Four visitor attractions in Essex have been named among the best in the UK according to VisitEngland.

Its Visitor Attraction Accolades for 2020 and 2021 recognised the outstanding visitor experiences on offer across the country.

In total 76 attractions were featured, and they were awarded with either the Welcome Accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food and Drink and the Gold Accolade for all-round top-scoring attractions.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “I’m so pleased to see our visitor attractions back in the spotlight with these Accolades that recognise the amazing experiences available across the country.

"They also acknowledge the people who bring the attractions to life through their unparalleled customer service. They are the ones who make an attraction the most ‘welcoming’ and give life to the ‘Best Told Story’ whilst the quality of the attractions themselves are rewarded with ‘Quality Food and Drink’ and ‘Hidden Gem’ and of course ‘Gold’ for best all-rounders."

“Now more than ever we need these attractions to encourage and remind us to get out and explore the amazing tourism on offer across England, driving recovery and economic benefits through the regions.”

What Essex visitor attractions were included in the VisitEngland accolades?

Adventure Island, Southend - Welcome Accolade

Echo: Adventure Island in Southend (TripAdvisor)Adventure Island in Southend (TripAdvisor)

The free entry theme park in Southend is enjoyed by those of all ages, and has over 40 rides and attractions to go on.

Earlier this year it was awarded for Best Customer Service at the UK Theme Park Awards, and it has carried on that success in winning the Welcome Accolade by VisitEngland.

Beth Chatto Garden, Colchester - Welcome Accolade

The gardens, named after the award-winning plantswoman, author and lecturer Beth Chatto, also featured in the list due to winning a Welcome Accolade.

The picturesque gardens are a great place to admire, as well as potentially buy some flowers of your own.

Chelsmford Museum, Chelmsford - Quality Food & Drink

It might be known better for its educational displays, but the Chelmsford Museum has been awarded a Quality Food & Drink Accolade by VisitEngland.

Its Hive Cafe, which caters to all tastes and relies on sustainability in its operations has really resonated with people it seems.

Sea Life Adventure, Southend - Welcome Accolade

The final Welcome Accolade goes to Sea Life Adventure in Southend, which claims to be the UK’s first Zooquarium on its website.

Alongside the aquatic life you can marvel at, there are also a number of other animals to see, including meerkats and penguins.