"Essex - a fine English county." Top 5 Page for this destination Essex by allikat

Essex Travel Guide: 791 reviews and 1,827 photos

Picture postcard villages

When I lived in Essex, I took Essex Girl jokes for granted. However, living in New Zealand (where it's difficult to be further away from Essex) I was surprised at how I still got to hear the same old chestnuts. The vast majority of these jokes cannot be repeated here (a possible exception being 'whats the difference between a supermarket trolley and an Essex Girl? A supermarket trolley has a mind of its own').

So it's fair to say that Essex has to some degree a somewhat tacky and unsavoury reputation. Well, this then is my attempt to show you that there is a whole lot more that this English county has to offer. It is true that some parts of South Essex are built up urban sprawl, 'new towns' built to accommodate London's post-war overspill. But much of Essex is truly picturesque. It is this that I want to try to convey here.

As well as having grown up in Essex, most of my working life was spent here (prior to my move to New Zealand, of course!). I was based from offices in Braintree, Kelvedon, Chelmsford, Sudbury (just over the border in Suffolk), Witham and Tiptree over a period spanning just over thirteen years, and my job meant that I got to cover a great many towns and villages around these areas.

It gave me a good knowledge of mid and North Essex - and from my perspective, that's where you get to successfully avoid the less appealing urban sprawl of 'Sarf Essex' and get to experience the history and rural appeal of places like The Hedinghams, Coggeshall and Thaxted.

I am a history nut, and so tend to at least give a passing mention to dates when describing places, as I believe it is relevant. Essex has a lot of history and is chock full of gorgeous buildings of historical importance. I am also passionate about old churches and feel that visiting a village church is one of the best ways I can think of to explore the history and get a feel for a place.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Chock full of history, beautiful buildings, pretty villages
  • Cons:Its awful 'Essex Girl' reputation - don't give it a second thought!
  • In a nutshell:Go take a look at this lovely county and decide for yourself
  • Last visit to Essex: Apr 2010
  • Intro Updated Nov 3, 2010
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Reviews (16)

Comments (25)

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2010 at 4:54 AM

    Great Essex page, Allison, I must explore the county more when I get back to England. fergy.

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    Terrific, helpful tips - many thanks Allison. Mike

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    a superb essex page now - but it is all 'nice' essex- what of basildon, greys, and thurrock ?

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2008 at 4:36 AM

    Good intro for all your Essex pages. As an adopted Welsh woman from Manchester - two other places with "images" to overcome - you have done a great job here.Partic. like Coggeshall. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fergie01's Profile Photo
    Jun 19, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    nice essex page!!!...we are hoping to move back that way soon from Canada? if you dont mind, how come u left?? my parents immigrated years ago so that is why i feel the pull back. Happy travels and would love to here from u, cheers, Deana

  • alucas's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Great updates - I can see I'm going to have to do some writing myself !

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2008 at 12:54 AM

    I can see I'll have to visit this Essex place with all the funny names LOL ;-) Will you be my guide ??

  • Apr 8, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Great start, great photos keep updating this page will be great!

  • tissie's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2006 at 5:52 AM

    Well done on improving the image of a great county - I'm a former "Essex Girl" too!! Greetings to NZ from UK, Lis

  • Tugboatguy's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2006 at 5:34 PM

    Hi Allison, Cow up a tree? You do have a quixotic side, for an Essex girl! How do they milk it? Good tips tho, if I ever get back to the Merry Isles. Hugs-Doug

allikat Used To Live Here!


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