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Take it Easy by Car

Take it Easy by Car

Take it Easy by Car  - Harwich, Wrabness, Mistley, Manningtree & Dedham


Day 1  


Drop your bags at The Thorn at Mistley, ready for check-in later and start your Take it Easy Essex experience with morning coffee outside, overlooking Mistley Quay and the Swan Fountain. 

After coffee, head over to Harwich to the Victorian, ‘Ha’Penny’ Pier, so called because it used to cost a ha’penny to board, for a relaxing, 2-hour boat trip out through the Walton Backwaters, featured in Arthur Ransome’s book ‘Secret Water’, to see the grey and harbour seal colonies in the Hamford Water Nature Reserve.  These seals are an unusual russet colour due to the iron oxide-rich mud flats they call home.

Worked up an appetite…?  There are plenty of good eateries in Harwich, try The Pier Hotel, just opposite the pier, or The Alma Inn, tucked down a side street, opposite the historic Christopher Jones’s House, where the Master of the famous Mayflower ship once lived.     

A scenic drive across the Tendring peninsular brings you to Beth Chatto’s Garden, an inspirational, informal garden which was transformed from an overgrown wasteland using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions.  This is a ‘must-see’ for anyone who enjoys a garden and the café here serves delicious home-made cakes and great coffee.  

NB: Cookery courses can be pre-booked in advance at The Mistley Kitchen, just a few doors along from The Thorn.


Day 2


After breakfast, head over to the nearby village Wrabness where you can park at the railway station and stroll down to the shoreline, passing the quirky House for Essex, a remarkable artistic creation by the Essex-born artist, Grayson Perry and a popular holiday let.  There are circular and linear walks of different lengths to enjoy through the woodland here.

After exploring Wrabness woodlands and beach, head on over to Manningtree where the Italian-inspired Lucca Enoteca on Manningtree high street is one of several options for lunch.  A riverside stroll afterwards along Mistley Walls affords spectacular views across the Stour estuary where you can spot oystercatchers, shell ducks, curlews and other wading birds and sometimes see Samphire growing wild in the salt marsh.

Stop by the chocolate box village of Dedham on the way home for afternoon tea at the famous Essex Rose, a tearoom run by Wilkins & Sons of Tiptree.  
 

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Product Information

  1. The Mistley Thorn

    Mistley

    The Mistley Thorn is located in the centre of the historic coastal village of Mistley and is two minutes walk from Mistley station which has direct services to Colchester, Harwich and London Liverpool Street. Built as a coaching inn circa 1723, The Mistley Thorn offers award-winning dining and…

  2. Ha'penny Pier Visitor Centre

    Harwich

    Information on everything in Harwich and historic exhibition on Harwich and the Mayflower. Free tourist information service and exhibition.

  3. Christopher Jones House

    Harwich

    Visitors will be able to see many of the original features from Jones’ time and the master bedroom has been restored back to its former glory . There will also be augmented reality features, which will allow smartphone technology to bring the Harwich Mayflower story to life. 

  4. Mistley Kitchen School

    Mistley

    The Mistley Kitchen is a well renowned cookery school located in a fine Georgian Town house in the ancient port village of Mistley and offers one-day recreational hands-on cookery workshops for up to 6 participants, (at this time).

    Established in 2001 by American-born chef Sherri Singleton,…

  5. Wrabness Circular walk

    Manningtree

    Accessible by rail this 2 mile walk gives the opportunity to view Grayson Perry's "A House for Essex", dramatic views of the Stour estuary, woodlands, and wildlife.

  6. Lucca Enoteca

    Manningtree

    Wood-fired pizzas and classic pasta dishes in an oak-beamed dining room with bare brick walls.

  7. Tiptree Tea Room at Essex Rose, Dedham

    Dedham

    The Essex Rose Tea Room serves a range of sandwiches, jacket potatoes, cooked lunches, hot and cold snacks, cakes and scones.

  8. A House for Essex

    Manningtree

    A House for Essex appears as a small, beautifully crafted object amidst the trees and fields. The house does not attempt to mimic the appearance and materials of existing buildings in the local village of Wrabness. Instead, it offers a unique addition. 

    The house was designed and created…

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
The Mistley Thorn (51.94469,1.07904)Ha'penny Pier Visitor Centre (51.94833,1.28588)12.78
Ha'penny Pier Visitor Centre (51.94833,1.28588)Christopher Jones House (51.94725,1.28642)0.11
Christopher Jones House (51.94725,1.28642)The Pier at Harwich (51.93547,1.26247)1.89
The Pier at Harwich (51.93547,1.26247)Beth Chatto's Plants & Gardens (51.8745,1.00388)17.11
Beth Chatto's Plants & Gardens (51.8745,1.00388)Mistley Kitchen School (51.94469,1.07904)8.43
Mistley Kitchen School (51.94469,1.07904)Wrabness Circular walk (51.93944,1.17175)5.75
Wrabness Circular walk (51.93944,1.17175)Lucca Enoteca (51.94553,1.06492)6.63
Lucca Enoteca (51.94553,1.06492)Tiptree Tea Room at Essex Rose, Dedham (51.95903,0.99331)4.62
Tiptree Tea Room at Essex Rose, Dedham (51.95903,0.99331)A House for Essex (51.94143,1.17337)11.26
Total Distance *68.58 miles
Estimated Journey Time2.21 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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