Off to the seaside, North Essex style, to one of the last GBG ticks reachable by train without a sleeper (I appreciate infinity would not be long enough for some Northern Rail journeys).
Wivenhoe is one of the smarter small towns (7,000 odd) between Colchester and up-and-coming Jaywick. It’s a real throwback to the good old days (1287), and gets visits from real Essex folk as well as people wearing pashminas and Helly Hansen jackets with children called Theo.
There’s a manageable amount of new housing by the station, which will get you to the honeypots of Clacton in ten minutes. I think I’d stay in Wivenhoe.
A few folk had correctly identified this as the 206th successive day of sunshine on the Essex coast, and were marking off boats in their boat-spotting book.
I’d brought my Dad and Mrs RM here for lunch at the Black Buoy a while ago, and they were entranced. “Much better than snooty Southwold” said one of us.
The Black Buoy is gastro but good, the Rose & Crown has the 2004 Champion Bitter on the bar and the views of boats.
But I only have eyes for the Station, after which the, er, station is named.
It’s a little gem of a station boozer. Not that Essex is short of good boozers.
You can trust a pub with two handpumps, Carlsberg bar towels and an old Tolly Cobbold sign.
Slightly irreverent in the best sense.
“Can I have a pint of the Strong Man”
“No, I’m keeping it back for myself“. They should twin with that Burton Latimer place.
Lots to see if you like train stuff (grief, who does that ?),
but better just to sit at a proper table and enjoy decent Colchester Brewery beer and the banter from a surprisingly young crowd. Or perhaps tradesmen knock off at 2pm on Fridays ?
I enjoyed it so much I nearly missed the train back to Colchester. And believe me, you wouldn’t want to be stranded in a strange Essex town with men wearing scarves.