The Insider’s Guide to Essex: where the well-known faces go

Communities / Sat 3rd Jun 2023 at 09:36am

ESSEX is well-known for its 350-mile coastline, visitor attractions and celebrity haunts, but where do the famous faces of Essex really go? Visit Essex has asked well-known people from around the county where’s their favourite place to go in Essex. 

Legendary American singer and musician, Suzi Quatro moved to Essex in the 1970s, she’s visited all the county’s castles from Colchester castle to Hedingham castle! She adores the Essex countyside, as Suzi describes: “I love that Essex is so rural. I really enjoy jumping in the car and exploring the country lanes that lead to small villages, each with their own personality. I also love going to Southend, there’s something very British and traditional about the seaside resort. It’s not pretentious, it’s very down to earth and I like walking along the prom.”

“She continued: “I love visiting museums too; sometimes when I have friends over from America, I’ll take them to Chelmsford Museum so they can get a feel for the area where I live. There is a display all about me with items that I’ve donated to the museum, a jumpsuit and one of my basses, and a few of my published book including my autobiography ‘Unzipped’. So naturally, I lead them to this exhibit!”

Another lady who likes to step out of the fast lane is female rally driving ace, Nabila Tejpar. She says: “My favourite place in Essex is my hometown of Maldon. I love to walk in Promenade Park, passing the splash park. I also like to meet-up with family and friends in Maldon High Street, perhaps relax with an espresso from Maldon Coffee, or tuck into an afternoon tea at Mrs Salisbury’s or dine at Café Brazil. 

A well-known face to tread the boards of Colchester’s Mercury theatre is Anthony Stuart-Hicks, when he’s not playing the pantomime dame, he loves exploring the great outdoors. He says: “I like walking from Manningtree to Dedham along the river Stour, I’ll then have a peruse through the arts and crafts shop in the little church in Dedham, before lunch in The Marlborough. Dedham was the first place I visited with my partner when we moved in together; always a special place to go.”

Top Michelin-starred chef, Chris Galvin, owner of the Galvin Green Man near Chelmsford, enjoys the bounty of seafood on offer around the Essex coast. “There’s nothing like fish and chips at Southend-on-Sea but I also like to wander around the pubs in Leigh-on-Sea and explore the area’s cockle beds. I often pop over to Mersea Island for great seafood and freshly harvested oysters. Essex also offers so many great places to go for good walks from Maldon Harbour, and an explore of the Thames sailing barges, to Heybridge basin with walks along the river Blackwater and canals, stopping at Beeleigh Abbey and steam mill.”

Paralympian, Anne Wafula Strike also adores the county’s parks, especially in her hometown of Harlow. “Harlow Town Park is beautiful in the summer it allows me to connect with nature, it’s wonderful, you can simply throw a blanket down, sit under a tree and read a book. When my son was young, I loved taking him to the ‘Pets Corner’ which is an ideal spot for families.”

She added: “I’m also a foodie and love the variety of restaurants on offer nearby, all very tasty, authentic curry, Italian and Spanish cuisine.”

To discover more about the best places to go and things to do in Essex, www.visitessex.com

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