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Relaxing riverside walks in Witham

Found midway between Colchester and Chelmsford, the Georgian market town of Witham lies in the heart of Essex. One of the best things to do in the town is take a stroll along the River Walk, which runs along the banks of the Brain. Discover an extraordinary mix of habitats that are home to birds, common lizards, great crested newts and bats. In summer, it's the perfect place to spread out with a picnic.

Bag a bargain at Freeport Braintree

With more than 85 stores to peruse, this large designer outlet offers an out-of-town escape from the parking stresses and crowds of city shopping. Get 60% off high-street prices at stores including M&S, Next, Hollister, Bench, Tommy Hilfiger, Barbour, Ted Baker, Bose, Vans and The Perfume Shop.

See a 'Screaming Oak' at Marks Hall Gardens

Walk among exotic trees from around the world in this arboretum and gardens with different geographical themes. Highlights include the Millennium Walk, Europe's largest collection of Wollemi pines and the Screaming Oak - its decaying and contorted trunk has been compared to Edvard Munch's famous Scream painting. The 18th-century walled garden is a riot of colour and scent, with both contemporary and traditional designs. Looking for a cheap hotel Near Witham? Travelodge Colchester Feering Hotel is less than a 20-minute car ride from the town. Another good option is Travelodge Chelmsford Hotel.