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Hugh history for a tiny town

One of the most smallest towns in England, there's still plenty to do in and around Manningtree. Learn about the local history at the Manningtree Museum; located in the library, it houses an interesting archive of local photographs, publications and historical information. If the museum whets your appetite for local history, take a stroll around the town, following the Town History Trail, or the Rigby Ramble historical walk around neighbouring village, Mistley. While in Mistley, take advantage of free admission into English Heritage property Mistley Towers, twin towers of the now demolished Church of St Mary the Virgin.

Out and about in Essex

Spend a few hours at Mistley Place Park, an animal rescue shelter. Home to over 1000 rescued animals at any one time, visitors to the park can see animals including goats, sheep, ducks, guinea pigs, dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, chickens and alpacas. For the more adventurous, take a trip to the Nearby Alton Watersports centre, an excellent place to get active whatever your fitness and ability. Visit Nearby Flatford, a charming hamlet that inspired some of Constable's paintings; take in exhibitions by Constable alongside contemporary artists, or just enjoy a walk through stunning countryside.

Enjoy a little retail therapy

Manningtree hosts a colourful market every Saturday. Ardent shoppers requiring a few more known brands can drive just 10 miles down the road to the bustling towns of Ipswich and Colchester, both of which offer fantastic shopping experiences, with specialist independent shops sitting alongside big names and department stores.