Essex is a county that can make some impressive claims. It’s home to Britain’s oldest recorded town – and the first Roman capital of Britain – Colchester. Uncover the history with a trip around the Castle Museum where you will also find Europe’s largest Norman keep.

When it comes to seaside breaks, Essex is a top destination for good reason, there’s an incredible 350 miles of coastline to enjoy, from salt marshes to sandy beaches. How about eating your ice cream on the world’s longest pleasure pier? Stretching 2.16km out to sea, the pier at Southend is so long, there’s even a train ride to take you to the end!

Inland, you can also experience the tranquility of Essex’s spectacular open spaces. Dedham Vale is a must-visit for nature and art lovers. This pretty village sits on the Essex/Suffolk border and is the gateway to Constable Country – you can take a scenic walk to Flatford Mill in just over 30 minutes.

If retail therapy is more your thing, head for Thurrock where you can spend the day browsing over 200 shops at Lakeside retail park. There’s also a huge selection of cafes and restaurants if you need a break to mull over a purchase.

For family fun, get up close to the animals with a day at Colchester zoo where you’ll find over 200 species enjoying 60 acres of parkland, or, climb to the top of the Naze Tower and see who’s first to spot seals splashing in the Walton backwaters.