23 ways to Explore Essex for 2023

23 ideas to kick start 2023 from walks to birdwatching, kid's play to family history, there's something for everyone.

Posted on 20th December 2022

The Christmas tree is packed up and the decorations are down, but never fear, we have come up with 23 ideas to kickstart your 2023 by exploring the great county of Essex.

Get some fresh air and get back to basics with beautiful woodland walks, giving yourself time to connect with family, friends and nature and reflect on the year gone by.

We hope our 23 ideas will help you explore or try something new in 2023 and embrace Essex’s incredible parks, culture and heritage.

Be inspired to Explore Essex this New Year

  1. Stroll through the Essex Country Parks, discover new beginnings, see the beauty of the native British Snowdrops, blooming through the months of January and February.
  2. Packed with exciting dance, art and musical wonder, enjoy the Colchester Chinese Cultural Society New Year concertin Colchester on Saturday 21 January.
  3. Delve into history and visit Colchester Castle, set in the beautiful gardens with Castle Park nearby. Enjoy the many fascinating exhibits and interactive displays.
  4. Explore the stranger side of the county by listening to the Eerie Essex podcast, hear about historic folklore, urban legends and supernatural encounters. Drop in to one of the Eerie Essex 'on the road'recording sessions to share your own experiences.
  5. Young people can support the Manifesto for Essex Youth Summit at EA Sustain, a festival connecting the Environment, Culture and Entrepreneurship, at Firstsite, in Colchester on Saturday 14 January.
  6. Visit your local library where there is a warm welcome for you, every Essex Library has a story time for children and their families at least one weekend a month.
  7. Enjoy a family activity with a difference by booking our Forest School Sessions at Danbury Country Park. Spend time together in the great outdoors, have fun and create some special memories.
  8. Interact with nature and wildlife by heading to Hadleigh Country Park to see the grazing goats or visit the deer park at Weald Country Park.
  9. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – live more sustainably in 2023. ‘Love Essex’ has plenty of tips from cooking up a treat with leftover food to sustainable shopping and reducing waste.
  10. Wander around the Tudor Walled Garden at Cressing Temple Barns and find out about its fascinating history. Enjoy some refreshments at the Tiptree Tea Room.
  11. Research your family history at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford and online. Discover more about your heritage.
  12. Sign-up to a parkrun, a great way to meet others or catch-up with friends whilst keeping fit at the same time.
  13. Enjoy the play parksnestled within the beauty of Essex Country parks, Great Notley is home to Essex’s longest play trail while there is the Gruffalo Trail at Thorndon Country Park.
  14. Enjoy some stunning vocals in January, join the musically talented Sarah McQuaid on Saturday 21 January at Castle Hedingham Village Hall, for a musical treat. (Supported by the Arts and Cultural Fund).
  15. Delight in nature, discover the bird hideat Cudmore Grove Country Park. What can you spot?
  16. Take to the skies– challenge yourself on the High Ropes Adventure at Essex Outdoors Harlow when it opens this Easter or enjoy Sky Ropes at Great Notley Country Park.
  17. See the stunning migratory flocks of Brent Geese and other overwintering birds, that have arrived on our shores at Marsh Farm and Cudmore Grove Country Parks.
  18. Book your children onto one of the exhilarating Essex OutdoorsSchool Holiday Activity Daysduring February half term.
  19. Explore the Essex coastline and go beach combing at Cudmore Grove Country Park, find shells, pebble, and sea glass. What seashore marvels will you find?
  20. Visit Jaywick Martello Tower, find out about its interesting history through fascinating exhibits and delight in the many temporary art and cultural exhibitions.
  21. For a healthy hobby, join the fishing community at Belhus Woods Country Park. There are two wonderful large fishing lakes in the park to enjoy all year round.
  22. Check out volunteering opportunities in Essex. Becoming a volunteer can be very rewarding and a great way to learn new skills, meet others and help your community.
  23. Take a walk on the wild side – use the Go Jauntly app or the Daily Mile to discover new routes in some of Essex Country Parks. Use the Go Jauntly app to plan a route and visit the coast out of season.

With evidence indicating that nature can make positive contributions to health and wellbeing, prescribe yourself a dose of idyllic countryside in 2023 by heading to Essex Country Parks, recognised for their excellence by being awarded Green Flag Status.

Save money while you explore

Save money on parking and cafés at seven Essex County Parks by purchasing the annual Essex Explorer Pass. Discover more here.

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