Places to visit in Essex

Paper Mill Lock
North Hill,
Little Baddow,
Tel: 01245 225520

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Take a cruise along the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation from Paper Mill Lock or enjoy tea and cakes or a light lunch in the tea room. Open daily from 10 am throughout the year. Barge hire available for groups. Row boats and open canoes available for hire. Paper Mill Lock is also the starting point for some delightful canal-side and country walks. Free admission and parking. Blackwater Boats –

Sandford Lock c/o Bumblebee Cottage, Boxted Road, Colchester, CO4 5HF Tel: 01206 853282

Email: Web: Blackwater Boats is housed at Sandford Lock in the small village of  Brook End, two miles from Chelmsford. Commercial barges had previously carried coal, timber and grain along Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation for over 200 years. Today you can cruise this old canal, and enjoy the beautiful scenery from aboard The Blackwater Rose – a traditional narrowboat which can carry up to 10 passengers and crew for 45-minute trips or longer cruises by arrangements. The boat is also available for short trips. Enjoy the tranquil river and surrounding wildlife while relaxing on board.

RHS Garden, Hyde Hall Westerns Approach, Rettendon, Chelmsford CM3 8ET Tel: 01245 400256

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A visit to the 360 acres Hyde Hall estate is unforgettable in any season and allows visitors to immerse themselves in nature. Hyde Hall is an inspirational garden with sweeping panoramas, big open skies and far reaching views, and combines environmental and sustainable practices with the high standards of horticulture for which the RHS gardens are renowned. Highlights include an attractive plantsman’s garden of eight acres including woodland area, spring bulbs and ornamental lily ponds with fish, a dry garden, Australian and New Zealand Garden and Hilltop Garden. Open all year from 10 am, while closing time varies between 6 pm mid-summer and 4 pm mid-winter. On-site facilities include the licensed restaurant, plant centre, shop and library. For entry prices, visit the Royal Horticultural Society’s website or call the number above.