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With five holiday parks across the county, it’s fair to say that we rate Essex very highly as a holiday destination - and why not? It has everything you need for a relaxing family break, from beautiful coastal nature reserves, to engaging and exciting attractions and activities - such as those available at the buzzing seaside resorts of Clacton-on-Sea, Southend and Walton-on-the-Naze.

The beaches themselves are well worth the trip, too - with Blue Flag certifications across the region, you’ll be able to find your perfect sandy shore to while away the days staring out to the North Sea. You can do this while keeping your eyes out for rare seabirds that make their home on the islands and coves along Essex’s coast - which is the longest of any county in the UK!

Our five holiday parks in this historic county are all in the idyllic north east of the county surrounding Clacton - from Coopers Beach Holiday Park on the serene Mersea Island to Naze Marine Holiday Park in the countryside outside of Walton-on-the-Naze - there’s an accommodation option that’s sure to please any family looking for a quintessentially English holiday escape.

Read on below for more on Essex’s unmissable attractions.

Reasons to visit Essex

Seaside

Blue Flag beaches with nature reserves galore

Castle

Historical highlights such as Colchester Castle can’t be missed

Seaside Activities

Explore the region’s maritime history from this vintage seaside location

Five parks

Five fantastic holiday parks in Essex to choose from

Family Fun

Long days by the seaside or a trip to the zoo - the choice is yours

Stunning Scenery

It’s the head-scratching answer to a trick pub quiz question, but Essex really does have the longest coastline of any county in the UK!

Featuring 35 islands and a wealth of wetland that makes it an ideal location for seabird spotters, you’re sure to find some idyllic scenery to relax in wherever you’re staying in Essex.

For a landscape that has inspired artists such as John Constable, why not take a trip to Dedham Vale, an area of verdant countryside that’s perfect for an afternoon’s lazy ramble?

Beautiful Beaches

Clacton is a glorious beach day out, and Valley Farm Holiday Park is only a short walk from its bustling sands - with Weeley Bridge and Highfield Grange holiday parks also nearby, so it’s an ideal ‘base beach’ for further adventures.

Quieter stretches of coast include Naze Beach. Surrounded on three sides by water, and the shingle and sand mix at Shoeburyness, this area features some postcard-perfect beach huts and World War Two era defences.

Amazing Attractions

The local pride of Southend-on-Sea is the incredibly long pier, which stretches some 1.3 miles out from the town’s seafront - it’s so long it has its own train service! The pier features an ultra modern cultural centre alongside the usual seaside treats.

If you’re looking for a more wild day out, then Colchester Zoo is one of the premier animal attractions in the entire country, and can count lions, tigers and zebras amongst its exotic population. These two attractions are just scratching the surface - for more ideas, click the link below.

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History & Culture

A wander around the historical sites of Colchester is essential if you’re looking for a history-focused day out. Once the capital of Britain during the Roman era, there’s plenty of ancient heritage scattered about the town that can be explored in an afternoon. However, the highlight of the town is undoubtedly Colchester Castle - Europe’s largest Norman fortification which boasts panoramic views of the town and the countryside beyond.

For a glimpse of the region’s place as the first line of defence from invasion, a tour around the Martello Towers along the Essex coast is a must.

Treat Yourself

There are plenty of opportunities for a treat or two in Essex, not least at Crepeaholic, a short drive from Coopers Beach Holiday park, where you can indulge in sweet or savoury French pancakes.

For a more varied sit-down experience, the Stop the World Cafe in Leigh-on-Sea is a winning option. Both of these flavoursome foodie experiences made it onto our run-through of the best treats in the South East.

Sampling the local wines is also something you should consider, as the acclaimed Mersea Island Vineyard has been producing high-quality Essex wine for many years - and they serve afternoon tea, too.

Family Fun

Essex holidays aren’t short of fun activities to do as a family.

From a group stroll in Holland Haven Country Park near Clacton to watching sea critters swim past at Sea Life Adventure in Southend, there’s enough to keep the little ones occupied whatever the weather.

However, for a real throwback treat for your kids, make sure you visit the House on the Hill Toy Museum, which features a vast collection of toys ranging from the Victorian era through to the 1970s and 80s.

Outdoors & Adventure

For the more daring amongst us, Essex is a destination that delivers. Kitesurfing tuition is available to really up the adrenaline on your Clacton holidays, with windsurfing and traditional sailing also available at locations along the coast - such as the Marconi Sailing Club in the Blackwater Estuary.

Landlubbers fear not, as there are plenty of cycling opportunities in the Dedham Vale, as well as along the shorelines between Clacton and Walton.

Special Events

We’re all about creating amazing memories here at Parkdean Resorts, and combining your trip to Essex with an exciting local event is a sure-fire way to do this.

Small-scale events such as the Walton Classic Vehicle Show can be a fun thing to stumble upon, while the annual Colchester Medieval Fayre attracts tourists from afar thanks to its immersive medieval experience which is great for the little ones!

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Multi-award winners

Our holiday parks were awarded gold and silver across two categories at the 2018 British Travel Awards.