16 things to do in Essex in October

PUBLISHED: 15:31 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:24 25 September 2020

Remus Horse Sanctuary (photo: Patch Harvey / Remus Horse Sanctuary)

Remus Horse Sanctuary (photo: Patch Harvey / Remus Horse Sanctuary)

Patch Harvey

Get autumn off to the right start with a celebration of seasonal produce in Chelmsford, walking tours in Waltham Abbey and some spooky goings on...

*Note* For all events, booking or advance notice is recommended. Please be aware that if Covid-19 restrictions are re-imposed there may be cancellations or alterations to these activities or the way an event is delivered.

1. Taste of Autumn at RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Chelmsford (2-4 Oct)

Appreciate the best of the season with a visit to the award-winning RHS Garden Hyde Hall this October. Discover stalls celebrating local produce and artisan food and drink – with many offering samples or tastings. Enjoy spectacular autumn displays, the garden awash with colour, and be sure to visit the extensive fruit and vegetable competition. From 10am. Admission prices vary.

Creephedge Lane, Chelmsford CM3 8ET; 01245 402019; rhs.org.uk

2. Stow At War at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome (4 Oct)

Back for its third year, participate in this living-history event focussing on the British Armed Forces of the Great War. What can you expect? From soldiers to nurses and airmen, see their uniforms, weaponry and training, as well as the everyday tasks of the Great War soldier. Plus, authentic demonstrations showing various skills which a soldier would have had to acquire to enable him to do his job ‘in the field’. 10am-4pm. Admission prices vary.

Hackman’s Lane, Chelmsford CM3 6RJ; 01245 429134; stowmaries.org.uk

3. Felt Flower Making Workshop at Beth Chatto Gardens, Colchester (4 Oct)

Get creative with artist and art teacher Sue Bedford and learn how to make wet felt from vibrantly coloured wool tops. Your beautiful rose with green leaf masterpiece can be added to a bag or adorn your favourite jacket. Some needle felting techniques will be covered to enhance the flowers and add detail. 10am-3.30pm. Admission £55 (all materials supplied, but please bring an apron).

Elmstead Market, Clacton Road, Colchester CO7 7DB; bethchatto.co.uk

4. Open Day at Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary, Ingatestone (4 Oct)

Join Remus Horse Memorial Sanctuary for its last open day this year, which coincides with World Animal Day, co-ordinated by Naturewatch Foundation. As well as its 200 plus animals, including horses, ponies, donkeys, cows, sheep, goats and cats, it will host a variety of competitions, games and stalls to entertain the whole family, stalls, along with music from Midnite Blu. 1pm-5pm. Admission: £4 for adults and £2 for children.

Little Farm, Buttsbury, Ingatestone CM4 9NZ; remussanctuary.org

5. Grandparents Day at Old MacDonald’s Farm & Fun Park, Brentwood (4 Oct)

Don’t let the grandparents miss out on this special day as they definitely deserve some recognition for all their love. Come and join the farm and treat your nana and grandad to meet the loveable farm animals and embrace all the fun Old MacDonald’s Farm and Fun Park has to offer. But that is not all, the entry is free for them.

Weald Road, Brentwood CM14 5A; 01277 375177; omdfarm.co.uk

6. Beginners Warm Glass Workshop at Hylands House, Chelmsford (9 Oct)

Spend a day with resident glass artist Mona Marnell exploring warm glass. The workshop will guide you through the whole process from your original idea to the final product. You will start by learning how to cut and shape glass and then exploring the many different techniques used to introduce colour, texture and inclusions to the glass before you start making your own pieces. 10am-4pm. Tickets £90.

London Road, Writtle, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ; 01245 605500; hylandsestate.co.uk

7. National Garden Scheme: Feeringbury Manor, Colchester (1-2 & 8-9 Oct)

There is always plenty to see in this beautiful 10-acre garden with two ponds and the River Blackwater. The garden of Feeringbury Manor is filled with flowers and at all times of the year there are interesting plants to be seen. Throughout are various steel gates, seats, a gazebo and sculpture made by Ben Coode-Adams. 9am-4pm. Admission £5 (kids are free).

Coggeshall Road, Feering Colchester CO5 9RB; ngs.org.uk

8. Autumn Garden Day at Copped Hall Trust, Epping (11 Oct)

Due to the latest Coronavirus restrictions, Apple Day has unfortunately been cancelled. However, Copped Hall is hosting an Autumn Garden Day instead, which will be the last opportunity to visit the gardens this year. The Site of Earlier Houses and Walled Garden will be open, although the mansion is currently closed. There will be a book stall outside the mansion and plants, fruit and vegetables will be available for sale from the Walled Garden and refreshments, light lunches and a licensed bar will be available. 12noon-5pm (last entry 4pm). Tickets are £6 and must be booked in advance.

Stables Courtyard, Epping CM16 5HS; 07749 397932; coppedhalltrust.org.uk

9. Cycle for Health at Lee Valley White Water Centre (11 Oct)

Organised by Epping Forest District Council Community, join in this scenic bike ride through Lee Valley Regional Park and Epping Forest. This programme of weekly rides gives you, family and friends the opportunity to learn more about the park and discover new open spaces right on your doorstep. Rides last approximately two hours and will cover distances between 10km and 15km. 9am to 11pm. Admission: Ride £4.50, hire and ride £9.

Waltham Cross EN9 1AB; 01992 564226; visitleevalley.org.uk

10. October Open Day at The Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge, Dunmow (11 Oct)

Visit the beautiful gardens for the last open day of the year, with squashes and pumpkins galore, while the dahlia border is still a vibrant feast for the eyes. Locally-sourced rolls, homemade soup and cakes will be available until they run out. More details to be announced soon. 11am to 5pm. Admission: Prices vary.

Little Easton, Dunmow CM6 2BD; eastonlodge.co.uk

11. Walking Tours at The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey (17 Oct)

Join The Royal Gunpowder Mills for its highly-acclaimed guided tour of the out-of-bounds parts of the site, led by a knowledgeable guide, entering particular interiors if appropriate. The tour will introduce participants to hidden architectural gems as well as the stories of the site and the purpose for which each structure was designed. 1pm to 3pm. Admission: Prices vary.

Waltham Abbey EN9 1JY; royalgunpowdermills.com

Halloween Fun in Essex

12. Shriek Week at Colchester Zoo (24 Oct-1 Nov)

Join in the fang-tastic themed displays and activities taking place this October Half Term at Colchester Zoo. The ever-popular Fright Nights will not be happening this year but Colchester Zoo is working on a new experience that works well with necessary safety measures to still offer screams and scares in the evening! Admission: Prices vary

Maldon Road CO3 0SL; colchester-zoo.com

13. Halloween Special at Audley End Miniature Railway (24-26 Oct)

This is an exciting day out you will never forget. Jump abroad on its brand-new luxury carriages, chugging deep into the estate woodland where you will arrive at the witches’ house and be greeted by the coven of witches together with their cheeky pumpkin friends. If you return from your train journey, the entertainment continues as you venture back into the woods to meet Herbert the funny, haunted, talking house and much more.

Saffron Walden CB11 4JB; audley-end-railway.co.uk

14. Spooky Nights-Family Halloween at Barleylands Farm, Billericay (26-30 Oct)

Looking for somewhere to go this Halloween with the family? Barleylands Farm is offering spellbinding fun for all ages over the October Half Term. It will be filled with little scares and spooky fun for everyone and most likely animals too! Stay tuned for more details on the website. From 10am.

Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UDS; 01268 532253; barleylands.co.uk

15. Pumpkin Carving & Creepy Crawlers at Beth Chatto Gardens (27 Oct)

This family garden activity morning is a great way to get ready for your Halloween celebrations. Carve your own character pumpkin to take home and find some real creepy creatures. The latest recommended hygiene and social distancing practices will be adhered to creating. 10am to noon.

Elmstead Market, Colchester CO7 7DB; bethchatto.co.uk

16. Autumn Fun for Kids at Museum of Power, Maldon (28-31 Oct)

Take the little ones along to the Museum of Power during the holidays and join in the wide range of fun. There will be a bug hunt with Essex Wildlife Trust to find insects in the grounds, painting, hiding and finding rocks around the museum grounds, craft activities, exciting engineering and so much more. From 10am.

Hatfield Road, Langford CM9 6QA; museumofpower.org.uk

Latest from the Essex Life