What Is The Essex Pass?
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have heard about my love for The Essex Pass. Despite my blog name, I’m not ALWAYS trying to escape Essex, in fact I love finding new things to do in the local area.
That’s where the Essex Pass comes into play – 12 months membership will cost you a mere £9.99 and will give you loads of discounts in Essex (most of which are 2 people for the price of 1)!
If you live in Essex and want to find some new things to do (like me), or you will be in the area for a short period of time and want to do more of the touristy attractions in the area, I couldn’t recommend this card enough!
I’ve recently visited the Original Great Maze and also Hazle’s Pottery Barn using the pass, but this was the first time we had used it for a FULL day out – so I thought I’d share it all with you because it was a really great day (although it included a very strange mixture of activities – from sports, to history to animals)!
If you want to complete the full day of activities listed in this post, you’ll need to book on to a 10am Rope Runners course. The booking lasts for 2.5 hours and your get to do as many courses as you like in that amount of time as possible!
There are 6 rope courses in total, 2 at ground level, 2 at medium height and 2 high up courses. Being completely afraid of heights, the medium levels were quite enough for me but Callum completed all of them (with only a few little moans on the high levels).
Each course ends with a zip-wire (there’s a brilliant video of me being terrified on the podium and refusing to do it, before doing it, realising it was fun and then falling on my face at the end – not sure that video will ever make it to the internet!). And there’s also a huge stand-alone zip-wire which we both also completed.
The staff were super helpful and friendly, so if you want a fun activity-based day out, this is the place for you! They also have archery, air rifle, paint balling and water-zorbing to choose from, so there’s something for everyone!
You can tell I’m not built for sports however.. it’s the day after and my legs hurt…
Secret Nuclear Bunker
If you’re visiting Rope Runners, it would be wrong not to also visit the Secret Nuclear Bunker as they are located right next door to each other!
This photo made it’s way round social media a while back as the “secret” bunker is clearly not much of a secret!
You enter the bunker through what looks like a normal little house before picking up an audio guide – I think the tour took us about 2 hours but it was great! According to the website, this is the biggest and deepest Cold War bunker that’s open to the public in the South East of England.
After the heat of the Cold War died down, the bunker was no longer needed and the Government sold it, hence we are now able to visit it as tourists! It’s so strange to see something of such historic importance so close to your home!
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary
Located a mere 20 minute drive away, I couldn’t help making a quick visit to Hopefield Animal Sanctuary!
The sanctuary isn’t huge, and it won’t take you much longer than an hour to see all of the animals on display. Even so, there’s a great range of animals to see including many horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas, raccoons, various reptiles, birds and many more!
The sanctuary is a non-profit organisation caring for around 200 unwanted, sick or mistreated animals. They require donations and volunteers to continue their great work – so if you’re in the area, make sure you stop by! Even the former X-Factor winner Leona Lewis is a huge supporter of the work they do!
There are plenty of other ways you can help out including volunteering and adopting an animal. And for only £20 you can have a full animal experience day – my sister has already asked me to buy her this for her birthday!
Highlight of the day: I didn’t know that Racoon Dogs exist – but apparently they do, and I love them so much. So god damn cute.
And in Conclusion…
We had a really great day out! The close proximity for these three activities means that it’s easy to do all three in one day (providing you get to Rope Runners early)!
The full day out would normally cost £40, but with The Essex Pass, it will cost you a mere £20. For three activities spanning 10am to 4pm, I think that’s a pretty great deal! Plus, given The Essex Pass only costs £9.99, you’ve already made your money back!
Apart from the Secret Nuclear Bunker, without The Essex Pass, I wouldn’t have known these activities exist and I can’t wait to find out about more hidden gems near home!
Does your local area have a discount pass? Have you ever used it?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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