Essex is a county in southeastern England. Many tourists enjoy visiting the Essex sights found in Chelmsford, the county’s capital; for example, check out Chelmsford Cathedral, probably originally constructed in the 13th century, but rebuilt over the years. There’s also Shire Hall, built in the 18th century as a courthouse, and Hylands House and Park, a country house and its grounds now open to the public. If you’re looking for shopping in Essex, then the Lakeside Shopping Center is your place. It is one of the largest shopping areas in Europe and is located in Thurrock. For some typical Essex culture, visit Audley End House, a 17th century Jacobean country house with extensive grounds. Other Essex attractions include Colchester Castle, dating to the 11th century, and Hedingham Castle, also dating to the 11th century. If you’re looking for things to do in Essex that involve the outdoors, then you definitely should check out Epping Forest, an ancient forest born around 8000 BC. Tourists enjoy horse back riding, hiking and mountain biking through the forest; those interested in visiting Essex to view remains of its ancient past can check out the ruins of the two Iron Age forts here. One of the major Essex attractions is the Southend Pier in Southend-on-Sea, the world’s longest pleasure pier.