Ancient flitch town worth a walk up and down the high street
Essex's largest island: lies off the coast near Southend and has been under M.O.D. control since 1916.
Contrary to popular belief and stereotypes, Essex is not actually an urban wasteland. Most of the county is rural, and has some very beautiful scenery that is widely unknown to outsiders. Saffron Walden, in the north-west of the county, epitomises this defiance of the classic Essex stereotype, as do many of the smaller towns and villages.
Obviously an English-speaking county, but accents can vary in Essex. In the northern and rural areas of the county, you are much more likely to hear the traditional East Anglian accent. But in the south of the county the most commonly heard is known as the estuary accent; some say this is a cross between cockney and East Anglian.
Essex boasts several well publicised establishments
Contrary to popular belief, Essex actually has one of the lowest crime rates in England. However some poorer towns in the more urbanised south and west of the county should be approached with caution, especially at night.
As with the rest of the UK, in any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire or Police when connected.