Chelmsford, Basildon, Romford, Southend, Colchester, Harlow, Brentwood, West Ham, Witham
Attractions, Museums & Days Out:
Colne Valley Railway
| Lee Valley Park
| Mayhem Paintball
| Royal Gunpowder Mills
| Saffron Walden Museum
| Secret Nuclear Bunker
| Southend Museum
| Southend Pier Museum
Castles, Monuments & Heritage Sites: Colchester Castle | Bourne Mill | Hadleigh Castle | Harwich Fort | Hedingham Castle | Mountfitchet Castle | Tilbury Fort | Waltham Abbey
Gardens & Historic Houses: Audley End | Beth Chatto Gardens | Layer Marney Tower | Mistley Towers | Paycocke's | RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Nature & Wildlife: Colchester Zoo | RSPB Essex Marshes | RSPB Canvey Marsh | RSPB Rainham Marshes
This Grade 1 listed mill is located just a mile south of Colchester. It was built as a fishing lodge in 1591, converted to a fulling mill around 1640 and then converted to a corn mill in about 1840, which continued working until the 1930s.
The Mill is set in tranquil grounds, next to a millpond and babbling stream. It still has a working waterwheel and the grounds give plenty of scope for family fun. The grounds have a pond, wetlands and woods and are home to a variety of wildlife including birds, bats, waterfowl, bugs and beetles.
Opening times: 25 Mar to 1 Nov:
Wed to Sun (plus Bank Holidays), 11am to 5pm - Admission
Location: Bourne Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8RT - Tel: 01206 549799 - Website
Facilities: Refreshments, gifts, toilets, limited on-site parking (on-street parking available). Pond dipping equipment and garden games. Dogs on leads welcome.
The castle keep, built in 1085, was built over a former Roman temple. The castle is now a museum that tells the history of the castle and Colchester's extensive Roman heritage.
Opening times: all year, Mon-Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 11am to 5pm. (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: Castle Park, High Street, Colchester CO1 1TJ - Tel: 01206 282939 Website
Facilities: parking (town centre), shop, disabled facilities.
The bleak ruins of this castle, which overlooks the Thames estuary, has been the subject of many Constable paintings.
Opening times: any reasonable time Free Entry
Location: Castle Lane, Essex SS7 2 - Tel: 01760 755161 Website
Harwich Redoubt is a huge fortress, built circa 1810, against the threat of Napoleonic invasion.
Opening times: May~Aug, daily 10am to 4pm; Sep~Apr, Sun only 10am to 4pm. Admission Charge
Location: Harwich - CO12 3TE - Tel: 01255 503429 Website
Facilities: parking, shop.
Remains of an impressive Norman castle built in 1140 by Aubrey de Vere and home to the de Veres (Earls of Oxford) for over 500 years. Besieged several times during its long history and often visited by Royalty, it still stands proudly today. Special events and medieval jousts are staged in its grounds during the summer months.
Opening times: times vary, call or see Website for details Admission Charge
Location: Castle Hedingham - CO9 3DJ - Tel: 01787 460261
Facilities: parking, café, shop.
Reconstructed Norman village from 1066, including a Norman motte and bailey castle, rebuilt on its original site.
Opening times: Mar~Nov, daily 10am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Stansted, Essex CM24 8SP - Tel: 01279 813237 Website
Facilities: parking (charged), café, shop, disabled facilities.
One of England's best examples of a 17th century military fort. Overlooking the River Thames it contains WWI and WWII
gun emplacements and anti-aircraft guns.
Run by English Heritage.
Opening times: Apr~Oct, daily 10am to 5pm; Nov~Mar, Thu-Mon 10am to 4pm. Admission Charge
Location: No 2 Office Block, The Fort, Tilbury, Essex RM18 7NR - Tel: 01375 858489 Website
The Abbey was built by King Harold around 1030. It is said that the body of King Harold, killed by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings, was buried in the Abbey. Only the Romanesque nave remains, but it is a work of the highest quality. Next to the current Norman church lie the ruins of the original abbey buildings, King Harold's bridge, a gatehouse and a section of the north cloister. Run by English Heritage.
Opening times: any reasonable time. Free Entry
Location: Waltham Abbey - EN9 - Tel: 01992 702200 Website