2019 will mark Visit Essex’s third Big Weekend, when hundreds of residents will be able to visit some of the county’s finest tourist attractions for free.

Organised by Visit Essex, the Essex Big Weekend is designed to encourage residents to rediscover the amazing things to see and do in their home county - and to then spread the word about them.

Attractions across the county have donated free tickets or experiences for residents to use on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7. Residents can bid for available tickets to as many attractions as they wish from now until Sunday, March 17 at www.essexbigweekend.co.uk and two tickets per household will be allocated by ballot to the lucky winners (some family tickets will be available as well).

Tickets for the weekend include free entry, tours, high-adrenaline experiences and family days out.

Visit Essex Tourism Marketing and PR Manager Carol Jolly said: “We were thrilled with the response to the Essex Big Weekend in 2018, and this year we have even more support from our local businesses.

“It’s very easy to forget the wonderful, unique attractions – big and small – right on our doorstep. We want people to use this weekend to get out and about in Essex and spread the word about the fantastic places we have to visit for all ages.”

There are over 60 experiences on offer, and attractions taking part include Audley End House & Gardens, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Topsail Charters, Rope Runners, Lee Valley White Water Centre, Colchester Zoo, Colchester Castle, Braintree District Museum, Adventure Island and the Beach huts at Maldon.

To take part register at www.essexbigweekend.co.uk. Registration is open until Sunday, March 17.