Have you ever struggled to find fun activities to do in Essex? When the English weather doesn’t warrant a trip to the Southend seaside and you’ve already been to Colchester Zoo 3 times this month, there’s still plenty going on, from Saffron Walden to Billericay. We’re here to prove that Essex has more to offer than TOWIE, vajazzles and Cheryl Hole.
We’ve put together 10 of our favourite days out in Essex, whether you’re looking for an exciting family venture for the weekends, or the perfect experience gift for a loved one. These are our top 10 Essex days out, featuring some top-class activity ideas for cheese-lovers, thrill seekers, newlyweds, petrol-heads and much more!
Since the Segway first appeared to the public in 2001, this unusual mode of transport has been a common comical reference in TV and film. Although the Segway may not have gained the popularity it once hoped and most are more likely to opt for a bicycle, I can promise you that you’ll have a blast riding one! The average Segway has more power than you might first think, and the large wheels are ideal for off-road adventures. This experience takes place in Hainault Park, located in Epping Forest. You’ll get to explore the woods on your Segway X2, while you whizz around the trees and over the forest floor at a top speed of 10 – 12mph.
This two-hour rally driving experience gives anyone the chance to drive the legendary Sierra Cosworth. In the late eighties and early nineties, this was one of the most famous rally cars around. Dominating the motorsport for over half a decade, the car is perfectly built for dirt tracks, drifting and speed. Rally driving involves taking road-safe cars that were originally built to be publicly used, and adapting them through specific modifications to race around a certain style of track. This experience is hosted at one of Essex’s top rally schools, meaning you’ll be in the hands of some of the best instructors Essex has to offer. They’ll help to guide you around the course, sharing tips and tricks, plus advice on how to get the neatest turns and fastest times possible. You’ll navigate your way through a challenging course equipped with a variety of turns, and learn exactly how to handle the renowned rally car.
Hot air ballooning is an extraordinary experience. Perfect for a special occasion such as an anniversary, birthday, or wedding gift, this experience allows passengers to drift far above the ground, in a lighter-than-air aircraft. You’ll witness beautiful sights below, while peacefully floating along with the aid of the wind. Hot air balloons were the first ever flight technology to successfully carry humans in 1783, and have been around ever since! It’s safe to say there must be a reason that they’ve managed to stay so popular over the last 236 years. If you want to feel true tranquillity and marvel at the world below in these incredible machines, then this experience available in Essex is for you. The slow movements of the aircraft combine with the peaceful and silent atmosphere to create a feeling of true serenity.
Of course, this experience includes the traditional glass of Champagne on landing. This tradition originally began to appease angry farmers when balloons landed in their fields, destroying crops. Luckily for you, this tradition is still alive today (minus the angry farmer).
If you’re an archery enthusiast, or just a super crafty individual who loves trying new things, then this experience is sure to excite you. Transporting you back in time, this course teaches you how to make your own arrows, an extremely unique skill and the perfect bragging material. Not only will you learn a new skill, you’ll also be able to take home all the arrows you create, meaning that next time you fancy some archery, you can get the satisfaction of using something made by your own hand. Your friendly and passionate instructors will be happy to tailor the class to your questions and interests, and you’ll even get the choice of making military-style or authentic re-enactment arrows.
This class is informative in more ways than one; full of historic facts as well as crafty tips and tricks. You’ll be able to enjoy a unique combination of multiple hobbies, creating a fun day out for everyone.
During this half day cooking course in Chelmsford, you’ll spend 3 hours learning essential cooking skills and - more importantly - eating delicious food. You’ll get to choose from a selection of various cuisines, so that can learn the one that interests and excites you the most. There’s a wide selection of unique lessons available including African Banquet, Introduction to Indian Food, Fine Dining Masterclass, Soul Food Cookery, Steak Night, Vietnamese Cooking Lessons, and Street Food Extravaganza - to name just a few! I can guarantee all your most-loved cuisines will be available, and you’ll finally have the chance to learn their full potential. You can then cook them again and again, wowing dinner guests on your nights in! The hardest part will be trying to choose just one class to take.
We all have a cheese fanatic or two in our lives; someone who just can’t get enough of cheese, whether it’s a warm mozzarella pizza, stinky stuff on crackers or the humble cheese sandwich, cheese loving friends and family are everywhere! If you’re bored of buying these people cheesy novelty T-shirts and are ready to get something a little more mature (pardon the pun), this three-hour class is perfect for beginners, and is sure to show any cheese-lover a gouda time (I’ll stop now). The class covers a wide range of techniques, with some of the potential cheeses you’ll learn to make including: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, Paneer and Goats Cheese. You’ll learn how to master milk and utilise the handy cheese cloth. Hard cheese takes a lot longer to create, and therefore isn’t something easily covered in a 3-hour lesson. However, you’ll still receive an expert explanation on how to take cheese-making to the next step and develop the skills you’ll need to tackle the harder cheeses when you’re good and ready. Who knew Essex was such a foodie haven?
Driving experiences are one of our most popular sellers in Essex, and it’s easy to see why. There’s something for every type of petrol-head; whether it’s supercars or rally driving, Essex seems to have it all. This experience is something a little outside the box, teaching participants how to drive cars just like they do in the movies. If you’re a film fan and you’ve seen the classic action films like The Italian Job and James Bond, I’m sure you’re familiar with the car stunts involved in the obligatory high-speed chase. This two-hour experience is currently on special offer, meaning you can save a massive £95 from buying with Experience Days. This incredible Hollywood stunt driving course will allow you to make the most out of your time one-on-one with a professional instructor in an environment that thrives on daring confidence and encourages you to test the limits in a controlled and safe environment. You can expect to learn tricks such as hand-break turns, 360-degree spins, high-speed parallel park and a 180-degree J-Turn, finally ending with driving a mini on only two wheels! This experience is perfect for anyone with an interest in driving. The minimum age is 14, and each private lesson can be tailored to the participant, making it perfect for teenagers and experienced drivers alike. It can even accommodate groups as large as 12 if you wanted to make it a party!
This medieval archery lesson allows you to try your hand at a unique sport. The longbow is rarely seen in modern day archery, so this experience is sure to throw you back in time and allows participants to experience something that they may not have had the opportunity to try before. The longbow is a tall bow, roughly equal to the height of its user. It has a range of around 180m, and was one of the most feared weapons of the middle ages. This experience focuses on bringing history to life, and allows participants to step into the shoes of a medieval soldier. You’ll even get the chance to shoot at a series of different targets positioned at various distances. With a range of different sized longbows available, anyone from the age of 8 upwards is welcome to take part, making this a great family outing. The instructors can tailor the experience to each individual / group, and exactly what they want to get out of their time.
If you or anyone you know has ever been interested in fishing, this is
the perfect gift to get started! Specialising in beginner techniques, this
2-hour experience aims to teach everyone the basics of fishing. Fishing is a
great way to relax and get into the great outdoors, while having something fun
to occupy your mind - I’ve even heard some go as far as to say fishing is a
unique form of meditation. Your friendly instructor will make sure you feel at
ease, and his calm, laid-back approach to teaching is guaranteed to make this
experience one to remember. All ages are welcome, as well as up to 2
spectators. So, if your child is keen to start angling and you don’t have the
skills to show them how, this is a great way to be part of their hobbies, and
you won’t even have to touch any fish. We bet this relaxing lesson will have
you whipping that rod like a pro in no time.
Escape rooms originally started as a video game experience, but companies then realised that players wanted to be truly immersed in the game, more than a virtual reality environment could accommodate. Thus, escape rooms were born, and they have been growing in popularity ever since. Allowing participants to immerse themselves in a real-life problem-solving situation, with high pressure, but no real threat, escape rooms are the perfect group activity. Most escape rooms follow set themes in order to add to the immersive experience, and there’s always a reason why you need to escape before the time is up. This experience is based in Brentwood, and follows a storyline where participants are stuck in a bunker that has 60 minutes before it runs out of oxygen. You’ll need to be quick at solving puzzles, completing riddles and finding clues under pressure if you want to get out ALIVE!
Thanks for reading our guide to the top 10 days out in Essex. We hope you’ve found something unique for the Essex native in your life, and if you’re still looking, why not browse our full range of days out and experience gifts in Essex here. If you have any questions about any of the experiences featured in this blog, feel free to reach out to us – we’d love to hear from you!