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Things to do in Essex this April and May

PUBLISHED: 11:18 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:18 24 April 2017

EXG MAY 17 Events

EXG MAY 17 Events


Get your calendars at the ready because it’s going to be a busy couple of months in Essex

EXG MAY 17 Events EXG MAY 17 Events

26 April, 8pm-9.30pm

Evening Bat Walk

Belfairs Woodland Centre, Eastwood Road North, Leigh on Sea SS9 4LR

Join the woodland ranger Ashley Pinnock on an evening walk through the reserve to look and listen for bats. Meet at the Belfairs Woodland Centre to join Ashley on a walk through the Belfairs reserve and hear about the conservation work being undertaken to promote and conserve these wonderful animals. You can also use bat detectors to ‘listen’ for the bats calls!

Admission: £6 per person and booking is essential

01702 477467

27 April, 6.30pm

Great British Beef Week

Deersbrook Farm, Shalford Green, Braintree CM7 5AZ

Celebrate Great British Beef Week at Deersbrook Farm with chef Alan Paton who will be serving a delicious three-course meal in the meadows of Deersbrook Farm, celebrating the Great British Beef Week and St George’s day, in conjunction with Ladies in Beef and raising money for RABI agricultural charity.

Admission: £38 per person, including arrival drinks and a three course meal

01371 850671

28 April to 1 May, 10am-5pm

The Essex Craft and Design Show

RHS Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon CM38ET

Celebrate the best in contemporary craft, art and locally produced food. A fantastic day out for all.

Admission: Prices vary

07944 806340

1 May, times vary

In the night garden traIl

RHS Hyde Hall, Creephedge Lane, Rettendon, Chelmsford CM3 8ET

Especially for our little visitors, toddlers can enjoy spotting their favourite characters such as Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka on a magical journey around the garden.

Admission: Prices vary


1 May to 30 June, 10am to 12.30pm

Wild Beach action

Chalkwell Beach, Chalkwell,

Southend SS0 8JQ

Enjoy a seashore-based wildlife day by exploring the seashore in all weathers. Find lots of fun and fabulous things to make and take home with you.

Admission: Booking is essential.

01702 477467

4 May

Forbidden Nights

Towngate Theatre, St. Martins Square, Basildon SS14 1DL

Roll up! Roll up! The circus just got sexy with Forbidden Nights providing an evening to remember with thrills, fantasy and forbidden thoughts at every turn! Indulge yourselves in a two-hour production as world-renowned circus artists perform heart-racing tricks in an electric fusion of daring and provocative choreography for the ultimate tease. Jam-packed action routines including aerial chains, fire acts, acrobatics and live musicians will leave you on the edge of your seat!

Admission: From £21.50

01268 465465

6 May, 7pm

Charity Concert

Salvation Army Building, 70 Baddow Road, Chelmsford CM2 0DL

Come and show your support by joining in this beautiful charity concert. All in aid of Chess, which supports the homeless, the event features the East of England Co-op Band supported by UNIFY Community Choir.

Admission: £8 in advance or £10 on the door

01245 490998

6 May, 8.30am to 3pm

Flea Market

Maldon Town Hall, Market Hill,

Maldon CM9 4RL

Come along and enjoy stalls including vintage and second-hand goods, antiques, collectables and crafts.

Admission: Prices vary

01621 850940

7 May, 10am to 4pm

Hylands Farmers & Crafts Market

Hylands House and Estate,

Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ

If it is grown, brewed, pickled, baked or crafted in Essex, you can find it here. Nestled in the beautiful surroundings of The Stables on the Hylands Estate, this market is a haven for local producers who are passionate about food and crafts. Stallholders present a range of specialist foods including meat and artisan delicacies, hand-crafted gifts, freshly baked bread and wonderful sweet and savoury pastries.

Admission: Free entry

01245 605500

7 May

Maldon Mud Race

Promenade Park, Park Drive,

Maldon CM9 5JQ

A world famous event where entrants race across the river bed at low tide to raise money for local charities and good causes. It’s a great day out for all the family with stalls, refreshments and plenty of landside activities. Come and soak up the atmosphere!

Admission: Free to spectators and varied entry fee for participants


10 May

Creepy Crawlies Club

Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Church Road, Colchester CO2 0EU

A weekly club for the under fives where you can spend an hour and a half exploring the nature reserve, discovering new things and finishing with a wildlife-themed story, plus a snack and drink for the children and tea or coffee for the adults.

Admission: £6 per child and £4 per additional sibling. Booking essential.

01206 738172

12 May, 10.30am to 3.30pm

The Beth Chatto Principles of Garden Design

Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Colchester CO7 7DB

During this popular two-day workshop, with resident tutor Chrissy South, you will learn how the gardens of renowned plantswoman, author and lecturer Beth Chatto have evolved over the last 55 years and examine the different planting styles and the ecological significance of specific areas.

Admission: A set seasonal lunch is included in the price on both days. £130 or £110 for Gold Friends of the Garden and RHS members.

01206 822007

13 May, 12.45pm to 2.45pm

Spring Migration Bonanza

RSPB Wallasea Island Grapnells Farm, Creeksea Ferry Road, Rochford SS4 2HD

May is peak migration season and you will be looking out for summer visitors and passage migrants heading further north. The talk will be by the RSPB.

Admission: Booking essential. £5 donation requested.

01268 498620

19-21 May, 10am to 5pm

The National Flower Show

Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ

Enjoy beautiful flower displays, amazing show gardens and attend gardening talks held by the region’s experts. Discover a world of shopping too, from plants and flowers to food and crafts. This year Hylands House will be transformed into a Festival of Roses – with TV legend Monty Dom opening the show!

Admission: Prices vary


21 May

Big East Triathlon

Bradwell on Sea

Now in its 7th year, Dengie Events have put together another fantastic schedule of Essex based triathlons and cycle rides for 2017. There is an event to cater for beginners and pros alike. This extremely popular event gives entrants a choice of Middle Distance (1.6km swim / 82km cycle / 20km run) or Challenge Distance (800m swim / 43km cycle / 10km run) and is open to individual athletes and relay teams. Set in an ideal location for triathlon and attracting competitors from all over the world, it is well suited to anyone aiming to get fit or in search of a new challenge.

Admission: Prices vary.


20 May

Harlow: Land and Sky

The Gibbered Gallery Civic Centre,

The Water Gardens, Harlow CM20 1WG

To celebrate Harlow’s 70th anniversary, a three-part workshop, Harlow: Land and Sky, will explore the relationship between the town and its geography over the past 70 years. The original ideas, which shaped and cultivated Harlow’s identity have morphed and changed over time. Now, Harlow is 70 is a tremendous opportunity to mark how the town has evolved. During each workshop, participants will learn how to use and manipulate paint to create their own response to the town through a dynamic abstract/landscape painting. Each of these individual works will help form the installation as a whole as a separate yet interconnected body of work — a reflection of how residents respond to living in Harlow.

Admission: Free, but you need to book.


21 May

The Calman Before the Storm

Mercury Theatre, Colchester CO1 1PT

Following a total sell-out Fringe run before the Fringe had even started, swiftly followed by a sell-out two-week run at London’s Soho Theatre and now many tour dates selling out just as quickly, one of Scotland’s and Radio 4’s most beloved comedians is ready to rip through all preconceptions of her once and for all as she brings her new show to Colchester.

Admission: Prices vary.

01206 573948

26 May, 4pm to 9.30pm

Bat Ecology

Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Hawkswood Road, Billericay CM11 1WT

An opportunity to learn about the fascinating world of bats. The course will focus on the ecology of UK bats and is suitable for complete beginners or those who wish to know more about bats. Different survey techniques employed to studying bats are considered with case studies as examples. Analysing bat calls through the use of bat detectors and computer software will also be covered. In the evening there will be an opportunity to carry out a bat survey using bat detectors around the Hanningfield nature reserve.

Admission: £30 donation.

01268 711001

27-28 May, 10am to 5pm

Brightlingsea Regatta, Boatshow & Fireworks

Brightlingsea Sailing Club, The Clubhouse, Brightlingsea CO7 0BA

This annual fun event is now in its 12th year. Hosted by Brightlingsea Sailing Club, The Colne Yacht Club, Brightlingsea Harbour, Morgan Marine and many other local businesses, the event will be located all the way from the Western Promenade to Brightlingsea Boatyard with the focal point around the sailing club, yacht club and the hard. Enjoy this fantastic family weekend relaxing in the sun while watching boat races, displays, rescue demonstrations, competitions and lots of fun on the water. There will be plenty of boats on display plus many yachts dressed especially for the weekend.


28-29 May, 2pm to 5pm

Open Garden weekend

Tendring Hall, School Road,

Tendring, Clacton on Sea CO16 0BP

A fabulous opportunity to visit the splendid gardens of a private house with rhodedenrons, azaleas, lawns and a small lake on show to the public for a special weekend. All proceeds for the weekend go to Clacton on Sea Lifeboat.

Admission: By donation.

01255 821759

29 May to 1 June, 11am to 5pm

Kings and Queens

Audley End House & Gardens, Off London Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF

Put on a right royal welcome at Audley End as the team teach you to avoid the pitfalls of palace life and impress your regal rulers. Uncover the ultimate curtsey, bow like a pro and entertain without being a fool. Find out how to be the King’s right-hand man or the Queen’s favourite lady in waiting at this school for novice nobles. But get it wrong, and it’ll be off with your head!

Admission: Prices vary.


30 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm

Creative Craft

Upminster Windmill, The Mill Field, Saint Marys Lane, Upminster RM14 2QL

Come to the Old Chapel for a decoupage craft session. There will be gluing, sticking and decorating trinket boxes and other items, which you can keep.

Admission: £3 per child (drop in session)

01708 642919


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