EXPLORE the history of arts and culture in Essex this weekend.

If you fancy delving into the history of arts and culture then there are plenty of great places to explore right on your doorstep here in Essex.

The National Jazz Archive has its home in Loughton of all places. This is a unique national research and information centre available to jazz enthusiasts, students and the general public.

It is well stocked with rare books, discographies, periodicals, photographs and memorabilia with an emphasis on British material but also some foreign works.

Head over to Harlow to check out its sculpture collection.

Conceived and designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd more than 50 years ago, it pioneered the practice of sculpture out in the living environment, his garden is now home to an extensive collection including works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepwoth, Rodin, Antanas Brazdys, Elizabeth Frink and Ralph Brown.

If you fancy taking some history home then head over to the Battlesbridge Antique Centre. Located in a picturesque setting by the River Crouch, this is one of the country’s leading antique centres. Housed in a former mill you will find more than 80 dealers.

And finally, on the Essex / London border in Waltham Forest but too good not to include, is the William Morris Gallery.

This is the only public museum devoted to England’s best known and most versatile designer and was his family home from 1848 to 1856. The Gallery’s internationally important collections illustrate William Morris’ life, work and influence.

For more information about all the places mentioned and much more in Essex, go to www.visitessex.com.