Days Out in Essex

Audley End House amongst autumn trees

From grand stately homes to forts built by Henry VIII, a day out in Essex is an adventure for all the family this season. Travel back to the 1880s at Audley End House and Gardens, or head over to Tilbury Fort and discover how London has been defended through the ages.

We have now switched to our winter opening hours, meaning that while many properties are open at weekends and are running events for all, there may be restricted access during the week. Please check opening times before travelling.

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Places to visit in Essex

Enjoy a great family day out this season in Essex:

  • Explore iife above and below stairs at Audley End House and Gardens.
  • Stand where Elizabeth I rallied her troops against the Spanish Armada at Tilbury Fort.
  • Get hands-on with history and meet characters from the past at our events.

Our Favourites

Our selection of things to do in and around Essex:

Places to visit : Essex

Audley End House and Gardens
Audley End House and Gardens

Experience a real life period drama as you explore life above and below stairs at Audley End House and Gardens.

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Hadleigh Castle
Hadleigh Castle

The romantic ruins of a royal castle overlooking the Essex marshes. Hadleigh was begun in about 1215 by Hubert de Burgh, but extensively refortified by Edward III during the Hundred Years War.

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Hill Hall
Hill Hall

This fine Elizabethan mansion features some of the earliest external Renaissance architectural detail in the country.

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Tilbury Fort
Tilbury Fort

Spend a great family day out at Tilbury Fort in Essex. Explore the magazine houses or the bastion magazine passages of this fort on the Thames estuary that has protected London’s seaward approach.

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Colchester, St Botolph's Priory
Colchester, St Botolph's Priory

The remains of one of the first Augustinian priories in England, founded in c.1100 and an impressive example of early Norman architecture.

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Lexden Earthworks and Bluebottle Grove
Lexden Earthworks and Bluebottle Grove

The banks and ditches of a series of late Iron Age defences protecting the western side of Camulodunum – pre-Roman Colchester.

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Events : Essex

Victorian Games Galore!
Venue: Audley End House and Gardens, Essex
Date: Mon 16 - Fri 20 Feb 2015

From skittles to quoits, croquet to chess, play like a Victorian as you step back in time this February half term.

Resisting the Invader: Audley End 1940
Venue: Audley End House, Essex, Essex
Date: Fri 27 Mar

Join Mark Selwood for a tour of the grounds and discover the hidden remnants of Audley's dramatic past.

You may also be interested in these events:

An Audience with Father Christmas
Venue: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
Date: Sat 20 & Sun 21 Dec 2014

Join in the festive fun with the man himself at Wrest Park this Christmas.

Calligraphy Workshop
Venue: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire
Date: Fri 23 Jan

Master the art of calligraphy in the beautiful surroundings of Wrest Park in this day long workshop.

Uncovered Treasures: Winter Archaeology Collections Store Tour
Venue: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
Date: Monday 2 February

Join our collections team for a unique winter experience at Wrest Park and discover a treasure trove of unusual and special objects spanning 2,000 years of England's history not normally on display.

A Grand Wallpaper Tour
Venue: Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
Date: Tue 10 Feb

From the humble to the grand, join Curators Esme Whittaker and Charlotte Newman for a tour through English Heritage's fascinating wallpaper collection.

Find more events in Essex