Essex

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What's on...

If you're looking for a traditional Christmas, the places we care for offer the perfect antidote to the high street. We have lots of festive events for children and grown-ups. Most of our places are open so come and see what's happening near you.

Visit Hatfield Forest

Children tree climbing at Hatfield Forest © National Trust

Children tree climbing at Hatfield Forest

 No other forest on earth evokes the atmosphere of a medieval hunting forest so completely.

Visit Paycocke's House and Garden

The impressive front range from the road © James Butler

The impressive front range from the road

A stunning Tudor merchant's house whose walls have more than a few stories to tell.

Visit Danbury & Lingwood Common

Enjoy leisurely walks along the commons © Fisheye Images

Enjoy leisurely walks along the commons

The second largest area of commonland in Essex after Epping Forest, this open landscape is great for long walks and wildlife spotting.

Visit Bourne Mill

Bourne Mill sitting above its tranquil millpond © National Trust

Bourne Mill sitting above its tranquil millpond

Set next to a millpond and babbling stream, this delightful piece of late Elizabethan playfulness was built for banquets and converted into a mill.

Visit Blake's Wood

Enjoy the autumn colour at Blake's Wood © National Trust

Enjoy the autumn colour at Blake's Wood

One of our hidden gems in Essex, this ancient woodland with streams, valleys, mature oak, chestnut and coppiced hornbeam is colourful all year round.

Visit Rayleigh Mount

Run free at Rayleigh Mount © National Trust

Run free at Rayleigh Mount

An early medieval motte and bailey castle site, Rayleigh Mount is now an urban wildlife haven and offers sweeping views across the Crouch Valley.

Visit Coggeshall Grange Barn

A great starting point to explore the village of Coggeshall © Claire Graves

A great starting point to explore the village of Coggeshall

Once owned by the Cistercian monks at Coggeshall Abbey, step inside one of the largest medieval timber framed buildings in Europe.

Visit Copt Hall Marshes

Discover Copt Hall Marshes © Claire Graves

Discover Copt Hall Marshes

Under leaden skies with a face full of wind there's nowhere like Copt Hall for refreshing the mind and blowing away the cobwebs.  

Visit Northey Island

This is an area of managed retreat where a new creek is developing © Claire Graves

This is an area of managed retreat where a new creek is developing

The closest you'll get to true wilderness in Essex. This remote island in the Blackwater Estuary is the site of the oldest recorded battlefield in Britain.

Eastbury Manor & Rainham Hall

Well worth a visit if you haven't yet been © Grant Smith

Well worth a visit if you haven't yet been

Discover Rainham Hall and Eastbury Manor House, two hidden gems that can be found in the south of Essex, just a stones throw from London.

Our favourite outdoor activities

Geocaching

Geocaching © Garmin

Enjoy exploring? Then follow our GPS coordinates to find hidden treasure at Hatfield Forest or try your hand at our new nanocache trail at Danbury Common, where the caches are even smaller than normal!

Walking

Walking through the fallen leaves at Hatfield Forest © Richard Daniel

Where's your favourite walk in Essex, here are some of ours:

 

Explore with our app

The iPhone app © Arnhel de Serra

Always wondered what was at Portingury Hills or why there is a Shell House at Hatfield Forest? Download our smartphone app before your visit the Forest or borrow a tablet device from our shop.

Den building

Having fun den building in the woods © National Trust/Julie Tucker

There's lots of great places for den building in Essex. Use twigs and sticks to build a secret den in the trees. Then cover and camouflage it by adding leaves and more twigs. Why not challenge your friends?

Visit Essex

Croquet on the lawn in Paycockes garden in spring © Natalie Butler

There's plenty more places to discover and explore in Essex. Find our more from our friends at VisitEssex.

Essex County Council

Explore inside a tree © National Trust

Why not visit our friends at Danbury Park and Cudmore Grove as they will also help you complete some of our 50 things to do before you're 11 ¾?

Essex Wildlife Trust

This is an area of managed retreat where a new creek is developing © National Trust

We're working together with the Essex Wildlife Trust on conserving special places on the Blackwater Estuary.  

Places to stay

Fancy staying in Thorington Hall?

New for 2014, you can now stay in Thorington Hall on the Essex/Suffolk border. A beautiful rambling farmhouse, this holiday cottage will sleep large groups and is an ideal base to explore nearby Constable Country.

The Essex team

Our team in Essex is often out and about around the county, working on conservation projects, community outreach as well as organising fun events. Why not keep up to date with all their latest news and gossip?

Social groups

Social groups

Volunteer

Volunteer on a Youth Discovery Working Holiday at Craflwyn in Snowdonia, No © NTPL/Stuart Cox

Join our Essex Volunteer Group and help us with tasks such as clearing shrub, hedge laying and footpath maintanence.