in the UK
Island Theme Park is a small free-
There are four rollercoasters including Rage
with its 75ft drop and 360 degree roll. Alongside the thrill rides there are
also gentle rides suitable for younger children. Buy wristbands on-
Colchester Zoo is an impressive zoological garden with over 260 rare species and one of the most popular things to do in Essex. The zoo has a number of themed areas and special features such as "Playa Patagonia" with its 24 metre tunnel under the water to view sea lions swimming above your head. The zoo also has "Kingdom of the Wild" where Zebras, Ostriches, White Rhinos, and Giraffes roam free in a huge savannah style enclosure.
Brentwood Park Ski & Snowboard Centre offers an exciting variety of dry skiing and snowboarding to suit all ability levels and is one of the most qualified and experienced in the UK, having been established since the early 70's.
The Ski Park has a great location overlooking
extensive woodland and incorporates a Chinese buffet restaurant. Other facilities
include a go-
Other attractions include children's assault
course, toddler play area and motorised ride-
However, the centre is not limited to just butterflies
and has many different species of birds including a large collection of exotic
parrots as well many other animals such as marmoset monkeys, mini beasts, otters,
goats, red squirrels, wallabies, meerkats, owls, skunks, ponies, marbled polecats,
A daily schedule of Animal Encounter sessions will entertain, educate and introduce you to wildlife face to face.
This was a very secret location once and has
been involved in the production and development of explosives and rocket propellants
for over 300 years. After World War II the site became a top secret government
research establishment for non-
The Royal Gunpowder Mills is an important heritage site with a remarkable true story and its history and exhibits are presented imaginatively in a variety of fun ways. There is a test range for example, where you can try your hand at launching, catapulting, shooting and firing a variety of air and water rockets, rocket cars, cannons, and air soft rifles.
There is also a lab with a Mad Professor always
on the look out for willing volunteers to test his latest theories, extra-
There is a film that runs every twenty minutes, a military truck tour, land train, exhibitions, walking trails, mini railway and various bombs, rockets and explosives to keep you entertained.
Great Maze can be found at Blake House Craft centre. The
maze is in a 10 acre field of maize containing miles of pathways. The maze hopes
to open from mid July -
With a maze of this size help needs to be available and comes in the form of a lost souls map and a viewing platform.
Old McDonald's Educational Farm Park will keep young children amused all day. There are some really simple but pleasurable rides as well as other activities such as slides, ball pools and a small rollercoaster.
It is a great place to just wander around and watch the kids have a fantastic time. They will discover new creatures such as frogs and encounter other entertainments such as animated singing chickens. There is a good selection of farm animals as well as more exotic ones such as Llama, Reindeer and Rhea and the whole farm seems to be well maintained.
Enjoy the thrill of water skiing with Gosfield Lake Water Ski Club. The natural sheltering provides perfect skiing conditions and this feature together with a full international slalom course and jump make the facilities ideal for the serious skier or the complete novice. Top class National Champion Coaches are on hand to assist at all times
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Barleylands has lots to do regardless of the weather. There are animals large and small, birds of prey, reptiles that can be handled, indoor play areas to run wild, tractor rides and miniature train.
There are over 50 enclosures with a range of creatures to see and many that can be fed. There are many activities on a daily timetable to enjoy and entertain throughout the day. For parents there is the craft village with many hand made gifts, an Italian cafe and an a la carte restaurant.
This is the place to come for the Essex Country
Audley End House is a magnificent mansion house, built to entertain royalty, and includes a Victorian Service Wing complete with kitchen, laundries and a dairy. The house has impressive formal gardens and a working Organic Kitchen all set in beautiful parkland designed by Capability Brown .
Inside there is an exhibition where you can find out about the workers who lived on the estate in the 1880s, the tack house and the Audley End fire engine. As extra treats, the stables have resident horses Duke and Jack, there is a Victorian groom and lots of dressing up clothes to try.
The bunker at Kelvedon Hatch was created during the 'Cold War' when it was believed there was a real threat of nuclear war.
The entrance is a small bungalow (originally the guard house) discreetly located in a wood off the A128. Visitors explore the 3 levels of the bunker that still contains many historical relics including a BBC studio.
Kelvedon Hatch Bunker was designed to keep up to 600 people safe, 125 ft. underground behind 1.5 tonne blast proof doors and protected by a concrete shell. Today it is a tourist attraction and occasionally used as a film location.
The original canteen is now a shop and copies of the literature produced for the public in the early 1980's can be purchased.
Castle is a unique open-
You may also be interested in: Hedingham Castle
The V Festival is held at two parks simultaneously which share the same bill; artists perform at one location on Saturday and then swap on Sunday.
Find great things to do, the best Essex attractions, cheap family days out, romantic weekend breaks & fun things to do visiting Essex this weekend.