Things To Do This Autumn In Essex

Seeking the perfect autumn escape? Look no further than Roydon Marina Village, a stunning holiday park in the heart of the Lee Valley Regional Park, surrounded with picturesque scenery and a variety of activities and attractions.

Autumn is one of the most exciting times to enjoy a holiday right here in rural Essex, when the woodlands turn golden and frosty, the temperature is perfect for walking and there's plenty of wildlife to spot. Our favourite autumn breaks in Roydon Marina Village are ideal for staycations, and with our list of things to do this autumn including a spooktacular choice of Halloween events, you're sure to make the most out of your autumn getaway.

So, get your walking boots and your waterproofs on (you can never be too prepared for the English weather!) and explore the Essex countryside this autumn. Here are the best autumn escapes, events and activities at Roydon Marina Village.

Table of Contents (click to jump)

Why an autumn break in Essex?

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Glorious Autumn Colours

All seasons are uniquely dramatic across the rural Essex countryside, but autumn is particularly special. Bursting with magnificent display of colours, the trees are especially vibrant with shades of red and gold. Seeing the Lee Valley Regional Park at this time of year is absolutely unbeatable. Autumn is the perfect time for taking beautiful scenic photos, spending time outdoors, and really appreciating nature.

Comfortable outdoor temperatures

Autumn is the window of perfect weather right between the blazing summer and freezing winter. When the cooler temperatures of autumn start roll in, it's a welcome change to the heat of summer. Whether you're an avid hiker or a casual stroller, the comfortable temperatures make exploring rural Essex even more pleasurable. Autumn also brings a new appreciation for the warmth indoors. When you're not out exploring nature, this is an ideal season for making hot chocolate and snuggling up in a blanket.

A quieter holiday period

Love a summer holiday but hate the heaving hustle and bustle? Taking an autumn break is a much more peaceful experience, when the summer crowds have all but left. If you aren’t a fan of sharing the trail with groups of other walkers you’ll love the quieter seasons. Particularly if you're looking for a romantic couples getaway, in autumn you can avoid the peak summer madness of the school holidays altogether. And you can get all the gorgeous photo ops without having to wait for other people to finish taking theirs!

Cheaper than the summer

Some tourist attractions and activities hike up their prices in summer to make the most of the peak season profits. An autumn stay brings you all the benefits we've listed and saves you some money too! You can explore everything Essex has to offer and bag a bargain at the same time.

Short autumn breaks and weekend getaways in Essex

Luxury hot tub lodges at Roydon Marina Village

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The luxury hot tub lodges feature large double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a spacious and contemporary open plan living area complete with a fully equipped kitchen, so you can self cater or choose to dine at the on site Indian restaurant or The Boathouse Cafe Bar, where you'll regularly find live music performances and karaoke nights.

There is also a dining table, perfect for family get-togethers, and a relaxing lounge with a wood-burning effect fireplace and satellite TV.

Pet friendly lodges are available, so you can bring your four legged friends along for your countryside getaway.

The double doors lead out onto your private deck and hot tub, the perfect addition to a luxurious autumn escape.

The Elm Lodge


The Elm lodge has a stylish interior with an open-plan layout. Whether you are snuggling up in front of the TV, gathering around the dinette or cooking up a storm in its practical linear kitchen, this 2 bedroom lodge sleeps 4 for a perfect few nights away in the autumn months.

You'll be glad to have the Elm Lodge to return to for a cosy night in after a day in the chilly autumn breeze exploring the rural Essex countryside.

Hotel rooms at Roydon Marina Village


At Roydon Marina Village you'll find deluxe and standard double, family and twin rooms to suit your needs. The deluxe double rooms come with a king-size bed and en-suite bathroom with shower. Twin rooms include two comfortable single beds, a desk, wardrobe/ hanging space and ensuite bathroom. You can park your car by the main reception building - plus, there’s even space for a travel cot.

Each non-smoking bedroom features a flat-screen TV with Freeview and tea and coffee making facilities, plus a hairdryer, iron and ironing board facilities (upon request).

This is a perfect place for a more simplistic autumn mini break. You'll find delicious breakfast options over at The Boathouse Cafe Bar overlooking the marina, ideal for fueling you for your day exploring the autumnal Essex countryside.

Things to do on your autumn holidays

Watch a beautiful autumn sunrise


Catching an inspirational sunrise usually takes some extra effort, mainly having to pry yourself from the duvet at an unfavourable hour of the morning. Thankfully the arrival of autumn makes things a little easier. By the end of October the sun will be rising at 8am, and will keep getting later until the Winter Solstice. The quiet and peaceful landscape of the Lee Valley Regional Park makes this the perfect place to witness a breathtaking sunrise.

Enjoy a countryside walk or cycle


There's no better way to start those misty autumn mornings with a walk along the River Lee or River Stort, feeling the cool breeze and hearing scurrying squirrels as the vibrant leaves crunch beneath your boots. At this time of year, the Lee Valley Regional Park comes alive with wildlife activity and transforms into a kaleidoscope of colour. Exploring the park on foot or by bike is the best way to feel fully immersed in the landscape and truly appreciate being among nature at its most magical time of year.

See the woodland wildlife


During autumn, nature has one last dramatic burst of energy before the cold days of winter. Small mammals start on a foraging frenzy for berries and nuts and the deer begin to rut. Autumn in rural Essex is an amazing time to experience wildlife. In the Lee Valley National Park, you're never far from a beautiful autumnal woodland reserve to experience the season at its very best.

Cosy up and watch the world go by


Autumn is a time for slowing down and rekindling your appreciation for the warmth indoors. You'll feel deeply rested after a lazy evening in your luxury lodge, gazing out onto picturesque autumnal colours. Leave all your worries behind, grab a warm blanket and cosy up on the sofa with a cup of tea and the people you care about.

Bonfire Night

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With great access to London, Roydon Marina Village is perfectly positioned for you to easily attend a variety of events this Bonfire Night, such as the Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, Wimbledon Park Fireworks and the Battersea fireworks display on the bank of the Thames. Click here to find out more and book your tickets.

The best local event we'd recommend is the Drive-In Firework Display at Bumpsteads Farm in Chelmsford, suitable for all the family and just over a 30 minute drive from Roydon Marina Village. Whether you’re at the front or the back row you'll have a fantastic view of the display, and you can bring along some chairs to watch the display from the dedicated safe area next to your vehicle. There will also be a great variety of food vendors from the local pop up drive-in street food festival. Once you’re parked up, take a little walk down to the street food area and enjoy live on stage family entertainment, music, children's funfair rides and more.

Things to do this Halloween in Essex

Pumpkin picking at Hatter's Farm

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The Pumpkin Patch at Hatter's Farm makes for a frightfully fun day out with all the family! Here you'll find plenty of Halloween activities for all ages. Explore 7 acres of twists and turns in the Maize Maze, and fire pumpkins at a terror-ific target range with the Pumpkin Cannon! Then head into the pumpkin patch and choose your pumpkins to take home (If you want to get the best pumpkin picking photos, they advise visiting sooner rather than later!). At Hatter's Farm you'll find thousands of pumpkins and squashes in 50 different varieties.

Looking for something a little spookier? Book your tickets for Hatter's Farm's Pumpkin Nights! Bring your torches, grab some food and pick from thousands of different pumpkins and squash under the moonlit sky! For those feeling a little braver you could venture into the Maize Maze, but beware, you never know what may be lurking round the corner...

Hatter's Farm is easy to find in rural Chelmsford and at only 30 minute drive from Roydon Marina Village, it makes a perfect addition to your October half term holiday! They will be open on the 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 19th, 20th and 22nd to 30th of October. The Pumpkin Nights event will be open on the 22nd to 24th and 27th to 30th of October.

Dinos After Dark at Paradise Wildlife Park

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Join Paradise Wildlife Park this Autumn (if you are feeling brave enough) on a roarsome adventure as you travel back in time to the breath taking World of Dinos, where dinosaurs roam in the darkness and their roars echo all around. Walk amongst over 40 life-size, moving and roaring Dinos with each turn in the trail bringing you closer than ever before to the prehistoric era. There may even be a T-Rex hiding amongst the bushes, getting ready to jump out at you, so tread carefully!

Take the Rex-Express around the trail and pass by the wolves at moonlight, enjoy live entertainment throughout the night and you may even come across some extra roar-tastic meet and greets roaming around for all ages to enjoy. Dino’s After Dark is an exclusive limited after-hours event, running on select dates in late October from the 21st to the 30th. Under 2’s will be free to enter at the gate with proof of identification.

You'll find Paradise Wildlife Park just under 20 minutes away by car from your luxury lodge at Roydon Marina Village, making it a fantastic day out to add to your October half term break.

Pumpkin Village at Marsh Farm

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The Pumpkin Village at Marsh Farm is not one to miss! Visit Essex' premium pumpkin picking village and Halloween shopping experience, with more varieties of pumpkins, gourds and squashes than you ever knew existed. The Pumpkin Village opens 6th October 2022. There's also SEN friendly sessions, and dog friendly slots for you to bring your four legged friends along and get the perfect Instagram photo op!

That's not all... Book a Pumpkin Village Night and explore the Pumpkin Village under the stars, with fangtastic fun fair rides from the haunted house to the dodgems, all included in your night admission!

The Pumpkin Village is slightly further afield at just over an hour's drive from Roydon Marina Village, but definitely worth making the journey.

Halloween Festival at Old Macdonald's Farm

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Head to Old Macdonald's Farm in Brentwood for a ghoulishly good time at the Halloween Festival! Dare to venture into the haunted house, take part in Old Mac's ghost trail (and receive a wicked treat!), learn some tricks at the magic school and so much more! Then head to the pumpkin patch and choose your free pumpkin included in the price of a child ticket! Book via their website now for a fab-boo-lous online discount.

The Halloween Festival runs from 22nd to 30th October and is easy to find from Roydon Marina Village at just a 40 minute drive away.

Halloween Special at Audley End Miniature Railway


All aboard the Halloween Express at Audley End Miniature Railway! You'll be heading deep into the woods where you'll find a coven of witches and their playful monster pals. Be on your best behaviour as they perform their wicked rituals, or they might cast a spell on you! (The witches love to see your Halloween costumes so come dressed in your most eerie-sistable outfit!) Elsewhere in the forest you'll meet Belinda the Fortune Telling Witch, and in the Wizard’s dwelling you'll meet William the woodland Wizard! He will need your help performing his spooktacular spell to keep the woodland creatures warm this winter.

The Halloween Special is suitable for children of any age and child tickets include a free gift. The Audley End Halloween Special runs from Saturday 22nd October to Monday 31st October. You'll find Audley End in Saffron Walden just 50 minutes from Roydon by car.

Ghost train at Epping Ongar Railway

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Dare you ride the Ghost Train? It's Fright Week at Epping Ongar Railway! Watch out for spooky characters on board who will scare and entertain in equal measure, then join the ghost hunt on arrival at Ongar and admire the gruesome graveyard. On your return to North Weird transfer to the Spooky Diesel Train for a mysterious ride into Epping Forest, with theatrical smoke and other special effects.

You'll find Epping Ongar Railway about a 30 minute drive from Roydon Marina Village.

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