Action packed Essex
Cycling in Essex – We have an number of wonderful places on the doorstep or further afield for the serious cyclists or a peaceful meander on a cycling trail, and what’s better after a day’s cycling to come back to a welcoming, character-filled place.
Golf – We have well over a dozen courses within a 20 min drive of the Bell. Orsett Golf Club is one of our favourites. Less than 5 mins drive, it is over 100 years old and hosts Open championship qualifiers. It’s a private course but guests can book tee times. Talk to a member of staff for more info on other courses.
Local Walking Trails & Runs – We have some beautiful local walks that take in some surprisingly varied countryside. Joseph Conrad said it was one of the ‘dark places of the Earth’ but we think he was just a grumpy old man. Decide for yourself by taking a stroll through the woods up in Laindon hills (less than a 5 minute drive away) or walk along the sea wall at Stanford le Hope (also no more than a 5 minute drive) and look out across the estuary towards Kent. Thames Estuary Path has a 29 mile walking route, don’t worry its also divided up station by station to take a short walk (and the app is good too.) Or pump up the heart rate with a Park Run 5k – every Saturday at 9am there is a 5k run in conjunction with Park Run at Orsett Heath (about 4.2 miles away…or a 10 minute drive.) Elin, our resident international class marathon runner (and now avid cyclist), is better placed than most to give advice on local scenic rides and runs, and she will be happy to give you a few pointers although we suggest you set a more sedate pace than she does.
With the train station at Stanford-le-hope only a mile and half away or Laindon station a short cab away there are plenty of days outs or things to do. C2C our local trainline can offer plenty of suggestions.
A few things for the little ones:
There is a decent play park just walking or scootering distance away with swings and even a small flying fox at the recreation ground. On a sunny weekend you might even catch a local cricket match going on in the field.
Thurrock Thameside Nature Park : A stunning and innovative visitor centre, with superb views over Mucking Flats SSSI and the Thames Estuary (SPA). Footpaths and cycle ways in 120 acres of nature park, which will expand to 845 acres. Great birdwatching – and ship watching.
Trip to Leigh On Sea for a walk on the beach and an ice cream
Places to Visit:
Tilbury Fort – First built by Henry VIII, the present fort is the best example of its type in England
Hadleigh castle – Royal castle ruins (begun in 1215) overlooking the Essex marshes
Battlesbridge – Popular antiques and craft centre with over 80 independent dealers
Old Leigh – Spectacular sunsets over the Thames estuary. Thriving local artist community
Brands Hatch – Paradise for petrolheads. Motor-racing circuit which hosts amongst others; British Touring Cars, DTM and British Superbikes
Hyde Hall – 360 acres of stunning gardens and countryside. Beautiful walks. Inspirational for keen gardeners
Excel – International exhibition and conference centre
Olympic Park (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) -We are 35 minutes from the Olympic park at Stratford by train or 40 minutes by car.
The Church of St Peter & St Paul – Horndon on the Hill’s beautiful 14th century Church
Retail Therapy at Bluewater – The shopping mecca. If you can’t buy it here it doesn’t exist… and if it does it will be at Lakeside (see below) Lakeside – The other shopping mecca. If you can’t buy it here it doesn’t exist… and if it does it will be at Bluewater (see above)