A typical British thing to do is to go out for Afternoon Tea! I’ve been a fan of the smaller ‘Cream Tea’ version for as long as I can remember, thanks to my caravan holidays in Devon and Cornwall where they are extremely popular (St Agnes, Cornwall I’m looking at you with your GIANT scones)! As an Essex girl (not in the TOWIE sense) born and raised, with a Facebook friend list with lots of fellow Essex locals, I called on them for their favourite places to go for Afternoon Tea in Essex!
I’m not going to lie, London itineraries have been done to the death. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace will always appear on them and don’t get me wrong, for good reason. But I’ve come up with an alternative itinerary for 4 days in London, aimed at people that may have already seen all the icons. My itinerary has been INSPIRED by Harry Potter but with a difference, it’s not necessarily a guide to all the Harry Potter movie locations, it’s more a mash up between a classic sightseeing itinerary and a Harry Potter guide…using some of the Harry Potter locations to showcase some of the different AREAS of London that I believe are worth visiting!
Out of all the places in the world, Devon is the place I’ve been back to the most. I grew up taking caravan holidays to this area of the UK and it holds a special little place in my heart. I’m going to share with you some of my favourite North Devon Beaches and coastal towns, including how to find the ‘secret’ Broadsands Beach and the amazing caves located at Watermouth Cove! Something to note is that the North Devon coastline isn’t really sandy, it’s very rocky and rugged!
Braintree Essex, a place that has a special place in my heart. I was born in Braintree…although the hospital has since been flattened and replaced by houses…and lived there for over 26 years. I’ve seen it change over the years, I watched Braintree Freeport being built from the window of my maths lessons. It took me moving away to realise what I had under my nose all along, I appreciate it and see it in a totally different light now. I’m going to share with you some of my favourite places in town, a little about the history of Braintree and some hidden surprises!
Even on a typical gloomy English bank holiday, Flatford Mill in Suffolk still has a charm about it. This little corner of England is know as ‘Constable Country’ after the famous painter, John Constable found inspiration in the area for some of his artwork, after his parents bought Flatford Mill back in the 1700s. But there are records of a mill being at Flatford written in the Domesday book which dates back nearly 1000 years ago! (William The Conquerer ‘surveyed’ the whole of England and Wales in 1087 to determine land taxes across the country and the findings were recorded in the Domesday Book).
I was fortunate growing up. From a very young age, every year we’d go on holiday in the caravan, sometimes multiple times a year. The first time I went overseas I was 11 years old, but this was a one off! Of course being a small child (and then a teenager) I equally loved the excitement of going away but then certainly done my fair share of moaning! Believe me, there was only so much scenery and walking that my small mind could deal with!!
My hometown in England was less than 40 miles from the London 2012 Olympic Park. The years leading up to the Olympics I watched a big ugly piece of waste land on the outskirts of London be transformed into the awesome public space that it is today. I’d go by on the train and see all these artist oddities popping up (ArcelorMittal Orbit and the Aquatics Centre…I’m looking at you!) and I too started questioning if it was all going to be finished in time! So imagine the disappointment when the ticket lottery started and I received a grand total of ZERO tickets for the events that I wanted to see. Just like that I thought I was going to miss out on something that people, some of who lived 1000s of miles away that managed to score tickets for! Never fear, if you miss out on tickets to the main Olympic event, there are other ways to get involved and enjoy the atmosphere!
Essex holds a very special place in my heart, why? Because I was born and lived there for over 26 years of my life, so I guess you could call me an Essex Expert! One thing that drives. me. INSANE, is that wherever I go people are like “oh yeah, The Only Way Is Essex! I’ve watched that!”. That programme is awful, there is so much more to Essex than the area where that is filmed! Essex is the county just to the East of London and has awesome transport links to the capital! So if you are after ideas for days out in Essex or even things to do in Essex with kids (remember I grew up in Essex when I was a kid!), here are some of my favourite places to go!