Within easy reach of Harwich!

Discover the history with a trip to Audley End House, one of England’s greatest stately homes and explore the historic stables, complete with horses and a Victorian groom. Kid’s tales come to life in the nursery suite with its original Victorian toys. Explore the coal hole with its smells and sounds of 19th-century innovation

Get hands on at Colchester Castle Museum, Rome the Roman fort, have to try constructing a Norman archway, or try to excavate a Roman doctor’s grave (and much more besides!). Relive your school days at the toy museum at Stansted Mountficit. For some more good old fun and a bit of gunpowder head to The Royal Gunpowder Mills. Great for families, this museum not only shows the facts of the factory that began producing explosives during the seventeenth century but also has fun, interactive opportunities for children, including a Military Truck Tour and Professor Nitrate’s Mad Lab.

Have great fun at the award-winning Colchester Zoo, where you can feed the elephants or giraffes, or even, pre-book an animal experiences to take part in. There are around 250 species to see in over 61 acres of parkland. At theTropical Wings Zoo, you can see a vast variety of animals including parrots,  porcupines and even some meerkats. It also has one of the best tropical houses in the UK and is one of the places in the country that has free-flying butterflies all year round.

For tamer, animal encounters head for Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, Barleylands, Lee Valley Park Farms or Old MacDonald’s Farm where children can have stroke and pet to their hearts’ content.

Essex’s wonderful outdoors is the perfect place for family fun. From the simple pleasures of picnics at a park and nature walks to a range of great outdoor activities which will challenge minds and bodies, young and old alike.

If you’ve got children who seem to have boundless energy, then more physical activities will be the order of the day. Some family bike activities? With its gentle slopes and quiet country roads, Essex is a cycling county. For a traffic-free experience go to a country park, or take a trip with a walk on an old rail line like the Flitch Way, perfect for little ones.

Go on, grab the kids and have a great day out!