Essex is a county of contrasts. Explore the UK’s oldest recorded town with a visit to Colchester, with a history that dates back over 2,000 years. Or if you prefer, take the kids on a trip to Colchester Zoo and see over 270 species of animals both great and small, including leopards, giraffes, sea lions, penguins, butterflies, and much more! Enjoy a leisurely sail through the waters with a trip to Maldon, which sits at the bottom of the River Blackwater. Nothing beats the site of the barges at Hythe Quay, where you can enjoy a range of boat trips, from visiting Osea Island to taking in a relaxing birdwatching cruise. Our lodges and holiday parks in Essex, are perfect for getting away from it all. Set within stunning locations, from the countryside to set within a golf course, many come complete with hot tubs, perfect for spoiling yourselves and enjoying some quality me time. Don't forget your four-legged friend as many of our lodges and holiday parks in Essex are dog-friendly.
Step into nature with a trip to RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Chelmsford. With around 360 acres of blissful scenery to appreciate, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a stroll in the springtime to watch the flowers bloom, or a winter woodland walk, when the trees are beautifully draped with snow. Workshops also run throughout the year, letting you try your hand at a wide range of crafts, including willow weavings, woodcarving, and pole lathing. Events are also held on the Hyde Hall grounds, meaning you can pick up some of the finest produce on offer, with stalls supplying fresh meat, condiments, and beverages, each with a local flavour.
One of the historical highlights of Essex is Hedingham Castle, a 900-year-old Norman keep that rests in the heart of luscious woodlands and beautifully landscaped gardens. The castle holds five floors of brilliantly maintained Norman interiors, thanks to it still being the home of the Lindsay family, descendants of the original owners, the De Veres. From galleries and banqueting halls to cellars and catacombs, the castle is a rich time capsule of the past waiting to be explored. The surrounding gardens are the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic and a wide variety of events are hosted throughout the year, from jousting and medieval re-enactments to open-air theatre and classic car shows.
For those who want to stretch their legs with an easy 13-mile walk a visit to Mersea Island is a must. Jutting out into the Essex Colne and Blackwater Estuaries and tethered to the mainland via the Strood causeway, the Island is Britain's most easterly inhabited isle. The colourful pastel beach huts line the Victorian Esplanade before heading to the clifftop path which passes a shingle and salt marsh, teeming with wildfowl and waders. Sample an oyster or two hiding in the shallow creeks, which are best in the winter.