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Image of Colchester Castle, Essex, in Autumn

When looking to visit somewhere offering history, attractive countryside, beaches and excellent shopping opportunities, Essex offers all this and more. With hotels ranging from very modern to historic and with good transport links by rail, road, air and sea, Essex is a diverse and interesting county.

Although Essex is relatively flat, with a few large towns such as Colchester, Chelmsford and Basildon, there is much attractive countryside. Coastal hotels, riverside hotels and country hotels, as well as hotels within larger towns offer a good base from which to explore.

Best of Essex for...

  • Historical sites: Historic places to visit include Colchester Castle, an 11th century Norman keep and the late Saxon tower of Holy Trinity Church. Hedingham Castle, built during Norman times is also well worth a visit. Set in beautiful grounds, there are also lakeside and woodland walks to enjoy. Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker inspires curiosity. Built originally for the RAF, it has seen life as a Civil Defence Centre and Regional Government Headquarters.
  • Outdoors types: Essex has miles of picturesque coastline. Long recognised as a popular holiday destination, there are plenty of hotels in which to stay. Thorney Bay Beach on Canvey Island is quiet, sandy and sheltered so ideal for family beach-based holidays. Labworth Beach, also on Canvey Island, offers pools, funfairs and amusement arcades. The Southend-on-Sea coastline has seven miles of seafront with a variety of bays, coves and sandy beaches.

Essex has so many different experiences available, from nature reserves to large shopping centres, small villages to large and historic towns to seaside resorts. Choosing hotels, especially online, has never been easier and Essex's importance in both business and tourism ensures an excellent range of hotels throughout the county. Essex can offer some wonderful period hotels and the choice of hotels will increase further as the 2012 Olympic Games approaches.