The sea is never too far away. Frinton beach is sandy with rows of coloured beach huts and a walkway for walkers and bikers. it plays host to the famous Frinton Tennis tournaments during the summer holidays, the social events on a teenager’s calendar and a must for tennis keen parents.
Further down the coast at Walton rides and slot machines also offer hours of less genteel entertainment.
Alton Water is a huge man-made reservoir north east of Colchester. in the summer it offers courses in windsurfng and sailing for all ages. it has a basic café too with home-made food and a good decking area to sit and watch if sunny.
Horse riding is popular with loads of riding schools in the area and the very social Essex and Suffolk Pony Club.
The lack of large hills make the Suffolk/ Essex borders a family cycling paradise with miles of easy-to-navigate cycling routes through woodlands, valleys or along the coast. Hugely popular with the lycra-clad.
Winter sports enthusiasts can head to the dry ski slope at ipswich. As well as offering ski and snowboard lesssons, the slope is also a popular children’s party venue with ringos and a high rope course.
Nearby Long Melford is well-known for its pretty antique shops and more recently has seen the addition of a number of up-and- coming galleries.
In terms of shopping, Colchester and ipswich are not the most beautiful towns and are not renowned for their chic fashion boutiques. However, further afeld, Woodbridge, Aldeburgh and Southwold on the Suffolk coast have some gorgeous shops with lovely clothes and presents. norwich has a good selection of shops too and Bluewater is within easy reach. What’s more, the new addition of Westfeld, Stratford means that in only 50 minutes from Colchester you can be surrounded by hundreds of shops. That’s if you can face going back to London!
East Anglia has been loved by artists for centuries. Winnie Lot’s cottage, site of Constable’s Haywain and cover of a million chocolate boxes, is near Dedham which is also home to the quaint Alfred Munnings museum showing various paintings, drawings and artefacts, including Lady Munnings’ stuffed dog! Sir Thomas Gainsborough lived in Sudbury and his house is now another small museum.