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Charity mud race in Essex

Adventure Island Theme Park

Upside down on a rollercoaster at Adventure Island Theme Park

Adventure Island Theme Park is a small free-admission amusement park in Southend-on-Sea.

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-line for the best prices and a guaranteed good time.

Colchester Zoo

A jaguar scrambling over rocks at Colchester ZooOne of the lions at Colchester Zoo

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

The main ski slope at Brentwood Park Ski & Snowboard centreKids 'Tubing' on the main slope at Brentwood Park Ski & Snowboard centre

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-Karting track and a golf driving range.

Tropical Wings - World of Wildlife

A bridge inside Tropical Wings World of Wildlife Picture of a rare butterfly at Tropical Wings World of Wildlife

Tropical Wings - World of Wildlife is an all weather attraction that has acres of attractive gardens and features one of the largest butterfly houses in the country.

Other attractions include children's assault course, toddler play area and motorised ride-on vehicles in Tractorland.

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, reptiles, ring-tailed lemurs, donkeys, birds of prey, coatis, mara, pets corner and farmyard animals.

A daily schedule of Animal Encounter sessions will entertain, educate and introduce you to wildlife face to face.

Royal Gunpowder Mill

Demonstration at the Royal Gunpowder Mill showing the explosive nature of some substancesEntertaining demonstration at the Royal Gunpowder MillMadcap demonstrations at the Royal Gunpowder Mill

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-nuclear explosives and propellants. Some of the work which was carried out here is still classified information!

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-ordinary experiments and mysterious machines! So be prepared for fun-filled and occasionally smoke-filled adventures in the mad lab!

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.

The Original Great Maze - Braintree

aerial view of the Original Great Maze in BraintreeA child walking through the maze at the Original Great Maze in Braintree

Original 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 - mid September but this is dependent on the crop growth.

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 - Brentwood

A few of theoutdoor activities at Old McDonald's Educational Farm park in BrentwoodRiding the horses on a carousel at Old McDonald's Educational Farm Park in Brentwood

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.

Gosfield Lake Resort

Children on a banana boat ride at Gosfield Lake ResortA view of Gosfield LakeCamping at Gosfield Lake ResortWater skiing at Gosfield lake water ski club

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

You may also like:

Stubbers Adventure Centre

Barleylands Farm Park & Craft Village

Barleylands Farm Park and Craft VillageTractor ride at Barleylands Farm Park and Craft VillageRacing sheep at Barleylands Farm Park

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 Show - next one is 10 & 11 September 2016.

Places to visit in Essex

Audley End House

Audley End House

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.

Audley End House

Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker

The entrance to Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker hidden in a house

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.

Tilbury Fort

An aerial view of Tilbury Fort

Tilbury Fort - Henry VIII was the first to build a fort here and it was built to protect London from sea based attacks. The fort commanded the river approach with powerful artillery. In later years Queen Elizabeth I rallied her army here in the face of invasion by a spanish Armada.

Mountfitchet Castle

Recreated village at Mountfitchet Castle open air museum

Mountfitchet Castle is a unique open-air museum experience where the visitor can travel back in time over 900 years and truly witness life in a medieval Motte and Bailey castle. Explore the Castle and roam through the Norman village hidden behind the castle walls, wander in and out of the many houses and view the scenes, smell the log fires burning and feel the ambience of a bygone lifestyle.

You may also be interested in:     Hedingham Castle

Colchester Castle

Hadleigh Castle ruins

Theatre Tickets

Town Gate Theatre & Conference Centre - Basildon

Brentwood Theatre

Civic Theatre - Chelmsford

Princes Theatre - Clacton-on-Sea

West Cliff Theatre - Clacton-on-Sea

Mercury Theatre

University of Essex Lakeside Theatre - Colchester

Thameside Theatre - Grays

Kenneth More Theatre - Ilford

Cliffs Pavilion - Southend-on-Sea

Palace Theatre - Southend-on-Sea

Colchester Arts Centre

Sports and Leisure in Essex

Golf Courses and driving ranges

Cycle Routes

Walking Routes

Horse Riding in Essex

Colchester Leisure World

Blackwater Leisure Centre

Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool

Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre - Chelmsford

Rollerworld & Quasar - Colchester

Clay Pigeon Shoot - Chelmsford

Indikart - Colchester

Tenpin - Chelmsford

V Festival - Chelmsford

The stage and crowd at the V Festival in Chelmsford

August 2018 - TBA

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.

Things to do Essex

Find great things to do, the best Essex attractions, cheap family days out, romantic weekend breaks & fun things to do visiting Essex this weekend.

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