STUCK without a plan for Valentine's Day?

Well, the only way is Essex, or at least according to Visit Essex.

With hundreds of years of heritage, a 350-mile coastline, and world-renowned food, it's the perfect place to celebrate love.

Those enamoured with the coast can enjoy romantic strolls alongside the formidable Essex coastline, the second-longest in the UK.

Popular spots such as Southend and Clacton, or hidden gems like Leigh-on-Sea and Maldon, are ideal.

Visit Essex suggests a Valentine's Day barge trip on a Winter Warmer Cruise with Topsail Charters or a walk through historic Promenade Park.

For food lovers, Essex offers an array of options including seaside fish and chips or world-famous oysters on Mersea Island.

With 70 per cent of the county’s terrain dedicated to agricultural land, there's no surprise the local food and drink hold global renown.

Essex is also known for its Tiptree tea rooms and Wilkin and Son’s jam.

In recent years, the Crouch Valley has become a hotspot for wine-growing, offering a variety of grapes including Bacchus, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay.

Not only blessed with diverse landscapes and a plethora of food offerings, Essex also boasts a rich history.

From the largest Norman keep in Colchester to the 17th-century Audley End House & Gardens, there's plenty for history enthusiasts, too.

Furthermore, by traversing its iconic attractions like Colchester Zoo or the longest pleasure pier in the world, Southend Pier, you can experience an unforgettable Valentine's day.

Finally, for those seeking picturesque backdrops, colourful beach huts at Thorpe Bay or the red lightship at Tollesbury offer Instagram-ready views.

Councillor Mark Durham, chair of Visit Essex, is keen to highlight all the reasons to love Essex this Valentine’s Day.

He said: "There are plenty of reasons to celebrate and love Essex this Valentine’s Day.

"We are renowned for our food and drink, have hundreds of years of history, not to mention the countryside, woodland and coastline we’re known for.

"We have so much to offer, right here on your doorstep, so this Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate Essex with us?”

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