Five visitor attractions in Essex have been named among the best in the UK according to VisitEngland.

Its Visitor Attraction Accolades for 2021 and 2022 recognised the outstanding visitor experiences on offer across the country.

In total 97 attractions were featured, and they were awarded with either the Welcome Accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food and Drink and the Gold Accolade for all-round top-scoring attractions.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “It’s so exciting to see our brilliant attractions providing outstanding experiences for visitors and to recognise and showcase the variety and quality across the country. 

“England has unmissable visitor attractions and experiences that deliver world-class customer service. They also provide the warmest of welcomes and unforgettable storytelling that connects the whole experience, including retail and food and drink offers that exceed expectations.”

What Essex visitor attractions were included in the VisitEngland accolades?

Adventure Island, Southend

Accolade: Gold

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 4,202 reviews)

Last year Adventure Island won a Welcome Accolade from VisitEngland and has now achieved a greater award with receiving a Gold Accolade.

The free entry theme park in Southend is enjoyed by those of all ages, and has over 40 rides and attractions to go on.

Beth Chatto Gardens, Colchester

Dunmow Broadcast: Beth Chatto Gardens Beth Chatto Gardens (Image: Tripadvisor)

Accolade: Gold

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 1,212 reviews)

Like Adventure Island, Beth Chatto Gardens received a Welcome Accolade in VisitEngland's awards from last year and now also has a Gold.

The picturesque gardens, named after the award-winning plantswoman, author and lecturer Beth Chatto, are a great place to admire, as well as potentially buy some flowers of your own.

Chelmsford Museum, Chelmsford

Accolade: Best Told Story

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 277 reviews)

Chelmsford Museum featured last year winning a Quality Food & Drink Accolade and it appears this time under the Best Told Story category.

Its educational displays following a wide array of history has undoubtedly contributed to that.

Redwings Ada Cole, Nazeing

Dunmow Broadcast: One of the horses from Redwings Ada Cole One of the horses from Redwings Ada Cole (Image: Tripadvisor)

Accolade: Welcome

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 66 reviews)

Redwings Ada Cole is an Animal Sanctuary home to over 70 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, and has received a Welcome Accolade from VisitEngland.

Visitors can enjoy walking tours and horse care demonstrations, followed by hot drinks and tasty snacks from the Nosebag Cafe.

Epping Forest District Museum, Waltham Abbey

Accolade: Hidden Gem

Tripadvisor rating: 4.5/5 (from 37 reviews)

The family-friendly Epping Forest District Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the area.

Its educational displays and hands on activities has helped it earn a Hidden Gem Accolade from VisitEngland.