Things to do in Essex this June

Blackwater Country Show

Blackwater Country Show - Credit: Blackwater Country Show

With June comes summer fun, and here's the Essex Life's guide of what to do in the county this month...

horse from colorful carousel with lights at night

Steam fair - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Carters Steam Fair, Maldon 

Experience the joys of a bygone era with the whole family as Carters Steam Fair returns to Maldon Promenade Park for the Platinum Jubilee weekend. Expect steam engines, rides, twinkling lights, sumptuous colours, vintage music, the sound of the fairground organ and the aroma of doughnuts, candy floss and coal. Entry to the fair is free, but all rides and stalls require tickets, which can be purchased online in advance to receive special deals and extra free rides.  

Date: May 28-June 5

Time: From 11am to late

Cost: From £30 for 10 tokens and two free rides

Address: Promenade Park, Park Drive CM9 5JQ

Website: carterssteamfair.co.uk


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2. Thaxted Festival, Thaxted

Taking place over four weekends, visitors can expect a range of musical events, from full orchestral to chamber ensembles, soloists, choral, jazz piano and vocal music, guitar, swing and a staged Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera. 

Date: June 17-July 10

Time & Cost: Events individually ticketed and programmed 

Address: 7 Town Street Thaxted CM6 2LD

Website: thaxtedfestival.co.uk

Medieval Knight - Jousting. Castle Gniew. Poland.

Medieval Fayre - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Colchester Medieval Fayre   

Held in Lower Castle Park, this event was described by the Sunday Times as ‘A tour de force in medievalism that’s the biggest of its type in Europe.’ This wonderful fayre and market boasts stalls selling all sorts of interesting historic crafts alongside Medieval-style performers. Children will be delighted by the storytellers and live music. Adult tickets £10 per day, children £4 per day. Discounted family and weekend passes available.  

Date: June 4-5

Time: 10.30am-5pm

Cost: From £10/£4 adult/child, weekend and family passes available

Address: Lower Castle Park, St Peters Street entrance (Ryegate) Colchester, C01 1HL

Website: foodanddrinkfestivalsuk.co.uk 


4. Father’s Day: Bushcraft Workshop 

Learn how to light a fire without matches, forage a wild tea, safely carve a butter knife and get an introduction to the season’s edible and medicinal plants. You'll develop new skills with the family and get your own handmade craft to keep. Booking essential. 

Date: June 19

Time: 10am-2pm

Cost: £45

Address: Markshall Estate, Coggeshall, CO6 1TG

Website: markshall.org.uk

Hedinhgam Castle keep from above

Hedingham Castle keep - Credit: Broad House Media

5. EA Festival at Hedingham Castle

After receiving rave reviews from its inaugural event in 2021, EA Festival 2022 returns to Hedingham Castle this summer with a star-studded line-up, including Maggi Hambling, Paul McKenna, Anne Glenconner and Bessie Turner. There will be 22 speakers and performers in total across two days, discussing wide-ranging topics from psychedelic drugs to political history. Each day will be finished with an enthralling musical concert. Art-lovers will also enjoy the extensive exhibition of modern and traditional art from Cambridge Art Fair. 

Date: June 11-12

Time: 10am-9pm

Cost: From £12

Address: Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead CO9 3DJ

Website: eafestival.com 

6. Hayletts Gallery art exhibition, Fingringhoe

Hayletts Gallery is holding its first live exhibition in two years. Held in a beautiful converted Essex barn near Colchester, it will showcase the most-famous names in British art, from David Hockney and Tracey Emin to Henry Moore and Anthony Gormley. 

Date: June 25-July 2

Time: TBC

Cost: TBC

Address: Geedon Gallery, Jaggers, Fingringhoe, CO5 7DN

Website: haylettsgallery.com 

Fleetwood Mac Legacy comes to Colchester

Fleetwood Mac Legacy - Credit: Fleetwood Mac Legacy

7. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac tribute night, Colchester

Go Your Own Way is a brilliant new show featuring the music of the legendary Fleetwood Mac. The band’s rock ‘n’ roll legacy is performed by a talented and acclaimed ensemble of musicians, who will take the audience on a journey through their incredible song book. Paying tribute to the Rumours-era line-up of Stevie, Mick, John, Christine and Lindsey, the show will feature classics such as Dreams, Don’t Stop, Everywhere, Rhiannon, Little Lies and much more. 

Date: June 18

Time: 7.30pm

Cost: £24.50

Address: Charter Hall, Colchester Leisure World, Cowdray Avenue CO1 1YH

Website: colchester-events.co.uk


8. Brentwood District Arts Society lecture, Ingatestone

One of its regular art lectures, the Brentwood District Arts Society is hosting ‘Women behind the lens: Outstanding female photographers and their contribution to the art of photography.’ Coffee and tea are served from 7.30pm and lectures start at 8pm.  

Date: June 15

Time: 8pm

Cost: TBC

Address: Ingatestone Community Hall, 7 High Street, Ingatestone CM4 9ED

Website: theartssociety.org/brentwood-district 

Blackwater Country Show

Blackwater Country Show - Credit: Blackwater Country Show

9. Blackwater Country Show 

The Blackwater Country Show has established itself as a must-visit event for Essex families. Situated in a picturesque setting in Chigborough Road, Heybridge, the show promotes the countryside and outdoor pursuits. Admire the heavy horses, meet farm animals, watch birds of prey, see the Newfoundland dog rescue, and you can also try clay shooting, fly fishing or kayaking. Bring a picnic or sample the local produce available from the stands.

Date: June 19 

Time: 10am-4pm

Cost: £12/£2 adult/child

Address: Chigborough Road, Heybridge, Maldon CM9 4RB

Website: blackwatercountryshow.co.uk 

© Film Free Photography. www.filmfreephotography.co.uk

Leigh Folk Festival - Credit: Film Free Photography

10. Leigh Folk Festival   

This long-established festival has been a staple on the UK’s folk-arts scene for 30 years. Held against the backdrop of the beautiful Leigh Library Gardens and surrounding venues, the festival welcomes tens of thousands of visitors. Mainly free to attend, attendees will enjoy a broad spectrum of music, dance, spoken word, comedy and lots more. The event is organised by Leigh Folk Arts, a small community arts charity. Ticketed events can be booked through the website. 

Date: June 23-26 

Cost: Events individually ticketed, from free

Address: Venues across Leigh-on-Sea

Website: leighfolkfestival.com 


11. Father’s Day: Motorfest, Chelmsford

This action-packed event is perfect for Father’s Day. There will be monster trucks having a tug of war and thrilling motorcycle displays, the amazing Wall of Death, an inflatable village and funfair and you can even take to the skies with a helicopter ride. 

Date: June 18-19

Time: 10am-6pm

Cost: From £18.50/£14 adult/child

Address: Hylands Park, Margaretting Road, Chelmsford CM1 3PJ

Website: motorshowevents.com

Shot of group of attractive young friends choosing and buying different types of fast food in eat ma

Food and drink festival - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

12. Colchester Food and Drink Festival   

Relax in the wonderful atmosphere of this much-loved festival at Lower Castle Park, Colchester. Bring the family (including your dog), stroll around the stands and listen to live music while deciding which artisan-produced local goodies you’ll be enjoying in the sunshine and taking home to enjoy later. There’s also The Pikestaff Inn real ale bar, featuring a variety of ciders and good cold lager.

Date: June 25-26

Time: 10.30am-5pm

Cost: £5/free adult/under-14s

Address: Lower Castle Park, St Peters Street entrance (Ryegate) C01 1HL

Website: foodanddrinkfestivalsuk.co.uk 

13. National Garden Scheme open garden, Margaretting

Winner of the Daily Mail National Garden Competition 2021, Peacocks in Margaretting has idyllic large formal gardens alongside wildlife gardens in a small country estate. Opening for the National Garden Scheme, admission is £5. 

Date: June  12 & 19

Time: 11am-4pm

Cost: £6

Address: The Gate House Peacocks, Margaretting, Ingatestone CM4 9HY

Website: ngs.org.uk 


14. Great Dunmow Summer Solstice Sundown

With lots of great music acts performing, the second Great Dunmow Summer Solstice Sundown is set to be another great day to celebrate the longest day of the year.

Date: June 18

Address: use postcode CM6 2AD

Website: gdsssfestival.co.uk