Beautiful Constable country of Essex
Essex could be described as ‘London-by-the-Sea’ – close to the capital but a world away when you explore its seaside towns and beautiful rolling countryside of Dedham Vale and Stour Valley that inspired the painter John Constable.
At 350 miles, the coastline is the longest in England, and features the traditional family resorts of Clacton-on-Sea and Southend which has the longest pleasure pier in the world, a Grade II listed landmark that stretches 1.3 miles into the Thames Estuary. Mersea Island is more laid-back, with fantastic shellfish.
There are spectacular gardens at RHS Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto Gardens,
stately homes such as Jacobean Audley End, castles at Hedingham, Hadleigh and Colchester and special events, fairs and festivals throughout the year.
Colchester is the oldest recorded town in the country, was once the capital of Roman Britain, and has one of Europe’s finest zoos, with more than 260 rare species.