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Some information about Essex!
Farm Accommodation - Our local Bed & Breakfast and Self catering holiday properties are shown in green.
Essex lies between England’s East Coast and London and has so much to offer including 350 miles of coastline and the longest pleasure pier in the world, to fabulous stately homes and delightful market towns. Near the River Thames birdwatchers will enjoy RSPB Rainham Marshes at Purfleet & RSPB South Essex Marshes at Wat Tyler Country Park, Basildon. More than 70 percent of the county is rural and the beautiful undulating landscapes have inspired generations of artists including John Constable. Take a look at Essex Houses and Gardens - 11 unique destinations in rural Essex. Or, you could learn to canoe or kayak at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, or enjoy a white-water rafting experience.
Served by Stansted Airport, Harwich International Cruise Terminal & Ferry Port and good rail links from nearby London, visitors will have no difficulty travelling to Essex for a relaxing short break or holiday.
Billericay is home to the Barleylands Farm Centre offering fun for the whole family. Children can explore the adventure playground or race around the farm on mini tractors. There are plenty of friendly farm animals to enjoy! For a spot of shopping visit the Billericay Cookshop & Emporium in the High Street.
Braintree is a bustling market town standing on the old Roman Road, and also has the Freeport Designer Outlet Village nearby. Visit Cressing Temple Barns with its Tudor Walled Garden and Templars Tea Room. Near Braintree at Whethersfield we have Brook Farm B&B and Oxneys Farm Self catering at Felsted.
Brightlingsea is at the mouth of the River Colne and is a major yachting centre with one of the best stretches of sailing o the East Coast. It is also home to one of England’s oldest timber-framed buildings, the 13th C. Jacobes Hall. There are some superb walks alongside the creek and river.
Castle Hedingham is a quaint medieval village with winding lanes, timber-framed building and elegant Georgian houses, plus the magnificent 12th C. Hedingham Castle Keep
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex and has an imposing 18th C. Shire Hall. There is a pedestrian shopping centre and excellent entertainment and leisure facilities plus the Museum. Nearby you will find RHS Garden Hyde Hall with 28 acres of garden with year round interest, including dry garden, roses, perennial borders and alpines. Ingatestone Hall stands in open countryside and retains its original Tudor form and appearance. Hylands House & Estate is at Hylands Park. Cricket lovers may like to check out the Essex Cricket Club. For the great outdoors visit Blakes Wood & Danbury & Lingwood Commons - National Trust.
Clacton-on-Sea is the capital of the ‘Essex Sunshine Coast’ and is a very popular seaside town with tree-lines streets, long sandy beaches and beautiful seafront gardens. The 19th C. pier offers a range of entertainment and attractions, with water sports, theatres and shopping areas nearby. There is also the Clacton Factory Shopping Village on the outskirts.The Naze at Walton is great for walking and there is a tearoom open in the Naze Tower with homemade cakes (open summer only). In Clacton we have Earls Hall Farm B&B and Pond House Self Catering. Nearby at St Osyth we have Lee Wick Farm Self Catering and Glamping.
Goggeshall is a popular antiques centre and there are many fine timber-framed buildings including the 16th C. Paycockes, once home to a wealthy wool merchant. There is also Grange Barn, National Trust. Nearby you can visit Marks Hall Garden & Arboretum
Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town, with over 2,000 years of history to explore. The Norman Castle Keep is the largest in Europe and is an award winning museum. Nearby are the quaint narrow streets of the Dutch Quarter, where the cloth industry once flourished. There are excellent shopping and leisure facilities and lovely parkland and gardens to explore. Colchester Zoo is one of Europe’s finest Zoos with over 200 species in 60 acres of garden. Not far away is Layer Marney Tower – a 1520 Tudor-brick gatehouse, 8 storeys high with Italianate terracotta cresting and windows. The Beth Chatto Gardens at Elmstead Market are very popular with the huge variety of plants and the lovely water garden. Nearby at East Bergholt The Place for Plants is also very popular.It has a super woodland walk and cafe and a huge plant sale nursery. At Ardleigh visit Green Island Gardens. At Boxted just outside Colchester you will find Carter's Vineyards with over 40 acres of vines. At Kelvedon you can visit Kelvedon Hatch Street Nuclear Bunker and there is also the Rope Runners adventure course.
Mersea Island is worth a visit and the nearby Copt Hall Marshes - NT. You can enjoy views of the Blackwater estuary on lovely circular walks.
Dedham on the River Stour is in the heart of Constable Country, and it was here that the 18th C. landscape artist went to school. The attractive main street is lined with Georgian-fronted houses, lovely old inns, quaint little shops and large arts & craft centre. Flatford & the Dedham Vale.
Epping is just south of the famous Epping Forest covering some 6,000 acres. This former royal hunting ground was the haunt of legendary highwayman Dick Turpin. Or try the Epping Ongar Railway, Essex's longest heritage railway. For golf lovers there is the Epping Golf Course.
Finchingfield is a picturesque village with a lovely duck pond and green. You can also enjoy the 18th C Postmill at Duck End. In Finchingfield we have Daw Street Farm Self catering and Brook Farm B&B at Wethersfield.
Frinton-on-Sea has a reputation of an exclusive resort and retains an atmosphere of the 1920s and 30s. Tree-lined residential avenues sweep done to the elegant Esplanade and cliff-top greensward. The long stretch of sandy beach is quiet and secluded while the main shopping street – Connaught Avenue has often been called the “Bond Street” of East Anglia. Frinton Golf Club
Great Dunmow has some lovely old buildings and the town museum is in The Maltings which date back to 1560. Visit the Forgotten Gardens of Easton Lodge. Great Dunmow is not far from Stansted Airport & Bishops Stortford and we have B&B and self catering properties nearby: Friars Farm B&B at Hatfield Heath, Puttocks Farm B&B at Philpott End, Great Dunmow and Bury Farm Cottages at Great Canfield.
Halstead is just south of Sudbury so just on the Suffolk Border and the River Colne runs through here. Not far away is Sible Hedingham & Castle Hedingham with Hedingham Castle - the finest Norman keep in England. Just outside Halstead is Earls Colne with the Colne Valley Railway. Near Halstead at Sible Hedingham we have Brickwall Farm Holiday Cottages. At Little Maplestead between Halstead & Sudbury we have The Retreat Self Catering accommodation.
Harwich & Dovercourt Harwich is famous for its sea-faring history and heritage. It was once the headquarters of the King’s Navy, and home of Christopher Jones ‘Master of the Mayflower’. In town you will find narrow streets, historic buildings and museums, including the Redoubt Fort & Radar Tower. Neighbouring Dovercourt is an Edwardian style resort with sandy beaches, boating lake and park. On the Stour Estuary is the RSPB Stour Estuary Nature Reserve, one of the most important estuaries in Britain for breeding birds.
Ingatestone Hall is a 16thC manor house built by Sir William Petre. Nearby at Brentwood familes will enjoy Old MacDonalds Farm Park. Hatfield Forest - National Trust is a great place for children to explore
Maldon is an ancient hilltop town, port and sailing centre, at the head of the Blackwater estuary. There are attractive lanes and ‘chases’, with many historic buildings, including the 15th C. Moot Hall There is also the Museum of Power and Mangapps Railway Museum. Maldon is also home to the famous Tiptree Factory, where delicious jams and chutneys are produced, and there are the lovely Tiptree Tea Rooms and visitor centre. Near Maldon we have Wicks Manor Farm B&B at Tolleshunt Major.
Manningtree & Mistley are small towns at the head of the Stour estuary and are joined by a waterfront area, noted for its swans. At Manningtree North House Gallery holds frequent exhibitions of paintings, drawings & sculptures. At nearby Wrabness there is a RSPB Bird Reserve. At wix near Manningtree we have Dairy House Farm B&B.
Saffron Walden is an ancient town and takes its name from the Saffron Crocus, which grew here in the 16th C. Once a centre for wool production, the wealth generated has left many fie timber-framed buildings, some decorated with pargetting. The parish church with its elegant spire is one of the largest in Essex, and visit the Saffron Walden Museum & The Fry Art Gallery . Nearby is Audley End House and Park (English Heritage) one of England’s grandest stately homes. Not far from Saffron Walden we have Brocking Farm Cottages at Clavering.
Southend-on-Sea is a traditional family seaside resort with seven miles of seafront, award winning beaches and magnificent parks and gardens. The famous pier is one of the longest in the world at 1.34 miles and you can take a ride to the end of the Pier on little trains. There is also an Adventure Island Theme Park and excellent shopping centre, plus the Southend Museum. More information. For stunning views visit Rayleigh Mount - National Trust
Thaxted offers quaint streets lined with fine medieval buildings, including the 15th C. Guildhall and thatched Almshouses.
Walton-on-the-Naze is a family seaside resort with clean sandy beaches, seafront gardens and quaint narrow streets. The Pier is the second longest in Britain. The Naze is a headland jutting into the sea, where the heathland nature reserve is a haven for birdwatchers. Visit the Naze Tower
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