The county has a number of shopping centres, both indoors and outdoors offering a range of designer, independent and high-street shops.
If you are looking for a place to spend a rainy day, the following are listed on TripAdvisor as the top shopping centres to visit in Essex.
1. Braintree Village
Where: Charter Way, Chapel Hill, Braintree
Out of more than 800 reviews Braintree Village has been rated as the top shopping centre in Essex.
With the suggested duration of more than three hours, the shopping village clearly has a range of shops to browse through.
The outlet shopping village has more than 80 premium brands including Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, Reiss, Boss and Kate Spade.
It also has lots of restaurants and cafes within the outdoor centre.
One reviewer on Tripadvisor said: “Clean and not too busy. But it was a wet Friday afternoon.
“Bonus points for the majority of shops being dog friendly.
“Every shop we went into the staff were super friendly and helpful.
“Especially Eden in the Levi store and Harry in the Ralph Lauren store. If shopping is your bag highly recommend Braintree Village.”
2. High Chelmer Shopping Centre
Where: 15A Exchange Way, Chelmsford
This indoor shopping centre in Chelmsford can be accessed by foot from the High Street.
It has a range of popular shops including Primark, Boots and JD Sports.
One reviewer said: “Typical shopping centre, nothing exciting, nothing bad. You will find all the usual retail shop.
“Toilets are clean and multi-storey car park have sufficient capacity.”
3. Eastgate Shopping Centre
Where: Eastgate Centre, Basildon
This shopping centre is in the heart of Basildon and includes popular brands including Primark, River Island and JD Sports.
There are also a range of food outlets including McDonalds, Starbucks and Taco Bell.
One reviewer said: “Eastgate is actually the shopping mall and the main floors seem to have all of the units open with a variety of the usual high street outlets and some that seem to be more like shops being run by market traders.
“There is a food court and a variety of other eateries. Compared to the rest of the town centre it is better but is nothing special.”
4. Clacton Shopping Village
Where: Stephenson Road West, Clacton
This outdoor shopping village in Clacton has a range of shops and parking for up to 1,000 cars.
It has lots of popular outlet shops including Marks and Spencer’s, Choice and Saltrock.
There are also places to grab a drink and snack, including Costa and Greggs.
One reviewer said: “Well worth a visit. There is a Choice and Marks outlet there. There are also places to eat. Parking is free.”
5. The Victoria Shopping Centre
Where: Victoria Plaza, Southend-on-Sea
The shopping centre is based at the top of the High Street in Southend.
It has a big Next shop as well as Boots, New Look and Peacocks.
There are also a number of places to stop for a drink and snack from Cookies and Cones, Subway and more.
One reviewer said: “The Victoria Shopping Centre is adjacent to Southend Victoria Railway station. It is also at the end of the main shopping area.
“There are a number of different stores in the shopping centre including Next and Poundland as well as some small independent stores.
“It was easy to remain socially distanced in the store and was quite spacious and as there was a lot of natural light it was a very pleasant environment.”