When the Romans invaded Britain, they made Colchester in Essex their capital. Lying in the south east of England and bordering with Greater London, this former Roman stronghold boasts some extraordinary sites.
The naming of Colchester, supposedly from a mythical king ‘King Ceol’, is said to have inspired the nursery rhyme ‘Old King Cole’. Colchester is rich in history and ancient stories and is the oldest recorded town in Britain. Colchester Castle Museum takes you through its history with some exciting exhibitions and events.
Learn how the castle was first a Roman temple, which Boudica destroyed by burning it to the ground. From this ruin the Normans built Colchester Castle. This impressive historical site is a great place to visit in the UK school holidays, combining learning with a family day out.
Take a trip to the coastline near Colchester and you’ll find uncomplicated seaside fun and a slow pace of life. Tendring, otherwise known as ‘the sunshine coast’, is a quiet and peaceful area to base your Essex holiday.
This area has the lowest rainfall in the UK and earns its nickname, The Sunshine Coast, by maintaining the mildest climate in England. Clacton-On-Sea offers a traditional seaside experience, and the surrounding villages are picturesque and quaint.
For seaside fun in the half term break with a little more excitement, Southend-On-Sea is the place to go. Southend stretches from Leigh-On-Sea in the west to Shoeburyness in the east, giving visitors a wide choice of things to see and do. Southend pier is the longest in the world and this stretch of coastline boasts seven miles of seafront. For the thrill-seekers in the family, Adventure Island Theme Park has over sixty rides and attractions. Adventure Island operates with free entry and visitors only pay for the rides they actually use.
Essex has a mostly flat landscape with a gentle coastline of calm shores and quiet river estuaries. Some of this unspoilt coastline presents the perfect opportunity for spotting wildlife. Essex has over thirty nature reserves and visitor centres, which form part of its wildlife trust. This makes Essex one of the best areas in England for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
Much of this wildlife can be seen in Epping Forest. Epping Forest, sprawling across the border with Greater London, was once a royal forest. Kings hunted deer here, until the forest was taken over by The City of London Corporation in 1878. In 1882 Queen Victoria dedicated the forest to her people. Today Epping Forest makes a fantastic day out in the half term dates. Visitors can take guided walks, cycle the paths or wander through the grounds at their leisure. The forest also organises events, including open air theatre, and has digital displays for all the family.
Share Your Essex History With Us
Essex holidays successfully combine modern life with ancient history. In this historical county you’ll find a diverse mix of seaside activities and old English tales. Whichever part of Essex you visit, history comes to life and family days out offer excitement and fun.
That’s little me in the photo above!
Please leave a comment below and share your memories of day trips to the seaside. A visit to the famous Rossi ice cream parlour. As a family they has been producing award-winning ice cream in Essex since 1932 and finish off with a walk up the mile and a quarter long pier, bliss.