As a tour driver for the last 4 decades, I have found myself all over the country but each year there is always one tour that takes you to places that you have never been before. This was the case with the Exploring East Anglian tour operated by Ellen Smith with the transport provided by Grayway Holidays.
The tour took in gardens, seaside and a historic house. One of the first placed to visit was Maldon in Essex. A very old port that is home to numerous old Thame’s barges and vintage boats, one of which was called Brent!
We also visited the oldest recorded city in England, Colchester with it’s fascinating Roman remains. Also included in the tour was a visit to Beth Chatto gardens. This was begun in 1960 from wasteland and even though she is now in her 90s she still is hands on with the ever-evolving design of the gardens.
Another place that we visited was a real eye opener. Felixstowe. I have always thought of this place as a massive container port but how wrong could I have been…..what a beautiful Edwardian seaside resort. It was a wonderful summer’s day which added to the pleasure and I really hope that I get the chance to call again.
Another highlight for me, was the visit to Otley Hall, albeit a bit challenging getting a coach there. (the best places are always on the narrowest roads!) The 16th century manor house was the home of Bartholomew Gosnald, the explorer who founded the settlement of Jamestown island, The forerunner of the seat of democracy in Virginia, USA.
All in all, a very interesting and varied tour and I would strongly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see a bit of the country that isn’t regularly visited