Top Things to Do in Essex

Top Things to Do in Essex

Are You Travelling to Essex? 

This scenic county in England provides great activities and attractions that will leave lasting memories. From exploring historical sites to indulging in local delicacies, Essex has something to offer everyone. 

If you’re arriving in Essex by air, consider booking Airport Transfers Essex for a hassle-free start to your journey. This reliable transportation service offers comfortable and convenient transfers from major airports like Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick, ensuring you reach your destination in Essex smoothly. 

With a fleet of well-maintained vehicles and experienced drivers, AGR Chauffeurs takes the stress out of navigating unknown roads, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey.

We will highlight all the top things to do while in Essex so that your visit makes the most of itself.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is an award-winning, 60-acre zoo with over 180 different species such as elephants, lions, and Komodo dragons – offering interactive experiences like Lemur Walkthrough and Underwater Safari so visitors can get closer to nature than ever. 

Colchester Zoo welcomes over 900,000 visitors each year making it one of the top tourist spots in Essex!

Tiptree Tea Room at the Jam Factory

Are you in search of exquisite treats? Look no further! Located within Wilkin & Sons Jam Factory, this charming tea room provides the quintessential English tea experience, featuring homemade scones with clotted cream and award-winning jams and preserves from Wilkin & Sons Jam Factory’s over 100-year history! Enjoy their homemade scones alongside award-winning jams, with such an insightful glimpse into the jam-making process.

Mersea Island 

Mersea Island offers an idyllic coastal escape, connected to the mainland via a causeway. A favorite among beachgoers, water sport enthusiasts, and foodies alike – take a walk along its sandy beaches; try sailing or windsurfing; indulge in fresh seafood at one of many nearby eateries – Mersea Island provides a serene sanctuary where residents live comfortably away from city life! Home to some 7,000 residents.

Mountfitchet Castle

Travel back in time and discover Mountfitchet Castle, an 11th-century Norman motte-and-bailey castle dating from Mountfitchet’s early history you discover captivating Norman motte-and-bailey castle from Essex with impressive stone remains and earthworks from this historic site. 

Climb the top of its iconic motte for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside or join special events throughout the year including reenactments or medieval fairs held here – it’s sure to delight history enthusiasts!

Secret Nuclear Bunker

Discover the compelling history of Cold War America at the Secret Nuclear Bunker. 

Built to protect government officials against nuclear attacks, explore this once-top-secret facility’s elaborate network of underground rooms and corridors complete with dormitories, a medical bay, and even a BBC studio. 

Guided tours allow visitors to step back in time to those who would have found refuge here during its turbulent Cold War years.

Dedham Vale

Dedham Vale is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts, known as “Constable Country.” As a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Dedham Vale draws over 100,000 visitors per year thanks to its stunning landscapes and charming villages. 

Visit Essex estimates Dedham Vale attracts over 100,000 visitors every year who appreciate its tranquil surroundings and scenic walks or cycling trails.


Firstsite is an invaluable destination for contemporary art enthusiasts. Situated in Colchester, this contemporary art gallery presents an array of exhibits, installations, and events from exhibitions to workshops; thought-provoking displays to interactive workshops provide a platform to experience cutting-edge artistic expression. 

Furthermore, their community engagement programs make Firstsite an inclusive space suitable for people of all ages.

Southend Pier 

No visit to Essex would be complete without taking a stroll along Southend Pier, an iconic 1.33-mile pleasure pier that stretches 1.33 miles into the Thames Estuary and boasts the world record as the longest pleasure pier. Stroll or take the train out to reach its pierhead where panoramic views, tasty cuisine, and fish fishing await – Southend Pier has become one of Essex’s iconic landmarks, drawing millions of visitors each year.

Sugar Hut

Sugar Hut in Brentwood promises an evening full of glamour and excitement. Renowned as one of reality TV stars and celebrities’ hangout spots, the Sugar Hut boasts an energetic vibe, delectable cuisine, and lively dancefloor – offering visitors an unforgettable nightlife experience in Essex. Thousands visit weekly to experience its lively nightlife.

Audley End House and Gardens

Audley End House and Gardens, an exquisite Jacobean mansion situated near Saffron Walden, invites visitors to experience its grand beauty. Once used as a royal palace, this historic estate now showcases meticulously maintained gardens, ornate interiors, luxurious staterooms, stunning architecture, and over 200,000 visitors annually who experience its grandeur – an impressive testament to Essex culture.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a chance to unwind, Essex has something to offer for everyone. From the best things to do in Essex like exploring historic sites and indulging in local delicacies to enjoying nature’s beauty and embracing the vibrant nightlife, this county promises a memorable and diverse vacation experience. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Essex.

Facts About Essex

1. Essex is home to the oldest recorded town in Britain – Colchester, which dates back to the Roman era, making it over 2,000 years old. 

2. The famous nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” is believed to have originated in Essex, referring to a large cannon mounted on the walls of Colchester during the English Civil War. 

3. The world’s first public radio broadcast took place in Chelmsford, Essex, on June 15, 1920, by the Marconi Company. 

4. Essex boasts the longest pleasure pier in the world – Southend Pier, stretching an impressive 1.33 miles into the Thames Estuary. 

5. The county is renowned for its oyster production, with the town of Colchester being celebrated as the “Oyster Capital of Britain.” 

6. The iconic Tiptree jam, a beloved staple in many British households, has been produced in Tiptree, Essex, since 1885. 7. Essex is home to the world’s second-oldest surviving windmill, the Willingham Mill, which dates back to the 16th century. 

8. The county’s Hatfield Forest is a National Nature Reserve and one of the largest remaining ancient woodlands in Britain, with some trees believed to be over 1,000 years old. 

9. The town of Saffron Walden is famous for its saffron production, a highly prized spice that has been cultivated in the area since the 16th century.

10. Essex is the birthplace of several notable figures, including renowned artist John Constable, actor Sir John Mills, and the iconic pop star Olly Murs.