Essex has had its share of reality dramas from Roman takeovers to castles surviving smuggler invasions and secret nuclear bunkers. Follow Boudica's footsteps to Colchester museums standing on former Roman temples. For funfairs and traditional fish 'n' chips cruise the golden mile in sunny Southend. History lovers get their fix of motte-and-bailey Norman keeps, turret ruins and Tudor forts guarding sleepy estuaries in this southeast county. Fresh seafood, cobbled coastal towns, mile-long piers, country parks and tidal islands prove that the only way really is Essex.