ANYONE who has visited the idyllic Marks Hall estate will have experienced its absorbing tranquility and beauty which changes with the seasons.

Trickling water features provide a peaceful backdrop for a summer stroll and while spring bursts out with an explosion of colour from the carpet of bluebells.

And it’s just as stunning when the leaves collect their autumn hue and the snow settles in the winter.

More than 2,000 acres of beautiful Essex countryside is proudly on display and means there is something, somewhere, on site for just about everyone.

The Walled Garden, the two incredible lakes and the woodland walks certainly make it one of the best places to visit

throughout Essex if you want to spend a peaceful hour or two - or three - simply having a wander around.

And, as you would expect, there’s wildlife too.

Birds skip and dive through the tree-tops and the inquisitive ducks and peacocks which call Marks Hall home won’t be shy in coming to welcome you.

But now organisers of a much-loved event want to welcome you too.

They are working away putting the final touches to preparations which will see the quiet broken and the venue bustle with activity.

The countdown is on to the third biennial Marks Hall Garden and Country Show.

The popular event will see falconry displays, classic and vintage cars, country pursuits and a huge range of food and drink on offer for visitors to enjoy.

But before the show itself, there is a gala evening, in support of the show’s charities.

The show is being held at the estate on Friday July 20 to make sure things get underway in


Among the performances will be ones by the New Orleans South Soul band and the Military Wives Choir.

There will be a silent auction with more than 100 lots lined-up, a raffle and plenty of opportunities to have an early browse of the craft and garden stalls.

Wine and canapes can be enjoyed by visitors before they take a stroll around the idyllic grounds of Marks Hall and soak in the atmosphere as the sun goes down.

It’s an evening which Nigel Dyson, the country show director, believes is the perfect opening for the events in the days which follow.

Mr Dyson said: “It’s always an exciting evening because it marks the start of the whole weekend, a weekend which everyone has put so much work into.

“Everything will be open for the gala evening and we have the jazz band and choir which will be providing the entertainment.

“It is by no means a formal evening, we want people to come along and have a good time and that’s why this year we’ve opened it up.”

Mr Dyson has been involved with organising events for more than ten years.

He said: “The gala evening takes a lot of planning because we have to do things like dress the stage and make the canapes

“Altogether there is around 30 or 40 people who will be involved on the night making sure it all goes well.”

The three charities which will benefit from the money raised from the evening are the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, the Rotary Club of Colchester and the Marks Hall Estate.

Mr Dyson said: “It’s a great event for the charities, they work so well together and it’s fantastic to see three charities benefit rather than just one.

“It’s great for the stallholders too, they get excited because it’s another opportunity for them

to show off what they have on offer.”

David Burrage, the chairman of the Garden and Country steering group, said he was excited ahead of the evening.

Mr Burrage said: “We are once again delighted to be holding the gala evening in the beautiful surroundings of the Marks Hall estate.

“It’s an evening which will be part of the weekend event in aid of the three charities and the valuable work that they do.”

So far roughly 150 tickets for the gala have been sold but organisers are hoping to attract closer to 500 when the big evening rolls around next month.

Tickets for the evening are a suggested donation of £20 which will shared equally among the trio of charities.

Email to request a ticket form.

The entertainment will get underway at 6pm and run until 9pm.

For more information about the show visit