A Different Way To See Essex (On A Summers Day)
When you say Essex to most people in the world they think of the “only way is Essex”. You don’t think about a summers day, so when they finally turn up you don’t know what to do with yourself. You probably would end up stuck in traffic waiting to go to the beach, then spending all your money at the Southend on the rides. But luckily I have a really good alternative that doesn’t cost a lot ( It can be a free day out if you play your cards right).
I will be giving one Complete day plan as well as a list of resources to help you tailor the day for yourselves.
What is involved?
- Morning: Countryside Walks
- Afternoon: Kayaking, canoeing or other river fun
- Late Afternoon/Evening: Pub lunch in a Beer Garden
Sounds like a simple day out, Nothing special. But that is really is the joy of it.
I had a wonderful time with the family just doing this, I felt like I saw a different side of England (From the Eyes of a Traveler, not a resident)
One of the best countrysides walk in the whole of Essex is found in Great Henny and around these areas. There is one major problem when it comes to walking around Great Henny is the fact there is little to no parking due to small and narrow roads.
There is free parking however available at the Henny Swan which is available to customers. This is perfect for those people in the party that walking isn’t their strong suit. leave them at the pub. ( I will talk more about this pub a bit later)
The other option is to be dropped off at church lane and meet them at the pub (one way, in reverse)
Great Henny Walk (20- 30 minutes one way)
You will find a lot of public footpaths to explore but if you want to see some of these views then follow below:
Start: Henny Swan (Henny Rd)
Head south (opposite direction to Sudbury)
You want to head towards St Mary’s church. Via Church lane
Walk down the main road (for around 5 minutes)
You will get to crossroads, Left you will see a bridge, the sights from this bridge is incredible (worth a look) but don’t go over that bridge there is a bull in the fields and that’s the wrong way.
Go right at the crossroads
Follow this road until it leads to a field
(you will see this)
You can follow this field all the way to St Mary’s church
When arriving you will see this
Walk through to see the church
Its really up to you if you just want to walk back or find your own way (which is more fun)
For example, this is Church Lane
But if this walk isn’t for you and you would like to go somewhere else in Essex, Here is a website with 9 beautiful walks in Essex (Essex Life mag)
Or just go out and get lost yourself… It’s worth it.
Kayaking, canoeing or other river fun
You probably thought the same as me when the Word Kayaking is mentioned, “Are you crazy, It’s England!?”
But it’s funny how much fun you can have on the river in a Kayak, Yes the water is cold but your not planning to go in.
But this is a perfect activity for a solo person to a group! Great fun in the Afternoon sun!
Never done it before?
If you have little to no experience with Kayaks and that actually works to your favor due to the fact, you won’t care if its a blow-up Kayak (this is more Fun) You won’t care the water is Calm (It’s still thrilling). If you get a 2 person boat there is literally two of you in the same boat and you will work it out.
Or not… Make sure your friends on sure have a camera to hand.
Where to go Kayaking?
As before mentioned, this is a day plan so, where better than where your car is parked. Henny Swan has the River Stour running right pass it the front door. This is perfect as it has a dock and its own Kayaks and other boats to hire too. From £10 an hour for a single to tandem kayak for a day for £70
But even better get yourself a cheap blow up Kayak and you can use the same docks. They are very good value for money and the blow-up ones pack away to take with you. Because once you go once you will want to go again!
Where else can you Kayak in Essex?
- Papermill lock Baddow.
- One Tree Island slipway on an incoming tide and paddle with the tide up to Benfleet
- River Chelmer( An Article by British Canoeing, Great safety tips too)
Be safe and make sure you follow the rules of the river
Maybe Kayaking isn’t for you
Luckily, again at the Henny Swan (ps this isn’t sponsored in any way by the Henny Swan), You can go on a boat tour. A chance to see more of the amazing Essex countryside.
Or just stay at the pub in the beer garden and have a beer while watching others.
Pub lunch in the Beer Garden
The last thing to mention is a lunch in a beer garden a lovely way to finish off a perfect day. This could be a pub down the road or even in the next town.
Sticking to the Great Henny Example… The Henny Swan is the pub you want to visit.
You’re probably bored of me mentioning the Henny Swan Pub. For you guys that want to know why I love it so much…
A good English pub can be hard to find, with the massive chain pubs and even harder to find a nice “local”. Some locals you can find can be a little hard for travelers due to the fact they are not the most welcoming to new faces outside there town. Luckily this local is nothing like this, welcomes anyone from anywhere.
As well as being welcoming they have a range of drinks and great tasting food!
If you liked this article on a different way to see Essex on a summer’s day then make sure you check out the Funny Backpacker’s post on Thetford Forest and everything you need to know