Move over Thailand and Brazil - Essex has become the latest tourist hotspot to get the Rough Guides treatment.

The renowned publisher, which has written more than 200 books showcasing destinations across the globe, has produced a guide dedicated to our coastline.

Essex is the first county to get its very own Rough Guides booklet, named Make the Most of the Discovery Coast.

The guide takes in 360 miles of beaches, creeks and inlets, as well as featuring the best in food, wildlife and watersports.

Traditional attractions, such as Adventure Island in Southend, and Promenade Park in Maldon, are covered by the guide.

But visitors are also encouraged to sample gourmet seafood at the Company Shed in West Mersea, or enjoy a cuppa at the Naze Tower Tearooms, in Walton.

Wallasea Island, near Burnham, is singled out as a prime location for nature lovers and wildlife spotters.

George Kieffer, chairman of Visit Essex, said: “Essex is only one hour from London, but so different that it could be hundreds of miles or an age away.

“There is much to discover, from vineyards and oysters, cockle-sheds and pubs, to one of the oldest chapels in England and the longest pleasure pier in the world.”

Rough Guides author Sam Cook said: “Dramatic and otherworldly, surprising and serene, the Discovery Coast definitely gets under your skin.

“I was staggered by its sheer variety of destinations huge range of activities.”

The guide is available for free from any tourist information centre, or it can be downloaded from