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Top 10 things to do in Essex!

There are so many things to do in Essex, but here are the top 10. 

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is one of the country’s most popular pastimes. Located in picturesque settings, Tiptree Tea Rooms are the perfect place to relax and socialise whilst enjoying afternoon tea. Colchester’s Wivenhoe House, a four-star luxury hotel, is set in the rolling Essex countryside and also provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon of tea and finger sandwiches.

Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at Tiptree Tea Rooms

Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at Tiptree Tea Rooms

See a real-life masterpiece

Flatford Mill in East Bergholt, just on the border with Suffolk, was immortalised in one of artist John Constable’s most recognisable paintings and is now a National Trust property with an exhibition centre, open to visitors looking for a relaxing and educational day out.

Enjoy the best seafood in the world

Be it the Cockle Shed in Leigh-on-Sea, the oysters at West Mersea or the smoked rainbow trout from Hanningfield Reservoir, Essex is home to some of the best seafood in the whole world. Seafood lovers are truly spoilt for choice around our county.

Take a train to the end of the pier

Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world and you can choose to either take a stroll to the end, or catch the train. There’s a bar which is open daily during the summer, as well as the RNLI museum, but we love it simply for the view back towards the shore.

Become a zookeeper for a day

Colchester Zoo is one of the best zoos in the UK, but if you want to take your visit to the next level, book a “Keeper for the Day” experience, which will allow over-14s to get up close and personal with elephants, orangutans or even the lions!

Find a Gruffalo!

The Gruffalo Trail in Thorndon Country Park has become a huge favourite with local families, combining a walk in the woods with a mission to spot one of Julia Donaldson’sbest loved characters. Take a picnic and make a day of it!

Eat a Rossi ice cream

Southend-on-Sea is the original home of the famous Rossi ice cream, considered by many to be the best ice cream in the world. Founded in 1932, the parlour has been supplying the seafront with ice cream for 85 years and also provides the ice cream for many local restaurants.

Pick your own fruit

There’s something so satisfying about eating fruit that you’ve picked yourself and Essex has a wealth of PYO farms around the county. Head to Lathcoats in Great Baddow between July and August for gooseberries, strawberries, cherries, plums and many other fruits.

Essex has a wealth of 'pick your own' fruit farms

Essex has a wealth of ‘pick your own’ fruit farms

Take a boat trip

There are many boat trips around the county to choose from, including a seal-spotting trip from Wallasea Island. Essex has a great history of seafaring (it’s rumoured that Charles Darwin’s ship The Beagle moored at Paglesham after its final journey) and seeing the coast and rivers from a boat is a great way to get an alternative view.

Go to a market

Essex is absolutely packed with amazing markets, from the antiques at Battlesbridge to the fashion at Romford. Spending the day at an Essex market is a lot of fun and could help you to pick up a bargain or a hidden gem.

Read more about Essex

Image credits: ©Cristianbalate/Evgenia Tiplyashina/; David White/Unsplash; Phil Buchanan/Photographic Assignments/Tiptree Tea Rooms; Visit Essex

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