside getaway, running wild at the pleasure pier or splashing around on West Beach or the Blue Flag Martello Bay.

Holidaymakers pack the seafront for the Clacton Airshow in August, with jets flying in formation and there’s a fireworks display in the evening to end the day with a bang.

The Jaywick Martello Tower is one of a long sequence of early 18th-century watchtowers to spot a possible invasion attempt by Napoleon, and has been repurposed as an arts and cultural centre.

12. Braintree

Colne Valley Railway

The district of Braintree is composed of four different market towns, all with their own quirks and character, as well as National Trust estates and green countryside.

From the late medieval times this region prospered with the help of the woollen textile trade, which explains the profusion of elegant old properties.

Everyone from kids to industrial historians will be mad about the diesel and steam locomotives on the Colne Valley Railway, and the Warner Textile Archive documents two centuries of textile manufacturing history and is the second largest of its kind in the UK, though opening times are restricted.

Last but not least, Cressing Temple has three 12th-century barns belonging to the Knights Templar, one of which is the oldest surviving timber-framed barn in the world.

13. Coggeshall


One of the delightful market downs within Braintree is Coggeshall, with almost 200 listed buildings in its old centre.

When the town’s textile industry subsided at the start of the 20th century the railway line was redirected, which left a town in suspended animation.

Bad news for Coggeshall back then is great news for visitors today as there are creaking timber houses and idiosyncratic landmarks to be found.

One is the 15th-century St. Peter ad Vincula Church, which is known as an “oversized church” because it was built unnecessarily large by local merchants hoping their generosity would get them into heaven.

The Tudor Paycocke’s House’s from 1505 is more evidence of the local wealth, and has the most delicate carvings on its painted timbers.

14. Chelmsford

Chelmsford Cathedral

The only city in the whole of Essex, Chelmsford , like many places within reasonable reach of London has many commuters.

But there’s also plenty for family days out, and if you’re coming in the other direction from London you can get here in half an hour.

For something sophisticated step into the neoclassical 19th-century villa, Hylands House and take a turn in its 230-hectare grounds, with wide open fields, dotted with ancient oaks and individual little flower gardens.

Maybe a bit more child-friendly is the Tropical Wings Zoo, billed as an “interactive zoo” that lets you groom a goat, feed a wallaby or hold all kinds of creepy-crawlies.

15. Thurrock


If you’ve read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness you’ll recognise this inhospitable and muddy stretch of the Thames Estuary as the place where the “Nellie” is anchored at the start of the book.

The waterside is still awaiting redevelopment, but there are interesting things if you know where to look: Tiblury Fort is a star-shaped artillery installation that is operated by English Heritage and fulfilled its defensive purpose right up to the Second World War.

Intu Lakeside meanwhile is one of Britain’s largest shopping centres, with more than 250 stores.

15 Best Places to Visit in Essex:

  • Southend-on-Sea
  • Saffron Walden
  • Mersea Island
  • Waltham Abbey
  • Clacton-on-Sea
  • Member Directory
  • Board of Trade

essex tourist board

  • Weddings & Private Events
  • Getting Here

essex tourist board

Explore ESSEX

Whether you arrive by land or by water, Essex’s historic waterfront district is a welcoming port throughout the year.  Discover the natural beauty of the Connecticut River on a schooner cruise, eagle boat tour, kayak or canoe. Gain a new historical perspective at a maritime history exhibit or take a tour of early colonial and federal architecture. Don’t miss an ongoing lineup of parades, free concerts and exhibits on the village green. And of course, the many choices for shopping, dining and places to stay.

essex tourist board


The arts come alive in Ivoryton! Enjoy award-winning performances at the Ivoryton Playhouse, a turn-of-the century jewel that exemplifies the period architecture found throughout the village.  Stimulate your creative juices at neighboring art galleries or enjoy a drink and a bite before or after the show. Browse the shops and be sure not to miss seasonal events on the Ivoryton Green –a weekly Farmers’ Market, the Fall Pumpkin Festival and the holiday Ivoryton Illuminations, to name a few.

essex tourist board


With both a river and a train running through it, Centerbrook puts the “bustle” into village life, serving as a vibrant center for a wide spectrum of activities. Hop aboard the Essex Steam Train.  Paddle or skate down the Falls River.  Take a music lesson or take in an art exhibit.  Be sure to see the old Grist Mill and spectacular falls. Tend to your everyday shopping and dining needs.

essex tourist board

Essex Board of Trade, Inc., P.O. Box 322 Essex, CT 06426 or email [email protected]

  • Essex Board of trade
  • Photo Credits
  • Centerbrook

Copyright © 2024 Essex Board of Trade | All Rights Reserved

Website by dreamscapes

Join our mailing list

essex tourist board


Visit Essex, MA Brochure 

Things to do in Essex: 25 places in Essex you need to visit in your lifetime

There's a lot to do and see in Essex

  • 13:13, 29 JAN 2022

Audley End House in the autumn sunshine

For daily updates and all the latest breaking news sent straight to your inbox sign up to our daily newsletter

We have more newsletters

In Essex , there's an endless number of things to do and places to see.

Whether it's an adventure, shopping, dining or a family day out that you're after, there's something for everyone in the county.

We have some of the best attractions and most beautiful countryside views - and you have to go and see them in your lifetime.

READ MORE: I went to Essex's first and only celeb-endorsed nugget joint and was surprised at what I found

From activities for the thrillseekers to more subdued, relaxing sights, there's something for everyone.

EssexLive has compiled a list of some of the best places in Essex that you must visit in your lifetime.

The MegaCentre Laser Tag and Soft Play

Megacentre soft play in Rayleigh

The MegaCentre Rayleigh is an Essex-based charity that offers a range of activities including Megazone Laser Tag and Soft Play.

The laser tag provides a huge amount of fun for anyone aged six and up and is also available for parties to be booked.

The soft play centre provides huge entertainment for children and is also a great place for parties.

TeamSport Go Karting

Go Kart stock image

Fancy unleashing your inner Lewis Hamilton?

Located in Basildon, TeamSport Go Karting is a state-of-the-art karting track with flyover and electronic timing.

The multi-level thrill ride spans a massive 500m, with fiendish chicanes, steep ramps, hair-raising slopes and hairpin corners - these are just some of the obstacles you’ll have to tame if you want to see your name on the leader boards at this circuit.

Located next to Festival Leisure Park, TeamSport Basildon is perfectly placed to host birthday parties, stag and hen nights, days out with the kids and even workplace getaways.

There's also a fully licenced bar for a few tipples after racing.

There's also a circuit in Harlow!

Lakeside shopping centre

For the shopaholics out there, Lakeside is the perfect location to shop until you drop.

There's a range of shops available so there will definitely be something for everyone to enjoy.

And Lakeside doesn't just offer shopping - they also offer experiences such as brunch and prosecco and even beauty bar treatments.

Freeport Braintree

There are plans to give Braintree Freeport a facelift

Don't fancy a trip to Lakeside? Essex also has Freeport in Braintree.

The outlet offers a variety of brands and is the perfect place to avoid the hustle and bustle of busy high streets.

Whether you're after some clothes, a bite to eat or a beauty treatment, there's something for everyone at Freeport.

Feeding and petting the baby lambs is not to be missed

At March Farm, you can meet the animals, feed the birds and cuddle the pets.

It's the trip of a lifetime for kids across the county.

With a variety of indoor and outdoor play areas, family events and chances to interact with some of the cutest farm animals around, it's the place to be for all animal lovers this year.

READ MORE: All the shops and restaurants we lost in Essex last year

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo

It's not just Marsh Farm where you can see animals, Colchester Zoo offers the experience too.

Visitors can get up close to some of the world's finest and rarest species, with animals from all over the world housed at Colchester Zoo.

The zoo is home to 180 species and is set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes.

You can also be a keeper for the day, become part of the Kids' Zoo Academy and even have your birthday party there. The list of opportunities is endless.

Old MacDonald's Farm

Old MacDonald's Farm

There's never been more fun at the farm than at Old MacDonald's.

Go on a journey on the farm-themed train, ride the "doggy dog rollercoaster" and make your very own structures in the JCB construction zone.

And when you've had enough fun on the rides, you can go and say hello to the alpacas, llamas, deer, and meerkats as well as all the other classic farm animals.

Essex Outdoors

Essex Outdoors

From zip wires to sailing, and from climbing to archery, there is a range of fun activities for the whole family at Essex Outdoors.

With four locations across the county - Mersea, Bradwell, Danbury and Harlow - the centres provide high-quality outdoor learning opportunities, from activity days and Forest Schools through to residential experiences and adventurous expeditions.

It's a great place for both young and old to enjoy a day in the great outdoors.

Great Notley Country Park

Great Notley Country Park

There aren't many better places for a day out in the Essex countryside.

The park covers more than 100 acres of open space and is home to the county's longest play trail at 1.2km.

Kids can be entertained for hours with a giant see-saw, a climbing forest, tyre swings and forts, and the beautiful surroundings offer a perfect escape for adults too.

You can also climb through the sky on the park's Sky Ropes adventure course, which is suitable for all ages.

Dedham Vale

Dedham boating

Located on the Essex/Suffolk border, the Dedham Vale provides some of the most spectacular views not only in Essex but across the country.

The area received Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status back in 1970 for its stunning landscape, farmland, ancient woodlands, rivers and meadows.

Covering around 90 square kilometres and with a population of just 10,000, Dedham Vale is an essential visit for those with a love for the countryside.

You can even take a boat ride on the beautiful lakes.

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle

With so much to do and with so much history to explore, Colchester Castle is right up there when it comes to places to visit in Essex.

The castle's keep is the largest ever built in the UK and the largest that remains in existence throughout Europe.

It also houses a museum that takes visitors on a journey through the centuries of history at the castle. You can try building an arch using the sponge bricks and immerse yourself in a number of interactive exhibits.

You can also pay a visit to the jail if you're feeling brave enough.

Audley End House

Audley End House in the autumn sunshine

Audley End's Mansion House is arguably Essex's finest country home, and one of the best in the whole of the UK.

On your visit, you can wander the impressive great hall, magnificent state apartments, intimate dressing rooms, libraries and the 18th-century gothic-style chapel.

You can also visit one of the venue's resident horses at the Victorian stable, or take a look around the estate's service wing and beautifully-designed gardens.

There's a children's play area as well as the Servants' Hall Tea Room which will ensure the whole family enjoys a day out at Audley End.

Lee Valley White Water Rafting

From white water rafting on the Olympic course to family paddling on the lake, there's something for everyone at Lee Valley.

The centre was an official London 2012 Olympics venue and offers a variety of action-packed water sports for both adults and children.

Have a go at exhilarating hydrospeeding, ride the waves in rubber doughnuts or even practice your strokes with some open water swimming.

You can find Lee Valley White Water Centre on Station Road, Waltham Cross.

Adventure Island

Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea

One of the most well-known activities in Essex is Adventure Island.

The amusement park is located at Southend-on-Sea and offers a variety of rides and attractions for people of all ages.

From popular rollercoaster The Rage to the adrenaline-inducing Claw, it's a great day out for all the family.

Roots Hall Stadium is home to Southend United

What's better than a day out supporting a local football team?

Roots Hall is home to Southend United Football Club - and it's perfect for a day if you fancy cheering on a local team.

The Shrimpers' home stadium is conveniently located with great transport links too.

Southend Pier

You can take the tours from the end of Southend pier

Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the UK, stretching 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary.

It's been standing since 1830 and has lived through fires, boat crashes and some of nature's harshest attacks. It's a historical Essex icon known to people across the country.

A train ride along the pier will take you from one end to the other, or you can walk the full distance, which is likely to take 25 minutes.

At the end of the pier, there's even a golf course for you to enjoy.

Because of its history and the records it holds, it has to place high on the list of things to see in Essex.

Sea Life Centre

Just a short walk away from Southend's popular Adventure Island, Sea Life provides even more fun for the whole family by the sea.

You can say hello to the sharks, fish, penguins, turtles as well as a variety of other wildlife.

And the centre's brand new Wild exhibition now gives visitors the chance to meet meerkats and even macaques.

Mountfitchet Castle

Mountfitchet Castle

The castle is a National Historic Monument, protected by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Believed to have been an early Iron Age fort and Roman, Saxon and Viking settlement, the castle and its grounds have a historic story to tell.

After 1215, the castle site lay overgrown and forgotten for more than 700 years until its reconstruction.

It now offers visitors the chance to explore its stunning remains.

It's the only wooden Motte and Bailey castle and village to be reconstructed on its original historic site anywhere in the world - so if that's not a reason to visit, then we don't know what is.

Hylands Park

Hylands Park in Chelmsford

When considering which is the most spectacular part of the county, Hylands Park is right up there.

The Grade II listed public park covers 574 acres of historic parkland on the outskirts of Chelmsford and is home to the stunning Hylands House.

The renovated neoclassical villa can be hired out for special occasions including weddings, celebrations and business events, and is even open to the public on select days.

You can also find a café, visitor centre and resident artist studio within the grounds, and there are numerous paths and open areas to explore.

Chelmsford City Race Course

Chelmsford City Racecourse

Chelmsford City Racecourse, formerly known as Great Leighs, takes pride in being the only racecourse in the county.

It is Britain's newest racing venue which offers thrilling all-weather racing under the floodlights, and is also home to a number of high profile acts and events throughout the year.

The award-winning facility is a must-see attraction for anyone who hasn't been, and whether you're a fan of the races or you just want to enjoy a day out with the family, make sure you check it out.

The Naze Tower

Naze Tower

One of the most recognisable Essex coastline landmarks, the Naze Tower stands at 86ft tall in Walton-on-the-Naze.

The Naze Tower offers visitors the chance to see far and wide across the west of the county on its roof viewing platform, with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding area.

There is also an art gallery which features three exhibitions each year, as well as a museum that explores the fascinating history of the tower.

And after all that, make sure you have a bite to eat and a refreshing drink in the tower's tea room .

Tiptree Jam

Tiptree Jam Factory

Wilkin & Sons is one of the most recognisable brand names in Essex and you can immerse yourself in the history of the company at the Tiptree Jam Factory museum.

The factory was founded in 1885 and the museum now allows you to explore the tools, products and machinery used over three centuries by the company on its way to becoming a globally-recognised preserves brand.

And if you want to taste the food for yourself, head next door to the Tiptree Tea Room and Shop to get your hands on some fresh Wilkin & Sons produce . You won't regret it.

This is by far one of the most unique and eye-catching tourist attractions in the county.

Grayson Perry's 'A House for Essex'

Face on wide shot of the House For Essex created by Grayson Perry

'A House for Essex', designed by Chelmsford-born contemporary artist Grayson Perry, is a house overlooking the River Stour in the west of the county.

With two bedrooms and two bathrooms inside the wonderfully-wacky property, it's available to rent for two or three-night breaks.

It'll make for the perfect staycation.

Brentwood Ski Centre

Brentwood Leisure Park is home to the Ski and Snowboard Centre

One for adventure seekers. Whether you want to brush up on your skills, have some fun, or get ready for your next winter holiday, Brentwood Ski Centre offers a great choice of outdoor sports for all ages.

From skiing and snowboarding to sliding down a ski slope in a rubber ring, there's something for everyone, no matter how much experience you have on the slopes.

New Hall Vineyards

The vines at New Hall Vineyards

Tucked away in the Purleigh countryside, the New Hall vineyards have played an important role in the history of English wine for centuries.

According to records, the first vineyard on the site was planted in 1120, making it one of the oldest vineyards in the country, and with more than 65 hectares of vines, it's also one of the largest.

They have now become East Anglia's signature grape variety and the source of many international wine competitions, so it's well worth a visit, especially for wine lovers.

You can even do a tour of the vineyard.

Want more news sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to the EssexLive newsletter here.

  • Things to do in Essex
  • Daybreakers
  • Most Recent

essex tourist board

Logo Image

Experience Lake Erie

Local restaurants, farm to fork, our rural history, art and culture.

View our Tourism Directory Page

Tourism Directory

Explore Essex

View our Instagram Page

Getting Here

Stretching from the centre of Essex County to the north shore of Lake Erie, the Town of Essex is uniquely positioned on the 42 nd  parallel, a circle of latitude shared with northern California and central Italy. When you're here, you're just about as far south in mainland Canada as you can go.

Tourism Essex is the official tourism website for the Town of Essex and its communities: Colchester Centre, Essex Centre, Harrow Centre and McGregor Centre. We invite you to visit us regularly to find out what's happening in Essex.

Get Directions

Essex Tourist Guide

Location preferences

Museums in essex.

Museums in Essex cover practically every interest, so take your pick from our guide of the best Essex museums and discover the rich history and heritage of our county.

  • with address
  • with contact
  • with social networks
  • with website
  • with images
  • with videos
  • with attached file
  • with description
  • with products/offers
  • with events

Maps detected!

This page uses Google Maps. The map will be loaded from Google-Server and some of your data may be used by Google. In order to see the maps, please click accept. You can also click here to see further information related to this.

Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford Museum

East anglian railway museum, colchester castle museum, north weald airfield museum, stow maries great war aerodrome, royal gunpowder mills, combined military services museum, the essex fire museum, saffron walden museum, bata heritage centre, finchingfield guildhall, prittlewell priory, tiptree jam museum & tea room, escape room at stow maries great war aerodrome, central museum, epping forest district museum, mangapps railway museum, brightlingsea museum, southchurch hall and gardens, museum of power.

In order to perform this action you have to login

Click here to login

Essex Tourist Guide

Essex Tourist Guide blog

  • Claim your Free Listing
  • Featured Advertising

Tourist information

  • Essex County Councils
  • Getting to and around Essex
  • Public Holidays
  • Tourist Information Centres

Other Tourism Related Websites

I'm looking for...

Accommodation & Places to stay in Essex

Food & Drink in Essex

Things to do & Places to visit in Essex

Events & What's on in Essex

  • Special offers
  • Cafes, Coffee Shops & Tearooms
  • Braintree area
  • Brentwood area
  • Chelmsford area
  • Clacton area
  • Colchester area
  • Epping area
  • Finchingfield area
  • Harlow area
  • Maldon area
  • Rochford area
  • Saffron Walden area
  • Southend area
  • Vineyards, Breweries & Distilleries
  • Search all Food & Drink
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Caravan & Camping
  • Holiday Parks
  • Self Catering
  • Search all Places to Stay
  • Leisure Centres
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Spas & Wellbeing
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Animal Attractions & Zoos
  • Country Parks & Gardens
  • History & Heritage
  • Adventure & Theme Parks
  • Child's Play Centres
  • Sightseeing & Tours
  • Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
  • Things to Do for Free
  • Search all Things to Do
  • Plays & Pantomimes
  • Quiz Nights
  • Tribute Nights
  • Sightseeing, Tours & Walks
  • Classic Car Shows
  • Heritage Railway events
  • Family Friendly events
  • Food & Drink events
  • Free Admission events
  • Christmas & New Year
  • Father's Day
  • Fireworks displays & Bonfire Night events
  • Mother's Day
  • School Holidays
  • Valentine's Day
  • Car Boot Sales
  • Farmers' Markets
  • Music Festivals
  • Religion & Spiritual events
  • Sport & Leisure events
  • Event Organisers & Promoters

Welcome to the Jaywick Tourist Board. 

We're here to promote all that's best and brightest about this sunny little place on the sunshine coast of essex..

Jaywick is a small settlement, tucked in between Clacton on Sea and the marshes and dunes of Colne Point. Built in the 1930’s as a holiday village of chalets for London’s East Enders it now has a year round population of people, as well as many visitors in caravans, enjoying the golden beaches of Jaywick Sands. It’s a great place to be on a sunny summer day when people stroll along the miles of sea walls, sit on the dunes or swim by the seaweed covered, boulder breakwaters. In the morning, when the mist hasn’t quite cleared and the sun is breaking through, there is a white light that refracts in the water vapour and the place looks like nothing on earth. It’s at times like this when you can understand why some people think that this is Arcadia, a heavenly refuge from the stresses of modern life.

That’s not to say that Jaywick is perfect and some say that Jaywick is like marmite, you either love it or hate it. We think that most people will love it though when they visit and we can prove it ! We did a survey, here are just some of the reasons why people love Jaywick...

I love Jaywick because: it's fun of the beaches I get to relax, relax, and chill it has a fantastic beach and great walks whatever the weather of the friends of Brooklands it's relaxing and peaceful it's very friendly and plenty to do it has good cycle routes it's relaxing it used to be my local beach it's usually sunny, nice friendly people and its flat a friendly village with lots free for children it has a sense of community it has a strong community it's not too commercial of it's friendly atmosphere it's quintessentially Essex the people are friendly

Why not take a virtual tour of Jaywick to see and hear for your self...

Tours of jaywick.

  • Walking away from Jaywick
  • Walking back to happiness
  • Let the waters roll down

*New* - Jaywick souvenirs

Images of jaywick.

  • *New* - Chalets of Jaywick


  1. Essex: a local's guide to beyond Constable country

    essex tourist board

  2. Essex tourism board is to launch a social media film to challenge

    essex tourist board

  3. Pin by Kingfisher Visitor Guides on Essex

    essex tourist board

  4. Essex Postcards-Scenic Map Of Essex

    essex tourist board

  5. Places to Visit in Essex, England (Free Travel Guide) PDF

    essex tourist board

  6. The Othona Community

    essex tourist board


  1. Essex Tourist Guide

    Today's featured businesses and attractions on the Essex Tourist Guide. Chelmsford Museum. Chelmsford. 01245 605700. Museums in Essex. The Mill Hotel. Sudbury. 01787 375544. Hotels.

  2. Things to Do & Places to Visit in Essex

    Essex Attractions. Discover a multitude of Essex tourist attractions, such as animal centres & zoos, country parks & gardens, historic buildings & monuments, steam railways, theme parks and much more. Southend Pier & Railway. Southend on Sea. 01702 212534.

  3. Places to visit in Essex

    Weekend breaks in Essex come with picture-perfect countryside and plenty of outdoor activities. Start planning your short break in Essex at VisitEngland. ... Pay a visit to Epping Ongar Railway, and ride on running steam and diesel engines between period stations, through countryside and forest. Location: Chipping Ongar, Essex ...

  4. Places to Stay in Essex

    The Bull and Willow Room. Maldon. Restaurants & Places to Eat. The Sun Inn. Dedham. Pubs, Bars & Inns. 1. 2. There are many options for places to stay in Essex, from luxury Essex accommodation to traditional bed & breakfast, cosy self-catering cottages, boutique guest houses and prestigious, mid-priced hotels for a romantic getaway.

  5. 15 Best Places to Visit in Essex

    Lets explore the best places to visit in Essex: 1. Colchester. Source: flickr. Colchester Castle. The oldest town, not just in Essex but the entire country, Colchester was the capital of Roman Britain for a time. If this has caught your attention then Colchester Castle should be your first stop.

  6. An Introduction to Essex

    Essex, directly north east of London, borders Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Kent and Cambridgeshire. A real mixture of a county; 350 miles of coastline - the longest of any county in England, farmland, estuaries and pretty medieval towns and villages provide Essex with a variety of countryside - all within close proximity of London. Find out more.

  7. Visit Essex

    Visit Essex, Chelmsford, Essex. 22,517 likes · 310 talking about this · 12 were here. With over 2000 years of history, 580km of glorious coastline & oodles of culture, there's so much to discover in...

  8. Explore

    Whether you arrive by land or by water, Essex's historic waterfront district is a welcoming port throughout the year. Discover the natural beauty of the Connecticut River on a schooner cruise, eagle boat tour, kayak or canoe. Gain a new historical perspective at a maritime history exhibit or take a tour of early colonial and federal ...

  9. Essex Travel Guides & Information

    Accommodation in Essex. Essex is a wonderful place to visit. With coastal gems, peaceful countryside and adventurous escapes,... Essex. Read Guide Outdoor Activities in Essex. Outdoor Activities in Essex If you're looking for a day out in the outdoors, look no further than Essex. It's bursting...

  10. Best Places to Stay in Essex

    Accommodation in Essex. Essex is a wonderful place to visit. With coastal gems, peaceful countryside and adventurous escapes, there's something for every kind of person. ... This property is one of the most unique ones in Essex. Lady of the Twizzle is a salvaged WW2 barge, renovated into a luxury accommodation. Spread over 85 ft, the barge ...

  11. The 10 Best Things to Do in Essex

    Recommended in Great British Gardens 2019 and Essex Days out as well as visit Essex. Featured in Country Life Feb 2019, The English Garden Feb 2021 and Nov 2021. In 2023, we have also become an RHS… 2024. 10. Old MacDonald's Farm. 2,530. Farms. There's so much fun to be had at Old MacDonald's Farm & Fun Park, whatever the weather. ...

  12. Essex Brochure

    See our latest Essex, Massachusetts brochure with a map inside of Essex shops, restaurants, recreation and attractions. Visit Essex, MA!

  13. 12 Most Beautiful Places in Essex, England to Visit

    Hadleigh Castle is a multifaceted gem that offers a slice of Essex beauty unlike any other. From its historical ruins to the natural splendor that surrounds it, this is one of those places to visit in Essex that offers something for everyone. The panoramic views from this ancient ruin are simply stunning. 7.

  14. Tourist Information

    For information on travelling to and around Essex, contact details and locations of tourist information centres, district and borough councils, unitary authorities, and town and parish councils, dates for public holidays and other historical, religious and special events, to links to local and national tourism related websites, we've got you covered.

  15. Essex: All You Need to Know Before You Go (2024)

    from £15 per adult. Historic Walking Tour of Colchester. 16. from £10 per adult. Roman Visitor Quest Experience in Colchester. 4. from £6 per adult. Lost Centurion Quest Experience in Colchester. 2.

  16. THE 10 BEST Museums in Essex (Updated 2024)

    Jun 29, 2024 - Looking to get inspired on your trip to Essex? Immerse yourself into world-class art, exciting history, and mind-bending science. Check out the best museums in Essex to visit in 2024. Book effortlessly online with Tripadvisor!

  17. Essex

    Essex stretches from the eastern fringes of Greater London along the Thames estuary with Hertfordshire to the west, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north. A traditional rural and costal escape from the capital, with seaside tourist towns such as Clacton on Sea and Southend-on-Sea on its 350 miles of coastline and landscapes immortalised by ...

  18. Visitor Information Centre

    The Maldon Visitor Information Centre is situated in Maldon High Street at the Maeldune Heritage Centre. The friendly team of volunteers will be happy to assist you with your tourist information needs. The centre is open for enquiries Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 4pm. The Maldon Visitor Information Centre is operated by Maldon Town ...

  19. Things to do in Essex: Plan Your Day Out

    We showcase a wide range of activities, attractions, and places to visit in Essex, from arts and culture to nature and wildlife. You can find family-friendly activities, history and heritage sites, shopping, spas and wellbeing, and even free things to do. Browse all of the attractions that can be found in Essex below. 1-9 of 31 results.

  20. 25 places in Essex you need to visit in your lifetime

    Essex Outdoors (Image: Visit Essex) From zip wires to sailing, and from climbing to archery, there is a range of fun activities for the whole family at Essex Outdoors. With four locations across the county - Mersea, Bradwell, Danbury and Harlow - the centres provide high-quality outdoor learning opportunities, from activity days and Forest ...

  21. Essex Tourism

    Tourism Essex is the official tourism website for the Town of Essex and its communities: Colchester Centre, Essex Centre, Harrow Centre and McGregor Centre. We invite you to visit us regularly to find out what's happening in Essex. Get Directions. Homepage for the Tourism Essex website, explore the towns in Southern Ontario.

  22. Best Museums in Essex

    Maldon. Museums in Essex. Epping Forest District Museum. Waltham Abbey. Museums in Essex. Brightlingsea Museum. Brightlingsea. Museums in Essex. North Weald Airfield Museum.

  23. The Jaywick Tourist Board

    Welcome to the Jaywick Tourist Board. We're here to promote all that's best and brightest about this sunny little place on the Sunshine Coast of Essex. Jaywick is a small settlement, tucked in between Clacton on Sea and the marshes and dunes of Colne Point. Built in the 1930's as a holiday village of chalets for London's East Enders it now ...