Best Things to Do in Essex in the Rain

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The summer has ended here and the weather has been all over the place lately. Granted, there are plenty of enjoyable places to visit, even when it’s raining. However, if you’re searching for something less wet, check out these rainy-day activities in Essex. Everyone from children to grandparents can find something to enjoy here. 

The Best Indoor Activities in Essex

Castle of Colchester

Visit Colchester Castle for a learning experience. The castle’s crypts and foundations were built over a thousand years ago. A guided tour of this region is available for an extra fee. The main building is 300 years old and houses a museum with exhibits chronicling two millennia of human activity in Essex. Quite a few displays encourage audience participation, making them suitable for children. The castle is at the foot of Colchester’s High Street, making it easily accessible from all of the city’s major thoroughfares.


Ice or Roller Skating

Roller skating or ice skating, whatever you like. Wednesdays through Sundays, anyone may skate at Rollerworld. Afternoon and evening meetings are held throughout the week. On the weekends, you may schedule sessions at any time. Additionally, wheelchairs are welcome on the ice at certain periods, and there are accessible seating choices available. Laser Quest, a laser tag game, is also available at Rollerworld. Thirty minutes is the average length of a single game.

In Chelmsford, you may skate at the ice rink at the Riverside Leisure Centre. Sessions for the general public to go ice skating occur frequently. To discover what times are available, check online. Also, professional and competitive skaters have access to private practice sessions.


Clip ‘n’ Climb/Jump Street

There are many Clip n’ Climb gyms in the Essex region, but the one in Chelmsford is among the finest. There are 29 climbing walls and three difficult obstacles to overcome. You may still have fun while experiencing more of a challenge in the elements, even if you’re an adult. Getting the premium version with all the extra challenging levels is a good idea. There is a trampoline park and an enclosed soft play area in addition to Clip n’ Climb.

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Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex provides everything you need for an exciting day or evening inside. Various stores and eateries may be found there, along with multiple amusements. Entertainment options include a cinema, a rock-up climbing wall, a putt shack, indoor mini golf, an upside-down house, and a bowling alley. The fees will pile up since each attraction has its own admission fee. If money is tight, select only one or two.


Seawater Thrill Ride

If the weather is terrible, you may always go to an aquarium instead of exploring Colchester zoo or the local farms in Essex. Due to its extensive marine displays and the addition of terrestrial species like monkeys and meerkats, Sealife Adventure is now classified as a zoo-aquarium. There is also a display of prehistoric animals, and the aquarium’s inside space is rather vast.


Indoor Adventures

If you’re looking for something to do while in Southend, check out Adventure Inside. The Adventure Island theme park has an interior addition, four rides, a soft play area, and an arcade for kids, and it’s open all year round. The price of an annual pass to Adventure Island is £15. Therefore, this may be a fantastic alternative if you live in or around Southend and anticipate going there numerous times this year.



You can hit the arcades if you’re looking for cheap things to do in Essex during a downpour. It’s ridiculous to recommend a trip to the beach on a day with steady rain. As was previously noted, Southend is home to several arcades. On the other hand, both Clacton and Walton’s pleasure piers have indoor rides and arcades. You may also find crazy golf, with a kid-friendly play area at Clacton Pier. Arcade games typically cost between 2p and £1, with 50 spins possible on a 2p machine. Purchasing a video game console or a flight simulator will save you more money.


Jump Giants

Children will enjoy Jump Giants’ Little League section, and those with younger children will enjoy the Little League field. About half a football field’s worth of connected trampolines can be found at Jump Giants. There are plenty of other things to do there than just jumping about, such as dodgeball courts, a slam dunk lane, and a free jump area.

Families with young children may visit Jump Giants during the school break for special family sessions from 10 to 11 a.m. The trampolines are open and monitored by staff members. The foam pit, battle beams, and ninja courts are available for hour-long bookings between the hours of 11:15 and 18:30.


Chelmsford Escape Rooms

If it starts to rain, a group of friends may have a lot of fun in an escape room. Essex offers several excellent escape rooms, each offering unique challenges. Chelmsford escape room is located smack dab in the middle of the city. The Last Testament, The Governor, and Crazy Cat Lady are the three available adventures, and they each have unique challenges. The Last Testament is your great-hidden uncle’s message to you. The goal of The Governor is to get out of a creepy jail. The purpose of the Crazy Cat Lady is to return all of the cats to their owner before she returns. Families may compete on one of the game’s two-to-eight-person teams.

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The Maldon Escape Rooms

The Maldon Escape Rooms are conveniently located close to the heart of town, making them perfect for a wet day. You may choose from the movies Rob the Bank, When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney, An Hour to Kill Hollywood, and Deep Trouble. There’s a wide variety of exciting things to do, from stealing back the family riches to uncovering the secrets of a Hollywood celebrity. You’ll have 60 minutes to work together as a team of two to 10 individuals and try to escape the room.

Stop by Escape Live Southend if you find yourself in the Southend area. You may select from Dr Wilson’s Office, Pirate Plunder, or Room 13—all of which are entertaining. Help the investigator figure out who is trying to kill Dr Wilson in Wilson’s Office. In Pirate Plunder, you must plunder loot from a ship that has run aground at Southend Pier before the vessel sinks. You have been tasked with rescuing Amy, trapped in Room 13, by using the hints you find there. Two- to six-member teams are common.

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The Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Museum

Going to a museum is a great option when it’s raining in Essex and you’re searching for something to do. The museums in Essex are varied and comprehensive, so you should be able to find one that interests you.

Discover the origins of British military aviation at the one-of-a-kind Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, located in the middle of rural Essex. In 1916, it opened as a home for the royal flying corps and played a significant part in the Battle for Britain. Invest some time in wandering the space and perusing the exhibits and displays. Explore the many exhibits, from aircraft to cutting-edge technology to re-enactments of the Great War. Stop by the hangar to look at the FWW model aircraft and get a souvenir on the way out.

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The Chelmsford Museum

A trip to the Chelmsford Museum is an excellent option if you want something to do on a wet day. Explore the town’s past via the lens of archaeology, biology, chemistry, fine art, the military, social history, and even an industrial collection, among many others. From fossils and Celtic mirrors to Iron Age coins and taxidermy, the earliest artefacts date to 240 million years ago. 

Additional displays focus on natural history, historical clothing, and pottery. In addition, a fully functional kitchen and washhouse are rebuilt to look as they did in the Victorian era. The museum hosts a variety of kid-friendly programmes, such as seminars, playtime, and arts & crafts.

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The East Anglian Railway Museum in Colchester

When looking for a fun destination to spend the day, look no further than Colchester. Visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring the East Anglian Railway Museum in Colchester. Learn how the Eastern Counties were affected by the railroads from when they were introduced in the 19th century until their demise during the Beeching period. Learn about the history of railroads and ride in a classic car or antique carriage pulled by a steam or diesel engine. 

Visit these restored Victorian structures and peek inside the operational signal boxes. Plan your visit to the museum around a Living History event, when trains will be operating, and actors will demonstrate daily life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You may also try your hand at the Escape Room and see whether you have what it takes to escape with a secret document.

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A rainy day might be the ideal opportunity to treat yourself to some retail therapy. In Essex, you may enjoy some of the greatest shopping opportunities, whether looking for unique antiques or well-known designer labels.

Battlesbridge Antiques Centre in Wickford is a no-brainer if you’re in the market for vintage wares. Since its inception in 1967, it has welcomed over 80 vendors to a collection of converted barns and outbuildings. Most objects are from the early 20th century, including linen, china, glassware, garden furniture, pots, and decorations. There is also a substantial selection of vinyl and apparel available.

Visit Intu Lakeside in West Thurrock for an updated mall atmosphere. More than 255 shops and entertainment venues can be found here. They sell anything from trendy upstarts like Primark and Lush to timeless classics like Tag Heuer and Lacoste. There is also the first UK Nickelodeon family entertainment centre, in addition to a Hollywood Bowl, a Puttshack mini golf course, a Flipout trampoline park, and a laser tag arena. More than 50 restaurants and bars are available when you’re done exploring.

When in Braintree, do outlet shopping in Braintree Village. Popular brands and high-end labels like Barbour, Hugo Boss, and Ralph Lauren are available at steep discounts at this retail centre. Braintree Village is stocked to the gills with everything from trendy clothing for men and women to sporting goods, home decor, and personal care items. You may take a break from shopping at several excellent restaurants or cafes.


Museum of the Munnings Art 

The Munnings Art Museum in Dedham, Massachusetts, is home to the world’s greatest collection of Sir Alfred Munnings’s art. This includes over 650 oil paintings and 50 watercolours. Some of Munnings’ collection of antique furniture from the 17th century is on show in the museum. Castle House, once Munnings’s and Violet’s house, now serves as the museum.

The home, available to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, is situated on over 40 acres of undulating farmland.


The Gardens and House of Audley End

Visit one of England’s most impressive estates, Audley End House and Gardens, on a cloudy summer day. A piano and children’s toys in the nursery may be found as you go through the home from the servants’ quarters to the kitchen garden.

The home will come alive with live outdoor interpretation on certain weekends between May and September.


The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch

The secret bunker at Kelvedon was originally constructed between 1952 and 1953 as part of the ROTOR programme to strengthen Britain’s air defence network. It then functioned as an emergency bunker for the British government during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Now that it houses a museum detailing its past, the general public may visit the nuclear bunker.


Mulligans, Basildon

Mr Mulligans is the perfect place for a family outing or date night, no matter the weather, with its two world-class crazy golf courses, full-service bar, and delicious restaurant.

You may play one of two courses inspired by classic arcade games or classic fairground attractions.

After 20:45, Mr Mulligans is a 21+ establishment, so keep that in mind if you plan on playing there.

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Halstead, Essex Pottery Studio

You might think that the Essex weather might hinder you from enjoying your trip. However, there are still many activities available This summer, visit the Essex Pottery Studio and give your creative side a chance to shine. There are many options for embellishing your dinosaur, money bank, trinket box, candle holder, and more.


Cucumber Sandwiches With Cream Tea in the Afternoon

Going to Exxex? You have to have one of their delicious cups of tea. Our favourite pastimes are afternoon tea (or the less expensive cream tea). Even if they don’t provide afternoon tea, many tea rooms around the county serve cream teas. The afternoon tea at Perrywoods Garden Centre is delicious. 

On the other hand, you can find the Tiptree Tea Rooms, a spinoff of the Tiptree jam business in Essex. There is a tea lounge and a free “jam museum” at the plant. Find out how this Essex-based company came to be right here. Booking in advance is often necessary for afternoon tea. Most cream tea cafés, on the other hand, welcome walk-in customers.

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Cinema and Bowling

Going bowling or to the movies is a simple plan for a rainy day. Of the two, bowling is the more pleasant option, but a movie trip can pass a couple of hours in one sitting. You may find either or both in many of the bigger towns in Essex. The Braintree locations of both Namco Bowling and Cineworld are conveniently adjacent. Nearby Festival Leisure Park in Basildon is also similar. Colchester’s ODEON is located downtown, and the bowling alley is immediately adjacent to Leisure World.



The British climate is something everyone can relate to, with days ranging from scorching sunshine to drenching downpours. You can be confident that your family will have enough things to do in Essex, no matter the weather.

Museums, forts, Martello towers, castles, and battlefields abound in Essex, a history-rich county. Explore the past at one of Essex’s museums, which offer a wide range of topics, from conflicts to astrology to military history to railroads to power to local and social history.

You might also go to Colchester Castle and see the Norman Keep and its enormous museum collection. Experience the pleasure of learning about the founding of Britain in the city of London.

About The Author

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James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.