Places to Visit in Essex


There is so much to do and so many places to visit across our wonderful county! Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled family day out, a trip exploring breath-taking scenery or hoping to explore a historical site, Essex has it all. You can browse some of the county’s major attractions on the Visit Essex, Explore Essex, Essex Life and National Trust websites, from historic buildings and gardens, castles, seaside visits, locations for walks and much more… but below are some of our favourites places to visit in the area.


Colchester Zoo – award-winning zoo based in North Essex where you can visit and learn about so many different species of animal from around the world. Perfect for the whole family.

Colchester Castle – the largest Norman keep in the country, full of history and now the home of Colchester Museum; book yourself in for a guided tour and enjoy the grounds of Castle Park.

Hylands Estate – prestigious grade II listed public park in Chelmsford, encompassing over 500 acres of stunning, historic grounds features parkland, gardens, woodlands – and adventure playgrounds for the little ones. Hylands House itself, beautifully restored by Chelmsford Borough Council, is a sight to behold.

Audley End House and Gardens – a magnificent English Heritage property, outside Saffron Walden, with so much to history to explore, inside and out. Keep an eye out for special event days, too.

Hylands Estate


Chelmsford Cathedral – in the heart of the city centre, the cathedral is open daily for worship or to take a self-guided look around, with no entry charge and many free concerts and events running throughout the year.

Southend Pier – famous for being the longest pleasure pier in the world; walk or take the train on a full round trip of three miles ‘up and down’, stopping to admire the view, a photo opportunity and a rest of one of the cafes. Don’t forget to hit the beach while you’re there.

Dedham Vale – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the ‘heart of Constable country’ situated on the River Stour, this is a stunning location for a stroll to take in the scenery and historic architecture, hire a boat from Dedham or Flatford Mill to explore the river or visit the museums and exhibitions to learn more about the area’s cultural and artistic history.

Harwich Quay – a town rich in maritime history, Harwich offers a wealth of spots to explore to discover more about our county’s seaside heritage.

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