Walking in Essex

Boasting a 350-mile coastline, picturesque villages, vineyards, heritage, top hotels and glamping spots, the county’s tourism body, Visit Essex is firmly placing the county on the staycation map.

Walking in Essex is a veritable showcase of the county’s stunning landscapes, unspoilt beaches and rivers, country lanes, magnificent castles and top attractions.

Encouraging visitors to travel to the county and book a long weekend, short break or holiday is Cllr Mark Durham, Chairman, Visit Essex. He says: “Essex has so much to offer, we have one of the longest coastlines in the country, remote islands to explore, as well as rural retreats and vineyards, there really is something for everyone.”

He continued: “Lots of people flock to Essex for a fun day out at the beach, or a visit to one of our top attractions, but with so many great things to do and so many amazing places to stay, we really want to encourage people to take a second look at Essex and book a short break or staycation in one of the warmest and driest places in the UK.”

To discover more about breaking away from the crowds with an escape to Essex follow this link.


Hotels and B&Bs

Offering idyllic views, the Stoke by Nayland Resort offers stylish accommodation in its 80-bed hotel on the Essex/Suffolk border. The resort also boasts two 18-hole Championship golf courses and driving range. Whereas Greenwoods Hotel and Spa offers a welcoming stay in its 17th century manor house. Or if you’re looking for a stunning Guest House, opt for Suenos at Southend-on-Sea. Roll top baths, sleigh beds and 100% Egyptian linen sheets help make your stay luxurious.

Glamping and Camping

Go glamping at Layer Marney farm set within the grounds of an historic Tudor mansion only 20 minutes’ drive from Mersea Island. All tents come with a private shower and some have outdoor hot tubs. Or head back to nature at Tey Brook near Colchester, where you can sleep in an array of fun and exciting tents and cabins from Mongolian yurts to a refurbished grain silo! Camping and glamping is also available in the Lee Valley, near Chingford, which also offers a well-equipped caravan site too.


Families love the flexibility of a self-catering holiday. The Warren Estate, set on a golf course near Maldon, offers open plan contemporary lodges, a perfect base for the family to head out and explore, whilst coming back to creature comforts. Live in a mini castle and feel like a king or a queen at Cambridge Lodge, Audley End. The ‘cottage’ has a boutique vibe and offers all mod cons. The lodge sleeps four and is located in the grounds of Audley End, which offers beautiful gardens designed by Capability Brown.


Get out on the water

Whether you’re into paddleboarding, kayaking, rowing, sailing, or white-water rafting, Essex offers it all. Learn to paddleboard at Frangipani Sup! The paddleboard school are based on a tri-farm swimming lake in Boreham. Or hire a kayak at Dovercourt Boating Lake from Clacton Kayaks. Head out onto the water on a vintage Thames sailing barge, which depart from the historic port of Maldon. Or if you’re an adrenalin junky jump on a white-water raft at the home of the 2012 Olympics in Lee Valley.

Experience the coast

It’s great to be beside the seaside and in Essex you can explore miles of coastal and estuary walks, such as the Saltmarsh path by Maldon. There’s also picturesque beach huts to enjoy on Mersea Island, Frinton and Brightlingsea. Or you could enjoy a spot of fossil hunting by the cliffs at Walton-on-the-Naze and visit the Naze Discovery Centre too.

Experience the unexpected

Essex is a county of contrasts! Visit stunning vineyards across the county from Saffron Grange near Saffron Walden to Crouch Ridge near Maldon. Off the beaten track you’ll be amazed at the picturesque villages, perfect for a drive around the country roads from Thaxted to Great Dunmow, through to Saffron Walden. Culture also thrives in Essex from the award-winning First Site art gallery in Colchester to the Focal Point art gallery in Southend-on-Sea.

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