Things to do in and Around Chelmsford Over The May Bank Holiday Weekend

April 29th, 2022

Are you looking for something to do over the May Bank Holiday weekend?

The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, but it still takes place in the UK every year on May 1 or the first Monday of the month.

May Day is traditionally the fourth UK wide bank holiday, following on from New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, when Romans celebrated the festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and spring. In Britain, people celebrated the festival of Beltane on 1 May to mark the halfway point between spring and summer.

Nowadays, people are generally given a day off work to organise and attend events to celebrate the approaching summer season.

This brings me nicely to the point of this article in the first place. 

What to do in and around Chelmsford this May Bank Holiday? 

May Day Fair 2022

“Join us to celebrate the beginning of summer at our traditional May Day Fair. Hedingham Castle will be bursting with life at this fantastic family event, with engaging arena displays including Maypole dancing, Birds of Prey, and an exclusive performance by The Pantaloons of ‘The Earls of Oxford’ – a brand new theatre comedy about the history of Hedingham Castle’s ancestors, the de Veres. There will also be ‘Barbaric Battle’ re-enactments, archery, axe throwing, medieval music, storytelling, street theatre and a medieval village to explore!

Hedingham Castle, Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, Halstead CO9 3DJ.

Sunday 1st May 2022, BH Monday 2nd May 2022

Brightlingsea boat trips and foot ferry

Take a boat or foot ferry to explore Brightlingsea, Mersea and Point Clear, or potter around the Brightlingsea Harbour with. Sites included Cudmore Grove in East Mersea and the east Essex Aviation Society in Point Clear. Dogs are welcome and you can bring your bike on a boat as well. Boats have universal access too. 

Address: 4 Copperas Road, Brightlingsea CO7 0AP


Bits and Pieces exhibition, Maldon

Painter and artist Sylvia Paul features her textile art at the Maeldune Heritage Centre in this exhibition, which ends soon. She works with silk remnants to make works on all scales, and the exhibition features a huge wall hanging (more than two-metres high) of a phoenix which was created during lockdown. 

Bank Holiday Times: Saturday 11am-4pm

Address: Maeldune Centre, 2 Market Hill, Maldon CM9 4PZ

The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

Discover Essex’s fascinating military history at The Royal Gunpowder Mills, a former gunpowder manufacturer site and now an area of special scientific interest. Currently on, you’ve got a photography exhibition looking at the women who worked during WWI, the Armoury which boasts more than 300 historic firearms and The Rocket Vault, which takes visitors through the history of of rocket motors and propellants. 

Bank Holiday Times: 11am-4.30pm

Tickets: £10/£8 adult/concession

Address: The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JY


Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea

Seaside fun park Adventure Island is filled with the thrills and spills of much loved fairground rides. You’ve got the gut churning skydrop, the discombobulating Dragon’s Claw as well as waterslides to get you screaming. There’s also gentler rides for the litter ones, such as viking boats and the jumping jolly rogers. Once you’re done with the rides, explore the onsite aquarium. 

Bank Holiday Times: 11am -8pm

Tickets: Entry is free, £5 per ride, or £22.50 for the day

Address: Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1EE