With Easter on the horizon, Visit Essex pick out some of the best ways to celebrate right across the county
Explore Essex this Easter with fun Easter egg hunts, wonderful walks in bluebell woods and the thrills and spills of the Maldon Mud Race! The county’s tourism organisation, Visit Essex, gives us the lowdown on the best things to do this Easter…
Step into a chocoholic’s dream at one of the Easter egg hunts around the county. At Marsh Farm, South Woodham Ferrers, you’ll be treated to a Springtime experience with new-born animals as well as an Easter egg hunt. Sign-up to their Great Easter Eggstravaganza event, which runs from 2-17 April between 10am-5pm, and enjoy acres of egg-tastic themed fun. You’ll get to go on their eggs-treme Easter Egg Hunt, meet fun characters and adorable bunnies. All children get a tasty treat, all included in your ticket price. Tickets are priced £5.99 per person.
You can also join in the egg hunt at Mountfitchet Castle, near Stanstead Mountfitchet, open between 9-18 April, 10am-5pm. Explore the historic grounds, see the gorgeous Easter rabbits, follow the clues around the castle and toy museum, and collect stamps to claim your Easter prize. Mountfitchet Castle is a Norman Motte and Bailey Castle and Village, re-constructed on its original historic ancient site, complete with many different buildings and siege weapons. Animals roam freely throughout the 10-acre site, providing a unique insight into community life in Domesday England. Tickets are priced £13.50 adults, £11 children and £13 concessions.
Walk off those Easter eggs and explore Essex’s ancient woodlands, which are home to some stunning displays of beautiful bluebells at Easter. Essex Wildlife Trust’s Hanningfield Nature Discovery Centre, near Chelmsford, offers superb views alongside its 870-acre reservoir. Set in mature woodland, the nature reserve has a beautiful carpet of Bluebells in spring. Boasting lovely woodland walks, taking in bird hides and views across the water. The reservoir itself is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the numbers of wildfowl that use the reservoir in the autumn and winter, such as Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Pochard.
Hanningfield is also home to some well-loved characters from the Wind in the Willows stories. Purchase a trail map from the centre to explore the woods and see who you might find along the way. Pathways are buggy friendly, and the discovery centre is open 10am-4pm.
Beth Chatto Gardens
April is a wonderful time to see plants spring back into life. Treat yourself to a visit to Beth Chatto Gardens, near Colchester, for a stroll through her award-winning gravel, scree, water, woodland and reservoir gardens. Demonstrating how beauty can be created from a piece of wasteland, it’s the perfect inspiration for gardeners to recreate their own slice of paradise. Beth Chatto Gardens also includes a tearoom and well-stocked plant shop, ideal for buying pre-planted bulbs. Tickets are priced at adults £12.50 and children £3.50 and is open from 10am-5pm.
Are you ready to get muddy? If so, join in the fun of the Maldon Mud Race (maldonmudrace.com). Whether you wish to take on the depths of the river Blackwater’s sticky racecourse or watch from Maldon’s prom, you’re sure for a fun day out. The event attracts thousands of spectators from across Europe as fundraisers tackle the Maldon Mud Race. As well as watching competitors take on the sludge, there’s also a duck race, stalls and a whole heap of fun to be had. This year’s Maldon Mud Race takes place at Promenade Park on 24 April.
To discover more, see visitessex.com