Explore Essex’s cultural verve in two days

Explore Essex’s cultural verve in two days

Essex is home to a diverse coastline which features tidal inlets, estuarine islands and lonely salt marshes showcasing its wild beauty and rich wildlife. Rich in sites and scenery, Essex is a hub for arts and culture with unique surprises in every corner including culturally important sites and historic houses, all waiting to be explored.

Itinerary Summary

2 Days
Mid range

Practical information

Family friendly
Food & drink available
Day 1

1 Morning

Explore Southend-On-Sea

With seven glorious miles of seafront, the longest pleasure pier in the world and a host of exciting events and festivals throughout the year, Southend-On-Sea is the ideal place to begin your cultural adventure in exciting Essex. Enjoy traditional seaside fun before heading into town to discover a thriving cultural scene with museums, historic houses and a range of art spaces. Size up the old masters and exhibitions at the Beecroft Art Gallery or peruse contemporary art at Focal Point Gallery.


Focal Point Gallery

2 Lunch

Camelia Hotel

Enjoy a spot of leisurely lunch at Southend's award-winning boutique hotel Camelia, located on the seafront in Thorpe Bay with fabulous views of the beach and the Thames Estuary. The Camelia's special blend of style and warmth has made us one of Southend-on-Seas favourites - and we're sure you'll love it too!


Camelia Hotel

3 Afternoon

Metal Culture (NetPark)

After lunch, take as short drive (10 minutes) along the seafront where you'll find Metal Culture, a cultural hub that hosts year-round artists-in-residence to develop large and small scale events and festivals, taking Southend-on-Sea as its inspiration. The residencies are housed in a renovated Grade II listed Georgian building that sits within the grounds of the much-loved Chalkwell Park. Here you’ll also find NetPark, the world’s first digital art park, where you can use your smart phone or tablet to find 15 artworks hidden in the landscape. Be immersed in the outdoors like never before - take an audio walk, a spoken word or music tour, or listen to an adventure or love story, created by artists, musicians and writers, while wandering through the the natural surroundings.


NetPark and Metal Culture

4 Overnight

Pier View Self Catering Luxury Apartments

After a busy afternoon exploring NetPark, indulge in a night of comfort when you spend the night at one of four luxury apartments in Southend's conservation area. Pier View Self Catering Luxury Apartments are set in a historical Georgian building, which retains its ambience and historic character alongside ultra modern features and comforts.


Pier View Self Catering Luxury Apartments

Day 2

5 Morning


Arrive early to really make the most of this delightful town, as there is so much to see and do. Start your day at Clacton Pier, which offers six and a half acres of fun and entertainment, including a SeaQuarium, Boardwalk Bar, rides, arcades and much more. Next, head over to Jaywick Martello Tower, a hub for local culture and art. The tower was originally a Napoleonic Fort in the early 19th century, built to defend against invasion from Napoleon’s army and is now a hub of entertainment where you can enjoy art and heritage exhibitions, talks and events, all with views of the beach.


Coming Soon

6 Lunch

Lifehouse Spa & Hotel

Stop for a spot of lunch at the Lifehouse Spa & Hotel where you can enjoy ingredients that are fresh, seasonal and sourced from farmers, fisherman and growers based within East Anglia wherever possible. The perfect pit-stop!


Lifehouse Spa & Hotel

7 Afternoon

The Naze Tower

Just a 15 minute drive away, make Walton-on-the-Naze your next destination. Here you'll find The Naze Tower, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of coastal Essex, this landmark Tower is now an art gallery, featuring works inspired by the coast.

Pub / Bar

Naze Tower

8 Afternoon

Harwich & Dovercourt

Known to most as an international port, a stop off at the old town of Harwich is a must for visitors. Full of secret alleyways, historic buildings with a tale to tell, small museums, and a replica of the Mayflower. A stroll around Harwich is the perfect way to end your adventure along the second longest coastline in the UK!


Coming Soon