While the region has become best known for fake tans and TOWIE, UK holiday fans know that Essex has one of the longest coastlines in England and lots of excellent beaches that have earned the Blue Flag for cleanliness and quality.
Orchards holiday park
Orchards in Clacton-on-Sea offers a wide range of activities and facilities in a lovely setting. On top of indoor and outdoor swimming pools, there is fresh water fishing in the coarse lake and golf on the park's nine-hole course.
Resorts including Clacton-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea and Mersea Island provide everything you would expect of a superb seaside holiday in the UK. Another picturesque spot is Cudmore Grove Country Park, where there is a sandy beach backed by pretty grasslands.
At more than one mile long, Southend's pleasure pier is the longest in the world. Throughout the year the pier hosts live music and special events and there's a museum celebrating the history of this incredible structure. If a round trip along the pier of almost three miles sounds a bit too much, there's a train to make journeys easier.
Clacton has all the fun of the seaside, with a long sandy beach and a pier with seaside rides, amusements and an indoor bowling centre. Kids will love the aquarium. Mersea is a tiny island just off the Essex coast with a large and mainly sandy beach, and an ancient Roman burial ground that dates back to AD 100 ...check for opening times before visiting....
Top attractions in Essex include Colchester Zoo, Adventure Island and Sea Life Adventure. For some retro indoor fun, whizz over to the massive roller-skating rink at Colchester's Rollerworld, or to Indikart's go-cart track.