Sex tourists and residents have taken to a website to reveal the county’s top ‘dogging hotspots’.

Despite Essex’s beauty spots and rural areas being largely enjoyed by families and residents wanting to enjoy a walk and the countryside, it turns out they are also used for other purposes.

The act of dogging (watching or engaging in sexual activity in a public place) actually isn't illegal, but if someone catches you in the act and is offended then an offence may have been committed.

The website, Swinging Heaven, has listed the favourite places couples enjoy outdoor sex.

Car parks, beaches, nature trails, parks and woodlands are amongst the places couples carry out their exhibitionist activities while others watch.

Here are a few of the dogging hot spots in and around Essex:

Layer Wood, Colchester

Reviewers say an area off Haynes Green Road is a site regularly used.

One said: “Lots of paths and tracks to secluded areas where people have left notes and underwear.

“Be careful of dog walkers during the day but they do stick to the main paths so safe enough once in secluded areas.”

Watts Wood, Purfleet

Another woodland that has more uses than many of use realised.

Users say they head along a public footpath off a nearby road which is usually fronted by a silver gate.

One adds: “Usually active in mornings and weekends although some dog walkers do enter the actual woods. More action Sunday morning or in early evening in summer.”

One Tree Hill near Langdon Hills Country Park

Apparently several car parks are used for both doggers and swinging.

A set of public toilets are also known to be used at one of the car parks, with one reviewer claiming he has noticed several people going in and out of them through the daytime, adding it “looked like they were looking for some fun”.

Tolleshunt D'Arcy recreation ground

Turns out the car park near Tollebsury Road isn’t just for leaving your car there.

One reviewer said: “Lots of action when it gets dark.

“If there is cars and nobody about head to the end of the playing field behind hedges. Great cross dresser goes there.”

Chalkney Woods, Earls Colne

A small lane of Tey Road is recommended by some.

One user wrote: “Good point with this site is that you can see other vehicles approaching without them knowing you are already there.

“It’s used quite a lot in the daytime by dog walkers but at night there is action.”

Fossetts Way, Southend

One reviewer says a track just of a lay-by in Fossetts Way has proved popular for some.

They say the lay-by is just off the roundabout, adding: “Lots of cover for day and night fun, quite a lot of action here with couples and singles.”

Other areas suggested on the site include:

  • Behind the train station car park in Leigh
  • Old Ipswich Road, Colchester
  • Canvey Heights
  • Nunty’s Lane, Pattiswick
  • A12 layby near Witham
  • Brooks Wood, Halstead
  • Norsey Woods, Billericay
  • St Martins Country Park near St Osyth