It may be famous for its fake tans, stiletto heels and reality TV show, but Essex is a great county in which to enjoy an afternoon tea. Boasting both a picturesque countryside and attractive coastline, Essex offers a wealth of great places to visit and sights to take in. Southend on Sea and Clacton on Sea are two of the most popular and well-known seaside towns in Essex but if all those arcade machines and theme parks are a bit too much, the charming seaside towns of Maldon and the delightful Mersea Island are just the ticket. Large cities include Chelmsford with its excellent shopping facilities and the glorious Hylands Park and historic Colchester, home to the famous Colchester Zoo and Colchester Castle Museum. Essex boasts some beautiful countryside too with the vast expanse of Epping Forest and a whole host of pretty little villages dotted throughout.