Whether you want to visit the stunning vineyards of Mersea Island or walk the haunted cobbled streets of Colchester, Essex is best explored on foot. With unspoilt nature reserves, beautiful coastlines and plenty of preserved historical landmarks, there truly is something for everyone.
Mersea Island Vineyard Tour
The Mersea Island Vineyard is located on slopped, south-facing fields, making it the perfect place to produce quality vines. The estate produces a wide variety of grapes used for making fruity, full bodied white wines. The Company Shed seafood restaurant operates walking tours of the vineyard, followed by wine tasting and your choice of a cheese ploughman’s or a seafood platter (made with locally sourced fish).
Harwich Maritime Trail
The town of Harwich stands at the tip of North East Essex and was the site of many significant events that occurred throughout medieval history, including King Alfred’s defeat of the Vikings in the Battle of Bloody Point. There are numerous historical landmarks in the area, including the Low Lighthouse, St Nicolas Church and the Christopher Jones House, which makes it one of the most popular walking hotspots in the county. The Harwich Maritime Trail is a self-guided walk that will take you to all the main places of cultural significance.
Love it or hate it, The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) is a cultural phenomenon. This tour is the closest thing you’ll get to being in an episode of the hit show. It’s a four hour tour – some of which occurs on a minibus – that will take you to all of the sites, including shops that are owned by cast members and featured in the show. Along the way you’ll get to watch key clips from classic episodes and test your knowledge with a quiz. Tour operators do their utmost to ensure you’ll get to meet and greet current and former cast members; however, due to scheduling conflicts, this isn’t always possible.
Colchester Ghost Walk
As Britain’s oldest recorded town, it’s no surprise that Colchester is a supposed haven for ghosts. With buildings dating back to the 14th century, resident poltergeists in virtually every pub and a castle dwarfing the centre, the town has a very unsettling atmosphere. The ghost walk is conducted by local paranormal investigator and historian, Derek Wray, and takes place on the first Thursday of every month. Tickets are £7.50 per person and each walk starts at Colchester Town Hall at 7.30pm.
Hainault Forest Country Park
Hainault Forest contains 336 acres of land and has miles of walking/cycling paths. With a fishing lake, golf club, farm, interactive nature trail and segway rental service, it’s perfect for a relaxing family day out. Guided walks and orienteering events take place seven days a week from the visitor centre. If you’re in the area, check out upcoming activities via Redbridge.gov.
Whether you want to take a short stroll or a vigorous hike, there are plenty of walks to choose from. For a detailed breakdown of each walking route, along with maps and information about guided tours, check out Visit Essex. Take a look at our Mersea Island accommodation and use us as your base for your trip. We look forward to seeing you.