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Old 17th February 2017, 00:21   #1
johnnychips
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Default East Essex query

I've got four days holiday I'm intending to spend next week in the area roughly east of Southend-Chelmsford-Colchester-Harwich. I've never visited this part of England before. I will be doing some Googling, but usually this forum is much more informative.

- is there one dominant bus operator in this area?
- are there any notable independents?
- are there any day rovers available single/multiple operators with or without rail?
- what are the 'must see' sites in this area?

Awaiting your replies with interest!
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Old 17th February 2017, 11:41   #2
darloscott
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Southend is pretty much dominated by Arriva, with longer distance services operated by First with the odd presence from Stephensons of Essex too. Chelmsford is almost all First, Colchester is a mix of Arriva & First with a bit of Go's Hedingham operation.
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Old 17th February 2017, 15:13   #3
321446
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Some Basildon and some services into Southend from thereabouts are run by NIBS too.
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Old 17th February 2017, 16:19   #4
ashworth
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I had a few days down in Essex last summer based in Colchester. The best ticket that I found and used nearly every day was The Essex Saver which at 8 gives you travel on all buses in Essex for a day. Google Essex Saver Bus Ticket and you will get details.

The only thing to remember, where I nearly got caught out, is that it is not available to buy or use solely in the area immediately around Southend, although you can travel to and from Southend from other areas of Essex if you already have a ticket. Apparently the area around Southend is a separate local authority from the rest of the county and is not included in the scheme.

Also, if buying an Essex Saver on a First Bus, make sure that is what they are sellling you because they can try to sell you their own similarly priced day ticket which of course is only valid on their buses. I actually found most bus company's, especially the smaller independent ones like Stephensons very friendly and happy to sell me an Essex Saver.

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Old 17th February 2017, 17:57   #5
83G/84D
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Good selection of bus types and several different operators in Colchester last time I was there. Definitely worth a visit.
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Old 17th February 2017, 21:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnychips View Post
I've got four days holiday I'm intending to spend next week in the area roughly east of Southend-Chelmsford-Colchester-Harwich.
East of Harwich may I recommend the Duck Bus.
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Old 18th February 2017, 00:42   #7
johnnychips
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Thanks for your great info as usual...perhaps I'd better Google the Duck Bus as the smiley suggests it'll be a spoof.

Anyway, managed to get an advance ticket from Donny to Clacton tomorrow for 45 First Class as opposed to 43 Standard, so perhaps the gods are looking after me. And with this tropical wind of 17 degrees C, (if you believe the Daily Mirror), I'm really looking forward to my first visit to Essex.

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Old 18th February 2017, 01:14   #8
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Must-see sights? It's a fascinating part of the country, but obviously it depends what your interests are.

Some of the coastal towns have places - or just atmosphere - of interest: Harwich for its old port town area and twin lighthouses, Jaywick (West Clacton) for its unique plotlands houses and Martello towers, Walton-on-Naze for the Naze, if you can get to Bradwell-juxta-Mare for its ancient coastal chapel (though buses there are infrequent), Maldon for its battlesight and just being a really charming town, and Southend is pretty unique as well - and very varied, from the old military buildings at Shoebury, through the Kursaal and Pier at Southend itself, more cosmopolitan Westcliff (with some great art deco buildings) and historic Leigh-on-Sea, with great cocklesheds near the railway station and the old town. Wivenhoe, Frinton, Brightlingsea, Burnham-on-Crouch all have things to recommend them too, as does Mersea Island. I think the common theme really is the importance of the sea - remember, with all its inlets, rivers and its few islands, Essex has about 350 miles of coastline...

There are a few foot ferries that help to bridge some of the gaps, but not all of them will necessarily be running at this time of year. The three-pointer that links Brightlingsea, Point Clear (near St Osyth on the headland below Clacton) and Mersea Island can be particularly useful when it comes to avoiding long inland journeys! Also Burnham-on-Crouch to Wallasea Island, and Wivenhoe to Rowhedge and Fingringhoe. Info for all these, and others, should be online.

Enjoy your visit!
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Old 18th February 2017, 10:39   #9
ashworth
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My few days in Essex last summer were for exploring a county not known to me, especially the coastal areas, and I just happened to find the Essex Saver ticket at 8 a day very useful for this. I certainly was not there as a bus enthusiast, although I did leave my car at home, travelled down to Essex by train, and enjoyed travelling around the Essex countryside by bus.

Most of the places mentioned above were places I enjoyed visiting. These included Mersea Island, Wivenhoe, Brightlingsea, Walton on the Naze, Frinton on Sea, Burnham on Crouch, Leigh on Sea and Maldon. I do need to go back again to visit the chapel near Bradwell on Sea and also the area around Point Clear. I also didn't really explore Colchester that much even though I was staying there.

One very good day out was to the RHS Garden at Hyde Hall south of Chelmsford. Quite an adventure getting to and from there by bus from Chelmsford with only a very limited service. To allow a longer visit I walked out of the gardens by a footpath a couple of miles over the fields and uphill to the village of Woodham Ferrers where there is a more regular bus service back to Chelmsford.
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Old 18th February 2017, 12:29   #10
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Chelmsford has an excellent travelshop at the bus station operated by First, which also doubles as a tourist info. Apart from Colchester its the only place of I am aware of in Essex you can just walk in and pick up a timetable
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Old 19th February 2017, 22:47   #11
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Done Clacton, Jaywick, Walton, Harwich and Colchester today courtesy of a Sunday Essex 4 ticket, which must be the bargain of the year!
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