THINGS TO DO ON A RAINY DAY

Maldon District offers so many opportunities for wonderful walks, for getting on the water and for enjoying the great outdoors. However, here are a few ideas of things to do on those rare days when it rains. In Maldon District, there is a good selection of attractions to choose from.

DISCOVER OTHER WORLDS IN OUR MUSEUMS

Venture inside one of Maldon District's many museums and you will find literally hundreds of exhibits to fascinate and entertain the inquisitive mind.

Discover the evolving story of different forms of power at the Museum of Power; investigate the history of our Combined Military Services with an array of genuine artefacts from the English Civil War to current day Special Forces; experience life at one of the last surviving Great War Aerodromes at Stow Maries; encounter the reality of steam transport at Mangapps Railway Museum and uncover the stories of Maldon and Burnham-on-Crouch at the towns' two local museums.

It's guaranteed that there will be new things to learn as you gain a greater appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Maldon District.

Man looking through iron wheel of steam pump

FEATURED MUSEUM - THE COMBINED MILITARY SERVICES MUSEUM

Forged passports and documnets

The Combined Military Services Museum in Maldon is one of the country’s premier military museums. The museum tells the story of the British fighting force from the English Civil War to the present day with unashamed pride and is described by its patron Lord Paddy Ashdown as ‘a jewel’ ‘worthy of national recognition’.

Exhibits include the only surviving Cockle Canoe from the famous Cockleshell Raid and a complete set of German invasion plans for Britain in 1940. The collection includes tanks, medals, firearms, swords and much more. All items are original and many have a story relating to their previous owner’s exploits. One famous example relates to the clothing, weapons and equipment belonging to Rusty Firmin, leader of the Blue Team who led the S.A.S. raid on the Iranian Embassy siege.

Spread over three floors, the museum offers visitors the opportunity to discover our military history in their own time.

EXPLORE OUR LOCAL HERITAGE

Take a fascinating guided tour of the Moot Hall. Constructed around 600 years ago, Moot Hall has undergone many changes of use from a manor house, a jail, a courtroom, a police station through more recently to the Town Council Chamber. Find the prisoners’ names scratched on the walls, hear the story of the Maldon murder and climb the unique brick staircase to the top of the tower for spectacular views.

Visit the Maledune Centre and see the 42 foot long Maldon Embroidery which celebrates the 1000 years since the Battle of Maldon in 991. Fascinating displays of archaeological finds, interesting archive photographic material and exhibitions of work by local artists are constantly on display and there is a delightful gift shop so that you can take home a locally produced gift to remind you of your visit.

The Thomas Plume Library is located in the same building, with its collection of over 8,000 books and pamphlets. The earliest book in the collection is a Latin Bible dating from 1418, printed in Nuremberg. Plume collected works on Chemistry, Astronomy, Medicine History and Travel thus reflecting the changing ideas in his time. The majority of the collection spans Plume’s life in the 1600s with many original texts.

INDOORS AND ACTIVE

Swimming pool under water

BLACKWATER LEISURE CENTRE

At the newly refurbished Blackwater Leisure Centre there is a huge range of activities, from swimming to the large and extremely well equipped gym.

The 25 metre long pool has 4 lanes and is supplemented by a flume and a novelty bubble pool, so there are opportunities for those who wish to train and those who wish to play.

The gym has all the latest equipment which is versatile enough to accommodate people of all abilities, ambitions, shapes and sizes.

In addition there are various classes to choose from, including Group Cycling, Studio Classes, Aquafit, Body Combat, classes for older participants and many more.

There are also a broad range of children's activities during term time and during school holidays.

MADISON HEIGHTS

Madison Heights is Maldon’s Premier Family Entertainment Centre. With everything all under one roof, it makes the perfect location for all your family to have fun.

Choose from the 22 lane ten-pin bowling alley, the 16 table snooker hall with pool tables, the roller skating rink, Izumi oriental buffet restaurant, the lazer maze adventure and the Monkey Puzzle soft play centre. You're guaranteed to find something entertaining.

Monkey Puzzle indoor soft play is the largest indoor soft play centre in the South East and is suitable for babies to children up to 12 years old. There is exclusive party hire for bigger Kids & Adults.

Children have a fantastic time burning off that excess energy on 4 levels of play frames, with its amazing giant play frame which is over 6 metres high.

Packed with slides, tubes and fun areas to explore, our new dedicated indoor inflatable area with great bouncy pillow, bouncy maze and inflatable slides has proven to be a huge success.

And following all that activity, what better than to relax with lunch, dinner or just a simple bar snack? Several options are available, with an 'all you can eat' oriental buffet, a steakhouse, bar snacks and an artesan café and tearoom.

Contact us for details of party packages for groups of children and adults.

Entrance to Sports Centre

DENGIE HUNDRED SPORTS CENTRE

At the newly refurbished Dengie Hundred Sports Centre there are a wide variety of activities, including adult group fitness classes and individual use of the well-equipped gym and sports hall.

In the gym you will find a selection of the latest equipment and the sports hall and its equipment can be pre-booked over the phone. Contact us for details.

Group classes currenely include Group Cycle, Legs Bums and Tums, Body Balance, Cardio Kick, Circuits and Dance Fitness.

There is a function room which also has a bar which can be hired for events. The centre also provides facilities for children's parties.

There are a broad range of children's and toddler's activities during term time and during school holidays.

FIND SOMETHING UNIQUE

Maldon District has a number of galleries showcasing different forms of visual art, from professional to amateur work, often inspired by the unique landscape and history of the district. Visit Hart & Hamm and Haylett's galleries in Maldon and Templemann Gallery in Burnham-on-Crouch. Art exhibitions are also regularly held in the Maeldune Heritage Centre and a range of other independent venues including local village halls.

The Burnham-on-Crouch Art Trail and the Maldon Art Trail take place over the summer period. Going from strength to strength each year, a wide range of local artists display in venues in and around the high streets of Burnham-on-Crouch and Maldon. Artists are inspired by the big skies and unique light of the East Essex Coast and produce a range of media including ceramic, glass, sculpture, oils and watercolour.

Details of the trails are available in the Tourist Information Centres in Maldon and Burnham-on-Crouch.

A PICTURE PALACE FROM THE PAST

The Rio Cinema is Burnham-on-Crouch's independently owned heritage cinema where the latest films can be enjoyed in picture palace surroundings. Built in 1931 according to plans of music halls and theatres from 1912 to 1914, the cinema has 2 screens and offers the most up to date films with tickets for sale at historically low prices.

To find out which films are currently showing, consult the Rio's own website www.burnhamrio.co.uk and look forward to a truly unforgettable experience.

Rio Cinema

LET THE CHILDREN PLAY

Multi-level play area
Let’s Go Bonkers is East Essex’s most exciting and professionally designed premier indoor children’s soft play studio, featuring two uniquely designed multilevel play studios, which has something for everyone. Our professional design team have come up with a range of equipment and designs that are both innovative and ground breaking.

BABY BONKERS is our specially designed play studio for the little ones, from birth to 3-years old.

BIGGER BONKERS is for children between 3 and 12-years old and has been specifically designed to keep even the most demanding children entertained for hours.

In our modern coffee lounge you can enjoy a cup of freshly ground cappuccino or latte, sample some of our delicious and nutritious freshly prepared meals and snacks. Open every day, please click here to see our opening times.

RELAX AND RECUPERATE WITH A HEART-WARMING DRINK AND SOME DELICIOUS FOOD

Whether you need refreshment after a busy rainy day itinerary or you are looking for a destination to escape to for a rewarding snack, lunch or tea, then Maldon District has many cafés and tea rooms to entice you in.

Starting in the North West of the District, the Braxted Bakery provides wholesome, traditional food (who says simple can’t be special?), using good quality ingredients to make food which tastes good without costing the earth. A friendly welcoming venue where the hope is that you will like what you see and become a regular customer.

The Loft is a modern tearoom with a vintage feel, set in the beautiful working marina of the lovely coastal village of Tollesbury. The Loft offers freshly ground coffee and a variety of loose leaf teas all served in beautiful vintage china, as well as light lunches and delectable homemade cakes.

Further along the coast towards Heybridge you will find the View River Café. Taking advantage of its elevated location on the Blackwater Estuary, it claims to have the most beautiful view in Essex. Choose from a selection of popular food choices from the special ‘Tiptree’ cream teas, hot and cold snacks and ‘Tiptree’ patisserie cakes.

Inside the Barge Hydrogen

Try something a little different in Maldon; step aboard the historic sailing barge Hydrogen for a memorable tearoom experience. Moored on Maldon's picturesque Hythe Quay, you can enjoy breakfast, light lunches and afternoon tea, with fresh ingredients supplied from the High Street. Delicious cakes, scones, mini quiches and soups are all cooked on board daily in the galley. Central heating is available on colder days with deck seating for winter sun and dog walkers.

In Burnham-on-Crouch at weekends you might easily find your way to the Quayside Restaurant and Café to sample a variety of delicious home cooked food - freshly prepared on the premises. With views over Burnham Quay and across the river Crouch to Wallasea Island, the outside patio area is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy a drink or something to eat.

Finally, this is only a taster amongst so many establishments which offer refreshments combining high quality local produce in a distinctive location. We do hope you will feel tempted to sample at least one and there are many more to uncover here.

GRAPE AND GRAIN TRAIL

Tending the vines

The Grape and Grain Trail has been created by Braintree District Council and Maldon District Council to take you to independent local producers, many of which are family-run. Over the past decade, there has been an exponential growth of vineyards, breweries and distilleries in the region and on a rainy day, there are a few locations where you can enjoy this local produce along with good food. The Symons family at Clayhill Vineyard invite you to their new Tearoom and Wine Shop / Tasting Room, which is open every weekend. Set on the South facing slopes in the Crouch Vale, the vineyard commands unrivalled views over the River Crouch estuary and the tidal Bridgemarsh Island.

Wibblers Brewery have been brewing award winning beer, lager and cider since 1991. Adjoining the 17th Century Essex Barn that houses the brewhouse, the 'Wibblers Taproom & Kitchen' serves a range of ales, ciders and lagers alongside home cooked food. Tours can be booked and look out too for our Open Days where you can look around the brewery and listen to a talk on brewing and stories about their beers. Maldon High Street is home to two tap rooms for local brewers Mighty Oak and Farmers Yard, the latter claiming to be the smallest pub in Maldon with seating and standing for 12 persons each. A cosy way to spend some time with friends perhaps?