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  • Promenade ParkPromenade Park in Maldon is a Victorian river-front park with ornamental lake, woodland walk and plenty of adventure play areas for the kids

Attractions & places to visit for free


Essex may well be the county all too well known for bling and high earning residents, but that's not to say that this is a region full of expensive attractions; far from it in fact, as you'll see here there's more than enough to keep both tourists and locals busy without having to spend so much as a penny on admission.


Battlesbridge Antiques Centre - Battlesbridge

Established way back in 1967, the Battlesbridge Antiques Centre is today home to over 80 antiques dealers that span over a number of old buildings and courtyards. Here you will find an eclectic mix of antiques, collectables, crafts, architectural items, garden ornaments, fireplaces and reproduction products.


Debden Barns - Saffron Walden

Debden Barns is the ideal mix of retail, cuisine and relaxation. Amongst the products to be perused are gifts for the home and garden, with wonderfully fragrant food served up within its Street Cafe and Deli, and a great range of treatments provided within the Barns' therapy rooms.


Firstsite - Colchester

The Firstsite Art Gallery is a contemporary collection of exhibitions, commissions, residencies and screenings that span the breadth of media and art forms. Here you will find nationally and internationally acclaimed artists; all set within the unique golden building that was designed by the world famous architect Rafael Viol.


Natural History Museum - Colchester

The Natural History Museum in Colchester is a great little venue for families where admission is completely free. Here you can learn about wildlife habitats, biodiversity and climate change through an engaging exhibition.


Promenade Park - Maldon

Promenade Park has attracted significant investment over the past decade or so and today, it really shows. Here your kids can have fun in the sun within the Splash Park (admission charge applies), tackle the orienteering course or explore the Children's Maze; there's plenty to be explored as a family, too, as the Park is situated on the banks of the river Blackwater, where boat trips run from and where there's plenty of wildlife to be explored.


Rayleigh Windmill - Rayleigh

The Rayleigh Windmill features a museum, exhibition space and an information point that teaches visitors about the history of the Rayleigh Windmill. Here you can find out about how this 200 year old windmill used to work, dress up in costumes of old and learn about the Castle that used to stand upon Rayleigh Mount. This venue also holds special events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their website to see what may be happening during your trip to Essex.


Redwings Ada Cole Rescue Centre - Nazeing

The Redwings Ada Cole Rescue Centre is the UK's largest horse sanctuary and it is here that some truly inspirational work takes place nurturing horses back to health. For visitors there's plenty of chances to meet the resident horses and donkeys and learn about their stories and how Redwings have helped them. It's also dog friendly - a truly ideal day out for all, including Fido!


Looking for more ideas for visiting Essex on a budget?

Our directory is stuffed full of sightseeing options, tourist outings and other attractions that don't cost a jot. Head on over and have a search for yourself.


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