Start at historic Colchester before heading for the scenery of Constable Country. Head to the coast to enjoy Harwich and the views from Walton on the Naze. Take in the traditional seaside town charm of Clacton on Sea before arriving at the Beth Chatto Gardens. Take in the scenery of Mersea Island before arriving at Layer Marney Tower.
England’s oldest recorded town dates back over 2000 years and there are many Roman ruins and artefacts in the town’s museums. The Norman Keep of Colchester Castle was built on the foundations of the Roman temple destroyed by Boudicca; whilst over the road is the Colchester Natural History Museum. You can also enjoy a visit to Colchester Zoo.
A charming village of Georgian houses and old cashing inns in the heart of Constable country where you can enjoy the River Stour and surrounding countryside of the Essex / Suffolk border including Flatford Mill. Maybe hire a rowing boat or explore the walking in Dedham Vale.
The port town of Harwich is packed with history. From the building of the Mayflower by the Pilgrim Fathers to the Harwich Redoubt fortress there is plenty to do. Pay a visit to the Electric Palace Cinema, Low Lighthouse, Lifeboat Museum or Ha’Penny Pier.
Walton on the Naze
Enjoy the long stretches of beach, head for the pier – the second longest in the country or go fossil hunting at the Red Crag cliffs. Trinity Tower was built in 1720 to help coastal craft navigate the river estuaries – take in the views of Felixstowe and the Suffolk coast and enjoy refreshments in the tearoom.
Head to Clacton to enjoy traditional seaside entertainment – take in the beaches, play the arcade amusements, enjoy the pleasure pier and visit the local theatres.
Jaywick Martello Tower
The 19th century Napoleonic fort is one of a number sight on the Essex coast but this one is open to the public. Explore the history and take in the views of the Essex coast. Time your visit right and you might discover an art exhibition inside.
The Beth Chatto Gardens
Enjoy the world famous 6 acres of gardens including woodland, scree, gravel and water gardens showing what can be achieved from poor soils. There is a tearoom for refreshments and a nursery / garden centre with 2,000 plant varieties including many unusual ones.
There is plenty to do on Mersea Island – take in the views, enjoy the beaches or visit the lifeboat station. Nature lovers can explore the estuaries and take in an abundance of birdlife and wildlife including red squirrels.
Take in historic Layer Marney Tower – a 99 step climb to the top of the tower will give you some great panoramic views across the Blackwater River. Enjoy the gardens, a wander through the farm and see the deer park before taking in refreshment at the tearoom.