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From skiing to sea-swimming – bet you didn’t know you could do that in Essex

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It’s not all tats, tans and TOWIE in Essex, it’s actually a good spot for a family day out too. There’s loads of choice of things to do – and not just in the school holidays.

It’s within easy reach of London too, if you’re looking for a break from city life. And, if you’re a lover of the great outdoors (the country parks and beaches are top notch) then you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Fancy a trip to see for yourself? Here are some ideas of what you could get up to.

Have a nice walk in the countryside

Get some fresh air in your lungs on a walk through a proper nice bit of the country. There’s Belhus Woods Country Park which boasts 300 acres of ancient woodlands, flowers meadows and lakes with model boats. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too – woodpeckers, swans, kingfishers and kestrels all hang about these parts. Lovely stuff.

Go fossil hunting

Cudmore Grove Country Park on Mersea Island (not too far from Colchester) isn’t just a good spot for a paddle. It’s a coastal nature reserve that is as rich in history as it is in stunning views. Dogs love a walk down the sandy beach while you comb the edge of the prehistoric cliffs for fossils. A kid once found a 12,000-year-old mammoth tooth here – and it was worth a small fortune.

Get the adrenaline flowing

Looking for something a bit more active? Hit the slopes at Brentwood Park Ski and Snowboard Centre, check out the Lee Valley White Water Centre (you might remember it from the London 2012 Olympics), or head to the Nuclear High Ropes in Brentwood. It’s the biggest high ropes course in the country with six courses, zipwires and a climbing wall. That’ll do it.

Meet some wildlife

Colchester Zoo is a no-brainer for animal lovers. It’s home to more than 220 species, including grey wolves, Andean condors, smooth-coated otters, African lions – and a even a couple of farmyard friends which you can hand-feed. Our favourite residents are the the sun bears and yep, they are just as cute as they sound. Don’t miss them.

Go for a dip

Essex has more than its fair share of gorgeous beaches too – the seven miles of sandy seafront in Southend is one of the UK’s most famous, in fact. Catch some rays (granted, this might be a little optimistic), grab a Mr Whippy and, if you’re feeling brave, take a dip. Adventure Island is worth a visit too, it has 40 rides and attractions and is right on the seafront.

At daysout.com, you can book the UK’s best attractions (y’know the proper FOMO inducing ones?) -- we know where’s perfect for you. Find your next adventure.

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