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The Food of Love

Food of Love

Stay at the historic port of Maldon and take time to explore the coastline.

Scroll down past the map below the itinerary for information about any of the places mentioned.

Day 1

Impress the one you love and pre-book a course at Braxted Park Cookery School for a special birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s treat. Combining a rural setting in tranquil parkland with award-winning chefs, well-equipped kitchens and a diverse range of courses, the school is a perfect setting for learning food craft.

Afternoon check in to Le Bouchon Hotel, Maldon.

Bicycles are available to guests for a cycle along the canal path to watch the sun setting at the picturesque Heybridge Basin where you can take afternoon tea at the Tiptree tea rooms and enjoy views over the Blackwater Estuary and Osea Island. The hotel also has its own boat and runs canal trips from their private jetty most of the year. There are various options for dinner in Maldon itself or relax and dine in the hotel restaurant.

Day 2

After breakfast, take a scenic drive out from Maldon, heading for Mersea Island, pausing at the village of Goldhanger to see the medieval church. Stroll through the churchyard to take in the wide sweeping views out across the Blackwater Estuary.

Next stop is Tollesbury to take in the big skies, expansive saltmarsh and the iconic lightship. Here you can see the lovingly restored Edwardian sail lofts, where lightning-fast racing yachts were stored.

Arrive Mersea Island and check in at Mersea Island Watersports for your pre-booked kayaking, paddle boarding or sailing experience.  Check tide times beforehand as the access road to Mersea can be cut off at high tide.

Worked up an appetite?  You can re-fuel at one of the fresh seafood shacks, pubs or cafes along the waterfront afterwards, all easily accessible on foot.

Afternoon drive over to East Mersea to see the pastel-coloured Beach Huts, typical of the Essex coast, and then on to Cudmore Grove Country Park for a ramble and great views across the estuary towards Brightlingsea. There is a café on site here for refreshments. Time it right and you can pop over to Brightlingsea on the Foot Ferry from here.

Day 3

Visit the Naze Discovery Centre at Walton-on-the-Naze, a special and important place thriving with wildlife. The Naze is the gateway to Hamford Water Nature Reserve, a sanctuary for migrating and nesting birds and you can hunt for fossilised sharks teeth, shells and wood on the beach here in the shadow of the fifty-million-year-old, 70-foot cliffs.

After your walk, head over to the historic port of Old Harwich and discover its quaint buildings, Ha’Penny Pier and views over to the majestic cranes of Felixstowe.

There are several options for lunch in Old Harwich including The Pier Hotel, just next to the Quay.

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Product Information

  1. The Cookery School at Braxted Park


    The Cookery School at Braxted Park, based in Essex, combines a stunning location with award-winning chefs and a diverse range of courses to suit all abilities.

  2. Tiptree Tea Room at The Lock, Maldon

    Heybridge Basin, Maldon

    Bright and airy, 'The Lock' is THE place to eat on the waterfront at Heybridge Basin. Indoors or out, it offers outstanding Blackwater Estuary views.

  3. Cudmore Grove Country Park


    Cudmore Grove offers visitors a trip to the seaside with a difference at the eastern tip of Mersea Island. The park includes a sandy beach and open grassland, perfect for picnics and great views.

  4. Brightlingsea Boat Trips

    Brightlingsea, Colchester

    From April 1st to 22nd September Brightlingsea Harbour runs a daily foot ferry service to Mersea Island and Point Clear. On certain dates a pub lunch river cruise along the River Colne to Wivenhoe plus harbour tours .

  5. The Naze Nature Discovery Centre


    The Centre is open all year round and houses an education room as well as a café and gift shop. There are a number of displays including fossil and geology displays and information regarding bird migration and sightings.

  6. The Pier at Harwich Hotel


    Situated on the quay in Harwich, this small AA 4 star hotel has 14 bedrooms, many with fine views over The Stour and Orwell estuaries. Enjoy all day dining throughout the year in the Pier Restaurant or small plates, cocktails and gin library in the NAVYÄRD bar.

  7. Ha'penny Pier Visitor Centre


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

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
The Cookery School at Braxted Park (51.8057,0.68978)Tiptree Tea Room at The Lock, Maldon (51.72956,0.71016)7.73
Tiptree Tea Room at The Lock, Maldon (51.72956,0.71016)Cudmore Grove Country Park (51.79268,0.99302)18.65
Cudmore Grove Country Park (51.79268,0.99302)Brightlingsea Boat Trips (51.80598,1.02436)2.36
Brightlingsea Boat Trips (51.80598,1.02436)The Naze Nature Discovery Centre (51.8642,1.28737)17.3
The Naze Nature Discovery Centre (51.8642,1.28737)The Pier at Harwich Hotel (51.94789,1.28687)8.39
The Pier at Harwich Hotel (51.94789,1.28687)Ha'penny Pier Visitor Centre (51.94833,1.28588)0.08
Total Distance *54.48 miles
Estimated Journey Time1.75 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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