The County of Essex and Towns

Essex Councils

The County of Essex includes these districts Littlesford, Braintree, Colchester, Tendring, Maldon, Chelmsford, Harlow, Epping Forest, Brentwood, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend

Essex Districts

Basildon, Billericay, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest , Halstead, Colne Valley, Harlow, Maldon , Rochford , Saffron Walden, Southend, Stanford le Hope, Thurrock, Wickford

Essex Towns

Aveley, Basildon, Billericay, BraintreeBrentwood, Brightlingsea, Buckhurst Hill,  Burnham-on-Crouch, Canvey Island, Chafford Hundred, Chalkwell, Chelmsford, Chigwell, Chipping Ongar, Clacton-on-Sea, Coggeshall,  Colchester, Corringham, Dovercourt, Eastwood,  Epping, Frinton-on-Sea, Grays, Great Dunmow, Hadleigh, Halstead, Harlow, Harwich,
Heybridge, Maldon, Hockley,  Holland-on-Sea, Ingatestone, Laindon, Langdon Hills, Leigh-on-Sea, Loughton, Maldon, Manningtree, North Shoebury, Parkeston, Pitsea, Prittlewell, Rayleigh, Rochford, Saffron Walden, Shoeburyness, South Benfleet, South Woodham Ferrers, Southchurch, Southend-on-Sea, Southminster, Stanford-le-Hope, Thaxted, Thorpe Bay, Tilbury, Waltham Abbey, Walton-on-the-Naze, West Mersea, West Thurrock, Westcliff-on-Sea, Wickford, Witham, Wivenhoe.

County of Essex

I have this friend who lives in Essex, and every now and then I’ll go and visit them. My friend loves living there, they live in East Essex near the sea.

Essex is an interesting county in England. The county town for Essex is Chelmsford. Its history goes back all the way to the Iron Age so there are many places to visit in Essex with so much history and culture.

One time I visited my friend in Essex and we went to the Abberton Reservoir, a Wildlife Trust area where you can go for walks, ride your bike, bird watch, have a picnic and there’s even an outdoor play area if you wanted to bring your kids. It was about a half an hour drive from where my friend lives. The history behind the Abberton Reservoir is quite interesting. It was used during World War II by the RAF’s 617 Squadron to practise bombing of the Germans, so when visiting this Essex Wildlife Trust, it has atmosphere and makes you think how peaceful it is now compared to all those years ago. Near the Reservoir, you can also visit Abbots Hall Farm, with its historical interest and stunning views, many people go there just to unwind and “get away from it all”.

Another place we visited was Colchester Zoo. Not that far from the Abberton Reservoir actually. We booked our tickets and went on a beautiful sunny day. When we got there, opening the car door, the smell of all the different exotic animals hits you and it brings back those childhood memories of visiting zoos and farms as a kid. With a variety or every kind of animal you can think of- birds, wolves, big cats, reptiles, monkeys, deer, bears, and even some farm animals, it’s a great place to visit if you love animals, the enclosures are clean and well kept.

There is so much to do in Essex. There’s a beautiful town in The County of Essex called Frinton-on-Sea, we went there last summer. It was a long drive but definitely worth it, we left early and the views and scenery on the way there was amazing. The coast is 350 miles long which is the second longest coastline in Britain! The beach there is sandy and clean and very beautiful. When we went it was quiet because it was a school day so there was just the odd couple with a dog walking by the sea. We even met a painter there; he was doing a scene of the cloudy sky and frothy white waves. He was quiet but he seemed content. It was pretty cold that day but after lunch the clouds cleared and it was completely sunny. I hope the painter finished his piece before that happened. There were colourful beach huts and shops by the sea front. Quite pleasant!

Whenever I visit my friend, on our adventures we always learn interesting facts about Essex. When visiting Colchester Castle, we learnt that Colchester is the oldest town recorded in Britain’s history- being the first Roman capital to settle there! The oldest battleground in England is also in Essex, in Northey Island where the 991 battle of Maldon happened.

Essex has a beautiful countryside. There are plenty of places to walk and hike and ride a bike. We visited Danbury Country Park recently. It had breath taking views and the green sights were complimented by a lake. I’d definitely recommend visiting there as there are these lakeside paths you can take and you can even bring your dog!

Essex has great history. With the busy hustle and bustle of modern-day life, it’s difficult to just stop and take a break and think about all that has happened. Living in Essex many are not aware of the ancient history of the land they stand on. Taking time out to visit these historical places is like stepping back in time. With all these little reminders of a different life scattered throughout Essex, like weathered wind mills by rivers and streams, surrounded by wheat and barley fields. Or old pubs, still maintained and used today. One place to put on your bucket list of visiting old, historic places is Cressing Temple Farms, the oldest timber-framed barn structure in the world! When you go there and walk around the gardens you can almost feel the history and you can imagine all the families who once lived there and made good use of the precious and much-loved ancient building.

If you are an avid and seasoned camper like my friend and myself then I’m sure you will not have to look for a good campsite for long when it comes to finding on in Essex. There are plenty of places to unwind in campsites in Essex, The Kelvedon Hatch Camping and Caravanning Club Site is a beautiful and well-maintained site, with good reviews and facilities. Or if you prefer something by the sea there are many places, the Waldegraves Holiday Park or the Fen Farm Caravan Park are right on the beach. Whether tenting or caravanning, solo or family, dog or no dog, there is a variety of options for camping in Essex.

If you’re not up for the rough life of camping, one place we visited was the great Layer Marney Tower site. Quite a high end but still keeping its rustic and natural vibe, a beautiful place to “glamp”. With Tudor features and locations and near to other attractions and sites like seaside resort of Clacton or you could visit Mersea Island. Unlike a lot of sites, fires are allowed and there are even hot tubs and bike hire. One pitch/accommodation fits 6 people with double beds and bunk beds. Showers come inside and it’s just a wonderful place to unwind and recharge your batteries with your family or by yourself.

A list of other places you could visit- The Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall in Bradwell-on-Sea, currently belonging to the Chelmsford Cathedral, built by Bishop Cedd in 654, Anglo-Celtic for East Saxons. The Grade 1 listed Hedingham Castle, one of the best kept Norman Keep in Britain, built around 1100-1140, remains a family home where you can visit as well as events held there throughout the year such as fairs, vintage car shows, archery, jousting, concerts and theatre productions. It was also filmed on episode 2 of The Landscape of Man in 2010. Thaxted Guildhall, a stunning building, with timber-frames, it was built between 1390 and 1410 for the Guild of Cutlers, it was used in the 17the century for a school, but now it has been converted to a small museum. The 17th century Audley End House in Saffron Walden. Hylands House which is south-west of Chelmsford. Or maybe Southend Pier.

One time we went on this Seal watching trip in Harwich Harbour Landing. The team working there were professional and friendly. We met many other people just like us. We saw so many funny and interesting seals, all doing there own little thing. One seal jumped onto the boat and stole a fish! We took loads of photos and it was so enjoyable and fun. We had a great time and actually learnt a lot about seals, for example, did you know that a seal can hold its breath for up to 2 hours, which is a record for the animal world!

Another time we visited Saffron Walden, a market town in Uttlesford district of Essex. It had amazing historic landmarks and remains. The market square is still old and timely, with timbered buildings everywhere bringing you back to the medieval days. Essex is a great place to visit if you are thirsty for knowledge and want to learn about all the things that went down in Essex. With green belt land and historical landmarks, nature reserves and national trust areas.

Some facts about Essex- a race track- Romford Greyhound track- once hosted a cheetah race in order to make more profits. Great Bentley, a village in Essex, has the largest village greens in England at 43 acres and has also won multiple times “Village of the year”! In Chelmsford 1920, the first radio broadcast in history was made. You can find the largest “turf maze” in the world at Saffron Walden which is said to be over 800 years old.

The rich wildlife in essex really makes you appreciate animals. You can go to a national park and watch wild ponies graze the land, or you could visit a beach and watch the variety of sea life in rockpools. Essex has easy transport, with its main airport bring London Stansted Airport and stations connected to the Shenfield to Southend Line, with direct link to London.

All these places we have visited are just full of history and you can learn so much from the museums about how people used to live and survive. What they filled their days with and the many accomplishments of people long dead but their small changes to the world live on. Just thinking back to our times spent wondering through ancient sites, walking the historic lands, and glamping in recently built lodges fills me with excitement, where will we go next? Who will we meet? What will we learn? There are hundreds of things to do in Essex, you will never be bored.

The County of Essex