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New Essex tour unveiled

PUBLISHED: 05:15 28 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

A NEW tour of Essex highlighting some of the county's most picturesque spots is to be launched by countryside enthusiast John Craven OBE.

The route, aimed at attracting tourists and locals alike, leads from Sutton House in East London all the way across Essex to Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.

A NEW tour of Essex highlighting some of the county's most picturesque spots is to be launched by countryside enthusiast John Craven OBE.

The route, aimed at attracting tourists and locals alike, leads from Sutton House in East London all the way across Essex to Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.

Following the itinerary, travellers will also see some of the most impressive National Trust properties in the county.

Mr Craven, who presents the BBC teleivsion programme 'Country File' will endorse the new route on Thursday March 13.

From Sutton House, the tour leads to Hatfield Forest, one of the few surviving examples of an ancient royal hunting forest.

It then goes north-east to Cressing Temple Barns, near Witham, which date back to the 13th century, and then on to the 15th century Paycock's house, in Coggeshall, which contains unusually rich panelling and wood-carvings, as well as beautiful examples of the lace for which the village is famed.

Visitors are also encouraged to look at the nearby Grange Barn, one of the oldest remaining timber-framed buildings of its type in the UK.

The next suggested stopping place is Bourne Mill, in Colchester, which was originally built as a fishing lodge in 1591.

Outside the town – itself the oldest recorded in Britain – an exhibition of John Constable's work can be viewed at the restored cottage at Flatford Mill, surrounded by the superb views of the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty which inspired so many of his paintings.

The route ends at Sutton Hoo, the Anglo-Saxon burial site which opened to the public for the first time last year.

People following the route will also have the opportunity to learn more about the Natural Trust and some of its attractions in Essex, such as Copt Hall Marshes and Northey Island on the Blackwater estuary.

Peter Martin, a cabinet member on Essex County Council, said: "This new itinerary is a great chance for people to get out and explore our beautiful countryside and visit many of our interesting and historic sites.

"Essex has so much to offer and I encourage everyone to go and see it for themselves."

National Trust spokesman Peter Battrick added: "We are delighted to be working with Essex tourism in promoting the wonderful countryside, houses and historic sites in the county and its borders.

"I would urge everyone to get out and see the marvellous places just on their doorsteps."


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