Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Superb Familiarisation Trip Around Essex

I spent a wonderful day recently on one of the familiarisation trips arranged by Carol Jolly of Visit Essex for group travel organisers and coach operators.

Essex is my home county, and I know it well, but Carol keeps pulling out of the hat places where I have not previously been.

On this occasion, the group met at Braintree Freeport (not difficult, as it has its own railway station), and made our way into Braintree itself, to visit the Warner Textile Archive Gallery, and be treated to coffee and biscuits. This excellent collection I have actually visited previously.

Then it was down to Stow Maries, to visit the First World War airfield, the only surviving example in the world. Coffee, biscuits and cake here.

Then it was on to South Hanningfield, where we had lunch at a restaurant overlooking Hanningfield Reservoir.

After lunch, we had a longish ride via the outskirts of Colchester to Elmstead Market, where we visited the glorious Beth Chatto Gardens. Coffee and cake here.

Then it was on to Marks Tey, where we visited The Food Company, an excellent retail food shop / restaurant, and were treated to coffee and a dessert.

And to round off the day, Osea Island, reached only by a mile long causeway at certain states of the tide, in the Blackwater estuary. This is being developed as an exclusive resort. We were given coffee and biscuits here.

That`s all we did! An absolutely superb day!