With stunning stretching beaches, tranquil spots and beautiful walks, there are so many beautiful places to visit in Essex. 

But if you are looking for something a bit more unspoilt or off the beaten track then here are our recommendations. 

Harwich Redoubt Fort 

The impressive 60-metre diameter fort looks like a circular spaceship and was built in 1808 to defend the port of Harwich from the Napoleonic invasion. 

The fort was built on a hilltop and offers an amazing view across the estuaries of River Stour and Orwell. 

A restoration project was started by the Harwich Society in 1969 after it fell into disrepair after the Second World War.  

The fort is open for visitors during spring and summer and every Sunday throughout the year between 10am and 4pm. 

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Green Island Gardens 

The 20-acre garden in Ardleigh has been described as “a plantsman’s paradise” and features unusual and non-native trees, shrubs and flowers. 

The owner Fiona Edmond professionally designed the garden, and the land is laid out as a series of structured gardens. 

To complete a trip to the gardens, there is also a tearoom and plant nursery so no visitor will leave with an empty stomach or empty handed. 

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Prettyfields Vineyard 

This hidden gem near Colchester is an incredible local producer and leader in the British wine revolution. 

The idyllic landscape is perfect for wine and nature lovers alike, as the vineyard offers tours with peeks behind the curtain of winemaking. 

With its excellent produce, the Prettyfields vineyard is showing the quality of British wines, gaining international acknowledgement and putting Britain on the map. 

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Tollesbury Marshes 

Some TV fans might recognise the Tollesbury Marshes as the area was the location for scenes of Apple TV’s The Essex Serpent and ITV’s Liar. 

The iconic landscape of the beautifully serene salt marsh is worth a trip for a day out and invites visitors to explore the area. 

By foot or by paddleboard, after an extensive trip around the marshes, local tearooms and a vintage café make the trip whole. 

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Boydells Dairy Farm 

The small working farm specialises in sheep milking and is run by the Treadgold family. 

Visitors can take part in guided tours with plenty of opportunities to get hands-on with milking cows and sheep, feeding the hens or collecting eggs. 

The farm shop offers a variety of products, including the famous Yoggipops, sheep yoghurt ice lollies, on a summer day. 

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Hadleigh Castle 

The castle overlooks the marshes and Benfleet Estuary and was built during the 1230s by Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent after he received the land from King John. 

It was refortified by Edward III during the Hundred Years War and became his favourite retreat later in life. 

The romantic ruins are now managed by English Heritage and are free to enter with a walk into Hadleigh Country Park and Old Leigh. 

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Leigh on Sea Brewery 

The cosy brewery and taproom serve award-winning traditional ales and craft beers. 

It was founded in 2017 and the tap room is open Thursdays to Saturdays to enjoy freshly made food to accompany the beer in an intimate and contemporary setting. 

The drinks have names like Two Tree Island, SS9 and Pier Train to proudly remind them of their origin and pay tribute to the area. 

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Hopefield Animal Sanctuary 

The sanctuary cares for more than 500 sick, unwanted and mistreated animals, which are now enjoying a peaceful environment, surrounded by the best care and love. 

Visitors can see the animals on the 53 acres near Brentwood, home to more than 100 species, including alpacas, cows and reindeer. 

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Battlesbrdige Antiques Centre 

The dark wooden granary building on the banks of River Crouch is a true treasure chest. 

The Antiques Centre hosts more than 80 extremely knowledgeable antique dealers who bear one or other valuable and rare items. 

After a hunt through the antiques, the Hideaway Tearoom invites visitors to the fourth floor to enjoy incredible views and cakes. 

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