Picture of a group of people posing for the camera.

Tell us about your trip to Essex!

We want to hear from you, our group organisers. Tell us about your recent trip to Essex and share your experience. We'll publish this on this page which will help other Organisers when planning their next trip.
Group of people standing outside the main gate of Ingatestone Hall.

Essex Theatre Club's Trip to Leigh-on-Sea

A group of people overlooking the coast.

Our trip yesterday to see “Barnum” at the Cliff’s Pavilion in Southend went really well. No meal was booked beforehand as I wanted members to experience the little village of “Old Leigh” which is between Leigh-on-Sea and Chalkwell, on the mouth of the River Thames in Essex. About as long as Clacton’s High Street, it is a quaint area with small cafe’s and a few pubs and an excellent gift shop, where everyone managed to get something to eat and most of us sat outside for our meals. (Some said that their fish and chips were wonderful!!)
The weather was really kind to us and I had difficulty in getting everyone back on the coach! Tim, our driver was, as usual, on top form and even though Sally was supposed to be navigating but getting him in a muddle trying to find the village, he came up trumps, so Sally had to supply him with a bag of chips from (one of the best Fish n'Chip Shops in Essex) Old Leigh to keep him happy!!
The show was brilliant and Brian Conley was very entertaining – he actually walked the tight rope over the stage! Members of the cast greeted us on arrival in the Theatre by juggling and doing circus tricks before the show started.

All in all, a lovely day with lots of smiling faces at the end of the day. A great day out in Essex!!

Sally Rogers
Essex Theatre Club

North Stifford WI's visit to the Thurrock Beer Festival

Group of people holding a glass of beer and saluting the camera man.

On Saturday 7 June 2014, fourteen ladies from the North Stifford Womens Institute paid a visit to the Thurrock Beer Festival. After seeing the Romford Morris Dancers, the Group kindly posed for a photo with the ladies (see image on the left).

A few drinks later and the organiser of the Beer Festival, Simon Harrison, was surrounded by the ladies for a photo shoot.

President of North Stifford WI, Olive Clay said, “We are very grateful to Simon and his team for making us all so welcome. Long may the Thurrock Beer Festival continue.”

North Stifford WI

The Royal Opera House Production Workshop

A view of the workshop floor from above.

This was a local excursion so another civilised start time. I was already aware of this amazing building at Purfleet and was planning a reccy myself when Carol Jolly, the Business Tourism Manager for Visit Essex at Essex County Council, invited me to attend a familiarisation visit. As a direct result of this I arranged my excursion.

On the day we drove directly to Orsett Hall (included in the familiarisation tour) where there was time for an aperitif and to relax in the beautiful garden before a tasty lunch was served.

Then there was just a short journey to Purfleet where again we enjoyed the views and gardens before our tour guide David Kerby Kendall came to meet us. This enormous purpose built workshop is where the scenic painters, carpenters and metalworkers transform designers' visions into reality, creating the stunning sets and scenery for the world famous performances at the ROH. David, our guide, was exceptionally knowledgeable as well as being very entertaining. NB Numbers on each tour are limited to 20.

Diane Upton
Organiser Let's Go Club

Spell bounding day at Barleyland Farm & Craft Village

Group of people sitting in front of an arena and watching birds of prey flying.

“Barleylands” is a delightful farm park and craft village situated between Wickford and Billericay in Essex. It is home to over 50 individual craft studios, galleries, workshops and includes an impressive glass blowing studio with viewing gallery.

It is also home to the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy founded by Nigel King whose knowledge and passion for the birds is inspiring. On this special occasion we learnt about the history and art of falconry and enjoyed the spectacle of beautiful hawks, owls and falcons in graceful flight.

We adjourned for lunch to the nearby Magic Mushroom restaurant which has earned a great reputation for fine dining. After an excellent lunch we returned to the Academy for some hands on experience with the birds.

It was absolutely spell bounding. An added bonus was that one of my members Ken Plowman filmed us during the day and then produced a DVD. A wonderful reminder of a great day out.

Diane Upton
Organiser of the Let's Go Club

London International Meetup at Colchester Military Tournament

Picture of two lancemen on horses charging forward.

I took a group from the London International Meetup to Colchester for the annual Colchester Military Tournament. We enjoyed a guided walking tour around the town in the morning (starting at the Visitor Information Centre), then after lunch we walked to Abbey Field.

There was so much to do at the tournament. There were re-enactment groups bringing to life soldiers from throughout the ages, from the Romans to the Second World War. There were lots of food stalls, a funfair and a music stage. In the main arena we watched massed bands, battle re-enactments, motor cycle displays, a dog display team and were treated to a landing by the Red Devils parachute team and a Spitfire flypast.

We finished a truly memorable day by listening to a 40’s band on the music stage. It was a great day out in Essex – we are sure to be back at this event next year!

Mark Chandler
London International Meetup

Explore our county

Picture of the iconic Firstsite building at night.
Discover Essex’s creative spaces. They come in all shapes and sizes and are crammed with artistic treasures, from international names to emerging local artists.
Picture of a sunset over the The Naze waters with some rocks protruding from the water.

Explore our 350 miles of coastline, the longest shoreline of any county in England, a place of surprising wild beauty, rich in wildlife and sprinkled with history and hidden cultural gems.

Essex’s history has been shaped by a wide variety of cultures. Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans – all left their mark. Echoes of their influence can still be seen today.
Picture of a cow at the edge of the River Stour and drinking water.
A scenic patchwork of rich farmland speckled with pastelwashed villages of thatch and timber, the views interrupted by mighty oaks and ashes presided over by the hurrying skies.