If you’re after a much-needed dose of daylight whilst armed with your camera, explore one of these picturesque places! Head for a wander around Essex this weekend…
The county of Essex may not be the largest or most highly-regarded places in the UK (totally blaming reality tv for that!) but based just outside of London, it has the perfect mix of city and country vibes. Essex boasts plenty of pretty, green spaces with wild, rural adventures to be had. Spoilt for choice, providing you know where to go, you can embrace the quaint life or explore more of the bustling villages and towns. We certainly aren’t short of picturesque places in Essex! Take in the view along with SO much picturesque scenery.
I’ve rounded up just 5 of my favourite, pretty places to head out for a stroll in our county of Essex!
Fresh air, dappled sunlight and a pretty place to explore – If that doesn’t make you feel like a walk, nothing will.
Popular with canoeists, barges and dog-walkers alike, Papermill Lock offers a lovely canal-side wander. Mostly away from the roads, the main path is betwixt fields, crops and fishing areas. Wildlife flourishes here meaning it’s not unusual to meet a group of ducklings, spot some impressive dragonflies or a few friendly cows in the neighbouring fields.
I recommend you park up near the tearooms, grab something to eat and then follow the winding River Chelmer. Passing a few locks, there are weirs and waterfalls to see as you walk. Hop onto one of the canal cruise boats near the tearooms and venture out for a river trip to see Papermill Lock and the surrounding area from a different perspective.
Gastro dining, quaint cafes and pubs packing a punch, Coggeshall has a lot to offer. As for the scenery, wonky buildings with original beams and pastel-painted streets are a-plenty here!
Coggeshall is the proud home to a fair few National Trust highlights and blue plaques making for quite the interesting place to wander.
With the River Blackwater winding through Coggeshall, water-side cottages and bridges piece together the pretty town. Pay a visit to the traditional ‘ye olde’ sweet shop before heading down to the river to spot some swans.
Armed with some crusts from last week’s loaf and any leftover salad from your fridge for the ducks, be sure to visit Great Dunmow. A historic market town, this place has remained fairly unharmed by the growth of other, less-fortunate local areas near to Stansted Airport.
Boasting some really lovely independent shops still and plenty of green spaces, it’s a great place to wander at the weekends or after work.
In particular, the Doctor’s Pond is my favourite spot. Surrounded by chocolate box-esque houses and weeping willows, the banks are often decorated with the resident ducks, geese and moorhens (and the odd fisherman here and there).
Just by 3 Mile Hill in Chelmsford is Hylands Park. A true gift to us, this country park is open every single day of the year and is completely free to visit. The grounds boast a grade II* listed stately home and total a whopping 574 acres of green space to be explored! With an ornamental garden, multiple cafés, artists’ studios and impressive woodland areas, Hylands Park is a local treasure you simply have no excuse to not visit.
If you went to V Festival back in the day, you’ll remember Hylands Park as the venue. I went back more recently for the Friends Fest event – Check out all the photos, it was such a great day!
Well and truly on the Blackwater estuary, Maldon is the town you’ve probably heard of along the way thanks to their world-famous sea salt. Here, you can take in the view across the banks (where the world famous Maldon Mud Race takes place!) or stroll along the promenade and visit the statue of Anglo-Saxon hero Byrhtnoth.
Depending on tide times, Maldon‘s waters can be filled with boats. That said, not all of the moored boats here are equal! Keep your eyes peeled for the ships which double up as restaurants, perched on the quay bed. Jump on board for an afternoon tea or cosy up in one of the many waterside pubs for a few pints.
So that’s just 5 of my favourite, picturesque places to wander in Essex. There are TONNES more to be explored to get out there! I love to challenge stereotypes of our county and so finding hidden treasures here is great for proving Essex is not what people always expect. You’ll often find me shouting about the lesser-known places and quirky events on my Twitter or Facebook pages. Do you remember this post where I visited a really niche local event ALL about apples?! Or if you’re looking for something unusual to do in Essex in autumn, go and check out THIS place! For all things local or further afield, do check out the Travel category.
Where do you like to head to at the weekends? Do let me know! Check out where I’ve been recently on my Instagram account.
Ahhh Grace you have listed one of my favourite places in Essex, Papermill Lock. Such special memories there for our family. I have not been to Coggleshall in years, now I need a revisit!
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