Best things to do in Essex with the family

Best things to do in Essex with the family

With the summer quickly approaching, it’s that time of year again to think of what you’re going to do with your children or grandchildren to keep them entertained. We take a look at what Essex has to offer this summer.


Colchester Zoo (Colchester)

This award-winning zoo is one of the biggest and best in the country, and it’s easy to see why when you visit. Home to over 260 different species, including actual dragons (of the komodo kind). The zoo’s 60 acres of parkland is fun for the whole family. Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, lions, ostriches, zebras, and many many more, this park really does have it all.


Tiptree Tea Room at the Jam Factory (Tiptree)

If you’re looking for a more relaxing weekend and have a bit of a sweet tooth, then this one’s for you. There are several Tiptree tea rooms across Essex, from Chelmsford to Saffron Walden, but if you want to learn about its origins, then head to its namesake village. You can expect a jam-packed day at the Tiptree factory - after finding out all about how the family made their first pot of jam, you can have afternoon tea in the tea room where you’ll be able to sample all the sweet stuff for yourself. Get ready for a sugar high!


Secret Nuclear Underground Bunker (outside the village of Kelevdon Hatch)

Don’t knock this one until you’ve visited it. This is one of Essex’s best-kept secret trips and needs to be seen to be believed. This hidden bunker started life as an RAF air defence station before it became a regional government HQ. It’s now decommissioned and open to the public. On your visit, you can try on gas masks, have a bite to eat in the canteen, and even try the onsite escape room if you’re feeling brave.


Southend pier (Southend-on-Sea)

You can’t mention places to visit in Essex without mentioning Southend pier. Extending out into the sea for 1.3 miles, Southend pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world. Surviving fires, boat collisions, and wars for more than 100 years, this really is a fan favourite in Essex. Full of fish and chips, arcades, deckchairs, mini-golf, sandy beaches, an Adventure Island theme park, and a Sealife Adventure aquarium, Southend-on-Sea is a great place for the whole family, especially when the sun’s shining.


Mersea Island (In the Blackwater and Colne estuaries)

This beautiful little estuary island is full of colourful beach huts and delicious seafood. If you’re a shellfish lover, visit the extremely popular The Company Shed on the island - from experience, you won’t be disappointed. Side note: before heading to the island, check the tides there because there is only one road connecting the island to the mainland. 

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