Essex is the only way
The Only Way Is Essex: An Insider's Guide - Others 2021
Essex; Home of the birds, booze and breasts or something ITV docu-soap The only way Essex would make you believe. The series, which follows a cast of twenty real life things, has sparked a surge in hotel bookings in the county. We dig deep to find out what the real Essex has to offer.
With 900,000 viewers watching the show weekly, it's no wonder the show has generated a lot of interest in Essex. As beauty therapist and would-be glamor model Amy Childs puts it, it's "the new LA". A large hotel chain has taken up the cause and offered fans the opportunity to live their lifestyle. Travelodge offers 10,000 rooms across Essex from £ 19 a night. The recommended activities are based on the wishes of the actors.
While low key isn't part of the show's vocabulary (the motto is more likely to be "Fake and Fabulous" in fact), the county is not all about shopping and clubbing. Beyond the glamor, there is also nature, history and culture to try. Read the World Travel Guide's accounts of the real Essex beyond Brentwood.
Essex clubs: hangout at the cottage?
According to The Only Way Is Essex, the only place to see anything is the iconic Sugar Hut in Brentwood, a popular place to booze, dance, and confront.
While some will appreciate the club's cool baroque interiors and many chandeliers, others may find it a little too crowded with poseurs to be pleasant, and the mood can at times border on the sophisticated. With a minimum wagering of £ 500 per table, it's not cheap either. It undoubtedly attracts the bold and the beautiful, but there are other clubs that have a more casual appeal; See and be seen less, come and laugh more.
The Eclipse Club in Brentwood is a more intimate hangout where the crowd is generally more down to earth, playing music from club classics to R&B to funky house on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Alternatively, head to Basvegas (the strip of bars and clubs in Basildon town center) for a cheap and fun evening, where the drinks and dancing flow freely. Other popular Essex hotspots are Faces nightclub in Gants Hill, which is frequented by celebrities, and Club 195, which has a great disco atmosphere with its lighted dance floor.
Essex shops: where to patter
Kirk Norcross and Amy Childs, the stars of Essex, were both spotted at the Lakeside Mall, and it's no surprise that the mall has some of the High Street's biggest brands. There's the Promenade, where you'll find most of the chain restaurants like Wagamama and Café Rouge, plus hairdressers and salons galore. Perfect when you fancy a drink or a manicure. Basically, Lakeside is the perfect one-stop Essex travel destination.
However, if you want to escape the stereotypes and go your own way, take a trip far away. Located right on the coast, Leigh-on-Sea is a quaint enclave of independent boutiques. Antique shops, delicatessen shops, small galleries and bookstores as well as some fashion boutiques give the city a unique character and offer visitors a pleasant experience that is far from that of the identikit shopping center. The city is also home to several spas; The Leigh Sanctuary Day Spa offers treatments like the Espa facial and St. Tropez tanning. No vajazzling here, but since we don't know anyone (Essex girl or not) who's had one, maybe that's not a huge loss.
Things to do in Essex: Essex 'natural' beauties?
Most of The Only Way is Essex is in and around the football-friendly areas of Brentwood and Chigwell. While everyone has their (somewhat plastic) charm, the rural delights of other cities are definitely worth a visit. And it seems that more and more people are believing it, according to data from a hotel booking engine that claims visits to Essex are up 140% over the past year from that time. Individual cities are also enjoying an upswing. Internet breaks searches in Chelmsford increased 211%.
Chelmsford is a quaint town in the heart of the county. The proximity to the countryside makes a great vacation spot for those who just want to take a long walk before dinner. The Ramblers' Association can help you find the best routes.
Alternatively, tourists to London considering a day trip from the capital should take a trip to one of Essex's sandy beaches - Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea are full of retro charm. Epping Forest is another great option for a day trip. This former royal forest covers 2,476 hectares and offers a range of recreational activities including hiking, orienteering and horse riding. It also marks the start of the Essex Way, a 129 km country hike that passes through historic villages and idyllic countryside and ends in Harwich Harbor to the northeast.
Essex Culture: Any High Profile Hotspots?
Essex and culture - don't they go together like oil and water? Well, you'd be forgiven, but while the idea of culture in The Only Way Is Essex may only apply to the dubious honor of Essex Fashion Week, the Visit Essex Tourism Association shows it doesn't.
V Festival goers may know Hylands Park - this is where the annual two-day festival takes place. Adjacent to the park, however, is Hylands House, a Grade II listed building that has now been fully restored to its majestic former glory and is open to the public. Visitors can browse the neo-baroque, gilded salon and admire the spectacular grounds from the Repton room before refreshing themselves in Hutton's Courtyard Café.
Further north, the cultural organization Firstsite in Colchester is a modern center for contemporary art with exhibitions and ongoing projects. The multi-purpose building designed by Rafael Viñoly houses exhibition rooms, an auditorium for lectures, a souvenir shop and a café, as well as special studios to support artists in dormitories and group projects. Events like the Open House, where artists welcome the audience to their studios, readings and ongoing exhibitions make this a fascinating attraction for visitors.
For all the glitz and glamor that makes up The Only Way Is Essex allure, we find it a shame to miss out on the other attractions in the area. Tourism in the county is booming due to the popularity of the show. We say when you do Essex the only way is your way.
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