Essex and further afield

Students at our College will discover that the area is rich in history and culture, with no shortage of fun things to see and do, from stately homes to music festivals.

Close to London

The Thurrock Campus is served by the C2C rail line which has stations in both Southend and Basildon and offers travel to London Fenchurch Street in less than an hour.

Steeped in history

Essex is a treasure trove of history with many attractions to visit. Essex features several stately homes: Audley End House near Saffron Walden was once a royal palace, while Ingatestone Hall has been owned by the same family since the 16th century. Layer Marney Tower is the tallest Tudor gatehouse in Britain, featuring gardens and parkland, and Hyde Hall near Chelmsford offers beautiful gardens managed by the Royal Horticultural Society. You can also walk in the footsteps of John Constable at Dedham Vale and Stour Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Country and wildlife

The county boasts huge swathes of green belt country and many important wildlife habitats. Notable open space includes Langdon Hills Country Park and Grove House Wood, managed by Essex Wildlife Trust, as well as the ancient woodlands of Epping Forest. Museums and historic buildings in the area include Coalhouse Fort, Tilbury Fort, Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre, Thurrock Museum and Walton Hall Farm Museum. Finally, the neighbouring county of Kent is renowned as ‘The Garden of England’ and features the picturesque towns of Whitstable, Broadstairs, Rochester and Canterbury.


Every August, Hylands Park hosts the V Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, if not the world. Previous line-ups have included Eminem, Rihanna, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, The Prodigy and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Not to be missed, Blackshots Fields in Grays hosts The Big Weekend every August and features a massive live stage that plays host to bands and DJs. There is also a traditional fairground carousel and a Ferris wheel.

Motorsport enthusiasts will love Arena Essex, which regularly hosts speedway, banger and stock car racing events while football fans can watch Grays Athletic Football Club in action.