A driving tour of North Essex
So if like me, you’re never quite satisfied in staying local, for too long anyway, and you’re within an hours drive of North Essex, this may be the blog post for you. North Essex is old and beautiful, that’s it really. It’s full of history, interesting, Georgian houses, for example that of Gustav Holst and Dick Turpin – the highwayman himself and most importantly great pubs. If like me, you go with someone who retains all of this information, mainly being my dad, my partner in crime on a lot of these trips – you’re in for an informative, cultural day out. In fact North Essex, is probably one of the most historical trips I’ve had in a while.
Travelling up to Hedingham, our first stop, we left Leigh-on-Sea, around 10:30am. Hedingham is a stunning village with a quaint High Street, three pubs, that I could see and an amazing castle (fun fact – the castle was on our wedding venue shortlist. It has stunning grounds and a beautiful family-owned manor house attached). The village itself is like something from a Harry Potter film and in fact, Lavenham, just up the road, was the site where Godrick’s Hollow in the films was based. I’m sure there are so many beautiful walks through stunning villages you could do based from Hedingham, as with all of North Essex – check out a site like Map My Walk for more info, however, as we had a lot to see, we opted to keep on driving… next stop Finchingfield.
Finchingfield is truly stunning and I can see why it has been voted one of the prettiest villages in England. There are so many interesting buildings to see and some fantastic antiques shops thrown in for good measure. The village itself is close to constable country and it shows in it’s picturesque image.
Next Stop – Visit Thaxted
Now everything I’ve looked up online raves about Thaxted, saying it’s one of the best places to visit in this neck of the woods, and yes it’s good for a walk along or a drive through, to see some of the key historical buildings. I’m afraid to say though, I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. If anything, it’s a little bit rough around the edges and I much preferred
pretty Hedingham and Finchingfield for a day out. Peruse some of my
photos of the beautiful architecture and high street anyway.
If you look up our route on a map, you can see we’re circling back home now but not before browsing in Dunmow’s bric-a-brac shop and admiring a gorgeous duck pond. Great Dunmow, is a little bit more local and practical than days out and touristy. It’s OK and as I say if you go, check out the shops and places in my snaps (there are also some good pubs I’m told) but in truth it’s sort of missing the vibe that tourists are looking for these day. Keep working at it Great Dunmow. We didn’t stay here long, other than to check out this shop and walk the dog.
The Best Pub in Essex
Last but definitely not least we went to the pub. Not just any old pub but Galvin Green Man. One of The Good Pub Guides recommendations and in the top pubs in the UK, according to GQ Magazine. This pub has it all and you really have to go – a roaring fire, characterful beams, amazing staff, a stunning bar and restaurant and great food. It’s perfect for a post walk pint in the bar and at the same time, an amazing venue in the restaurant for special occasions. I love it here and I’m coming back. I think that’s realistically all that needs to be said – a 5 star review from me and I’m fussy! Click on the links above to find out more.
Our Day in a Nutshell
Beautiful scenery, amazing old buildings, a few good shops and a truly fantastic pub. I learnt a lot and had a good day out in North Essex. I’d love to know your experiences and thoughts. Leave a comment to let me know.