From enchanting country hotels to value-for-money bed and breakfasts, Essex has a wonderful selection of romantic hotels for special weekend getaways or longer breaks. The western part of the county is home to London Stansted Airport, which offers flights to dozens of locations across Europe.
See Magnificent Hylands House
Close to the ancient city of Chelmsford, this impressive Grade II-Listed mansion welcomes around two million visitors each year to see its grand interior and beautiful grounds. It was designed in the 18th century in an elaborate Neo-Classical theme, and is one of the most popular wedding venues in East Anglia.
Spend the Day at the Seaside
Visit the lively seaside resort of Clacton-on-Sea, which is known for its pleasure pier and pleasant sandy beaches, and has a good range of affordable hotels. Further south is the larger resort of Southend-on-Sea, most noted for its 1.3-mile-long pier that has stood since the early 19th century. Like other resorts, it also has plenty of accommodation ranging from deluxe hotels to budget friendly bed and breakfasts, and is less than 45 miles from central London by train.
Visit Colchester, Britain's Oldest Town
There is widespread archaeological evidence that Colchester is the oldest recorded town in the county, referred to as far back as the 1st century AD, well before the Roman conquest of Britain. Once you've checked in at your romantic hotel, you can visit the town's imposing castle and observe Europe's biggest Norman Keep.
You could also book tickets to see a fantastic theatre show at the acclaimed Mercury theatre, which is just a half-mile walk along the High Street from the castle. Now that the vast majority of Essex hotels offer WiFi, you can easily book tickets to local attractions and make restaurant reservations online from the comfort of your room.
Come to Historic Saffron Walden
In the northwest of the county, you can visit the charismatic market town of Saffron Walden, which could easily be nominated for the title of Essex's most picturesque settlement. On the outskirts is the splendid country mansion known as Audley End House, which is a striking example of Jacobean architecture and is easily accessible from hotels in west Essex via the M11.