Discover Essex - from coastline to countryside
TV broadcaster Pete Goodrum takes a look at the rise of seaside holiday camps in the 1950’s, the history behind the classic British seaside resorts of Essex as well as the beauty of its countryside and the many famous appearances of this region on television! Hit play on our brand new video…
The history behind Clacton - a classic British seaside resort
If you want classic British seaside resort - Clacton is it! A pier, a beach, arcades. Even its history is classic British seaside resort. Victorian railway engineers and land developers effectively created the town in the boom times of the 1870s. By 1914 it was the biggest seaside resort between Southend and Great Yarmouth. They came in their thousands from London’s east end and the then new Essex suburbs to enjoy the sand and the sea. This part of the Essex coastline is still a hugely popular holiday destination. Holland on Sea and Frinton on Sea are nearby and while we all like to be beside the seaside - we do like the countryside too and there’s plenty of picturesque countryside close by.
Probably the most famous and definitely some of the prettiest countryside is Dedham Vale. This is where John Constable painted some of the most famous pictures in the world immortalising the area as the epitome of the English rural scene. Oddly, another famous artist worked here Alfred Munnings had his studio at Dedham, it’s still here and his magnificent paintings, especially those of horses, are equally famous. Then there’s Tom Keating. He lived here and is buried here. A very famous artist but ……he did rather a lot of fakes. Let’s move on…..
Colchester - a great spot for shopping when you are on holiday in Essex!
If you’re in an area for a short break or a longer holiday you’ll want to find some shops at some point. You know you do! A stone’s throw from the the rural charms of Dedham is the ancient town of Colchester. Founded by the Romans, and once their capital of Britain, this town became a city in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. A great place to come shopping but you probably won’t need to shelter in the shops. Colchester is one of the driest places in the country. This city crops up on TV quite a bit. Colchester has featured in Blackadder and Monty Python and a couple of Dr Who episodes are set here.
Essex on TV
When it comes to TV though there’s somewhere nearby that combines one of our favourite telly shows with holidays. A clue? Hi De Hi. Yes - Hi Di Hi was filmed in this area at Dovercourt. Who doesn’t love Maplins, with Gladys, and the Yellow Coats? The 1940s were the start of the holiday camps’ hey day. In this part of the world, like everywhere else people flocked to them and the holiday camp was a world so beautifully and hilariously captured in Hi De Hi. By the 1950s - when the show was set, the Holiday Camps were the get away of choice for a huge section of the population. With their variety shows and knobbly knees contests people loved them. Happy to eat in mass catering dining halls the post war holiday making family couldn’t get enough of the organised entertainment. But that was then and this this now. Tastes change, nowadays we like to take things a bit easier. We lead busier lives so we like to chill a bit when we get away.
Tingdene Saddlebrook Chase is a great place to holiday but it’s not a holiday camp!
This is a modern caravan park, absolutely ideally situated to enjoy all of the Essex coast and countryside we’ve been looking at. You can bring your own caravan here or you can buy a static caravan here. There are 21 new pitches coming soon which is a mark of how sought after this place is. Not that it’s about to lose any of its quietness and calm. It’s a beautifully appointed park, ideal for spending time with family and friends. Or for just some ‘you time’. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the places you can see and visit in this wonderful stretch of East Anglia’s coast and countryside.
Come and take a look…..