WITH the rule of six returning on Monday, here are some of the best outdoor spaces around north and mid Essex to enjoy with friends and family.

In case you were unclear on all the details, the rule of six allows for friends and family to meet outdoors starting from March 29.

The new rule also says that two households of any size can meetup, so a family of six and four could be together outside as a group of 10.

As the spring brings warmer weather, here’s a look at some of the best outdoor places you can meet for a welcome catch-up.

Mersea Island

Visitors to Mersea Island are spoilt for choice when it comes to which route they want their day to take.

Upon crossing the strood you are faced with two options - turn left and you will end up at the beautiful Cudmore Grove country park, carry on right and head into West Mersea’s town.

Halstead Gazette: Fiona Malby captured this beautiful shot in West MerseaFiona Malby captured this beautiful shot in West Mersea

Cudmore Grove provides a fantastic walk along the rugged coastline, while there are also play facilities for young children (or big adults!) to use.

If a trip into West Mersea is what you’ve opted for then be prepared to witness boats mooring and make sure you walk out on the jetty where you may be lucky enough to spot a seal or two.


Most Essex residents have heard of Clacton and Frinton’s seafronts, but there are many other coastal towns on our doorstep which are just as eye-catching.

Here we have Holland-on-Sea which is a stone throw away from Clacton, on the very eastern coast of the county.

With lots of outdoor spaces and a seafront to amble along, Holland is certainly an underrated spot to visit.

Halstead Gazette: This shot of Holland Haven looking back towards Frinton was taken by Steve BradingThis shot of Holland Haven looking back towards Frinton was taken by Steve Brading

Great Notley Country Park

Whether you're an adventurer at heart or just want to relax and unwind in Essex's beautiful countryside, this park offers the perfect day out for all the family.

Covering 100 acres of open space the park is home to Essex’s longest children’s play trail, as they can jump, swing, and climb around 1.2km of fun.

If relaxation is your vibe, the park also offers some lovely areas to explore and enjoy nature including a fishing lake and wildflower meadows.

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Stunning Finchingfield is often referred to as 'the most photographed village in England', and it’s clear to see why.

Halstead Gazette: The picturesque village of FinchingfieldThe picturesque village of Finchingfield

Visit Essex has described it as a ‘textbook example of the traditional English village’ - they’re not wrong.

At the heart of Finchingfield you’ll find a village green, a duck pond and a hump-backed bridge, all surrounded by a series of cottages, pubs and a medieval church.

Scout around with an eagle eye and you may even spot the windmill tucked away behind the cottages.

Beeleigh Falls

Beeleigh is home to some of the falls and locks and weir on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, which was built in the 1790's.

Halstead Gazette: Paul Adams snapped this shot of Beeleigh FallsPaul Adams snapped this shot of Beeleigh Falls

It was created to enable transport of goods by horse drawn barge to and from Chelmsford and now provides some stunning scenery for a walk, or often keen photographers.

You can find the beauty hotspot by the sleepy village of Langdon, just north of Maldon.


The small village of Wrabness sits overlooking the Stour Estuary in the far north of Essex, with Manningtree to the west, and Harwich to the east.

The Essex Wildlife Trust’s Wrabness Nature Reserve is 60 acres with fantastic views of the Stour. Grassland, scrub and woodland offer a variety of habitats, and there is an adjoining marsh.

The village’s claim to fame is in fact now ‘Julie’s House’ – an amazing building from renowned artist Grayson Perry.

Wrabness is a hidden gem in the county, but once you’ve visited you’re sure to want to return.