England’s not always gloomy!

The Beautiful Countryside of Essex

I thought I’d share with you some pictures I’ve taken of where I live in Essex. I wanted to show firstly that isn’t always raining in England (just most of the time) and that Essex specifically is a beautiful place to live.


Essex highlighted in red

Essex has a fairly ridiculous reputation for being full of white stilettos, fake tan and false eyelashes (with all roads leading to the Sugar Hut) but this simply isn’t so.

Being an ‘Essex Girl’ (we even have our own Wikipedia page, fairly amusing) I’ve had to put up with the stereotype my entire life. Even abroad, people have heard of ‘us’ and I get raised eyebrows and leers when I say where I’m from. Unbelievably even at the Vatican City! My friends and I were taking a tour whilst in Rome and when we told our tour guide where we lived he actually laughed in our faces. Easy to be cheerful when you live somewhere no-one pays taxes though.


So the town where I currently live is a kinda strange place. It was only developed in the 1970s and as such has no church or historical value (as most English towns do). It’s been described as ‘Toy Town’ or ‘a housing estate with an Asda in the middle’ or just plain ‘weird’. But it does have two really cool things about it:

1. Our street names are named after Lord of the Rings characters (my personal favourite is Gandalf’s Ride).

2. And we are surrounded by gorgeous countryside, nature reserves and lots of wildlife. I’ve heard the Cuckoo three times already this spring and that’s more than some people will in a lifetime (I hope my rock and roll lifestyle isn’t too much for you by the way). It’s a very quiet place to live basically, with a lot of greenery and space and fields.

So anyway these pictures I actually took last Sunday (8th May) on the hottest day of the year so far, all from the town where I live:



The absence of other people is brilliant isn’t it!



These next pictures were taken in Chelmsford, where I lived previously. I took them last summer in Hylands Park (most famous for hosting V Festival god help them) and it is a very lovely place indeed. As well as acres of fields and rivers to wander, there is also a huge, beautiful garden filled with a variety of flowers, trees and plants. It looks different every time I go there (kudos to the gardening team):



hylandsuse - Copy

And lastly this is a picture I took in Beth Chatto Gardens in Colchester (which some of you may know anyway purely because it’s the oldest recorded town in the whole of the UK). There’s actually walls and walkways still erected (ooh matron) to this day, that were put there by the Romans. Anyway, another very lovely place. So as you can see, Essex isn’t all snooker halls, white shoes and TOWIE.

beth chatto.jpg


About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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83 Responses to England’s not always gloomy!

  1. Kevin says:

    So this is the post you mentioned about places in Essex! Thanks for adding more things to my list! Today I did the walk from Leigh to Southend and back, so my feet are unresponsive right now and protest every time I have to stand hahaha

    And as a foreigner I’ve noticed a lot variety in the Essex accent. People in Leigh have their own little accent as well, one you can quickly identify. And while the people I’ve met are a lovely sort I will say there are quite a few “The Only Way is Essex” people around. Today on the walk I was shocked at the number of fake tans around. How do you know it’s a fake? Because even with inhuman amounts of melanin in your body, you never turn carrot orange! 😛

    I’ll be counting on you and your partner to show me around the county then. As a new move, I’m always looking to meeting interesting people and seeing new places and you two sound very interesting indeed 🙂

    Lovely article as always!

    • emmakwall says:

      Well done Kevin! That was no mean feat and it was a little chilly yesterday, was it cold near the sea?

      I LOVE your explanation on fake tan, so true! You can always see really orangey bits around the hands. I did try to fake tan once…it was a disaster. The only thing I managed to turn brown was…my carpet! Haha.

      The Essex accent has changed generally over the last 50 years or so. It used to be a lot more yokel and countryside sounding, but it’s got more common and ‘London / cockney’ sounding.

      Thanks Kevin 🙂 I’d love to show you some Essex sights!!! What’s next on your agenda? 🙂 I’m so glad you’re enjoying what the county has to offer (save The Only Way is Essex!!)

      • Kevin says:

        I wouldn’t say chilly. It was fresh and there was a lovely breeze all day. It was great to he honest, even if I forgot to buy a bottle of water for the journey. But I got one on the way back so it’s ok.

        I don’t know what I’ll do next, still trying to figure that out. I heard there’s another nice trail from Leigh that leads to some flats and a Bird sanctuary. That sounds cool but need to confirm the route

        • emmakwall says:

          That’s exactly the sort of thing I do!(forget the bottle of water)

          I’m glad it wasn’t chilly, I suppose once you get walking you do warm up quite a bit anyway.

          I’m trying to think of a good walk or landmark that I know of, near Leigh on Sea but my knowledge is a bit limited round that area. Maybe we could all meet up soon and just try pot luck? 🙂

  2. Natasha says:

    you live in an astoundingly beautiful place, Emma!

  3. Ryan says:

    Great pictures! What a wonderful looking place to live.

  4. Jordan Dodd says:

    Hey, some great photos here Em! I need to venture out more with my camera, there is some amazing landscapes to be found if I’m not lazy

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Jordan!!! I just did this post on a whim, I’m glad I did now!

      It’s gone back to standard behaviour now – cloudy and dull and grey!

      Definitely take some pics 🙂 (get Brutus to help you!)

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        MMmmmm I need to find some decent walking tracks. Tho it is Mushie season soon, so i’ll be out in the forests hunting for magic 😉 that’ll be a great chance for my new camera. I’ve had it two months now and haven’t taken a single photo.. =/

  5. MIB says:

    Some nice pics there! 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Thank you so much!! P.S I missed The Celebrity Chase on Sunday (fell asleep!!!) but apparently the girl from Hollyoaks was awful?! Worth watching on iplayer?

      • MIB says:

        Oh yes. She passed almost every cash builder question and fluked her way through the main chase. Nice bum though! 😛

        • emmakwall says:

          She does have a great bum! And a tiny waist if I remember rightly – perfect combo!

          I’ll watch it on iplayer definitely 🙂 I see it was the Dark Destroyer as well – he’s my favourite!

          Just thinking out loud here, but we could do a joint post on the merits of The Chase…?

          • MIB says:

            Ah, so YOU’RE the Shaun Wallace fan!! 😛 Have you seen the Aussie Chase on Challenge TV? The presenter is very hyper and the Chasers are … different! The Governess is among them but I quite like the Supernerd! 🙂

            Well, I only do reviews on my site but I’ll happily add my opinion to any post you write on The Chase. 🙂

            • emmakwall says:

              Yes, it’s me!! 🙂 Sinnerman and Governess are joint second. I don’t really like the Beast an awful lot, he always looks too pleased when he wins. He did a fist punch the other day, was lame. They others always come across more likable (IMO).

              I have seen the Oz version lol and weird you should say it, I thought EXACTLY the same about the presenter! To be honest half the reason I watch our version is because of Bradley Walsh anyway, if someone else hosted it, I wouldn’t be as bothered.

              I’ve seen the US version too but none of them are as good as ours 😀 though I like the sound of Supernerd!

              I was thinking of doing a post ranking each Chaser, what do you reckon? I could post it on my site no problem but would be great to work together and have your involvement! 🙂

              P.S what do you think of the Vixen? She seems nice to me but needs a bit more experience under her belt first.

            • MIB says:

              Supernerd is on the OZ version! 😉 ; The US version is just the Beast which becomes a bit repetitive after a while but the US do have mess with a good internationally created formula to suit themselves. >.<

              The Vixen is okay but I think pushing her a sex symbol works against her. That's nothing against her but you can just imagine the more cruel viewers being less generous with their comments. Some have already said they don;t watch when she is on.

              Just a thought but why not find two or three other Chase fans, send out some basic questions about the Chasers and collate them in your post, showing the (hopefully) varied answers for each Chaser – kind of like this wrestling preview: http://www.f4wonline.com/wwe-news/wwe-payback-wrestling-preview-predictions-211986

              Up to you, it's your gig! 😉

            • emmakwall says:

              I know, sorry I may have worded that badly 🙂

              I’m so annoyed that people are horrible about The Vixen! I really had no idea, I think she’s a nice lady, genuinely attractive and obviously a lovely person too. I think she lacks the confidence of the other Chasers and she’s too easily defeated at the moment but that’ll come in time, she’s got great knowledge! I love the way she stands with her hands on her hips when introduced at the beginning, cracks me up!

              I’m going to check our your wrestling preview, thanks for the tips they’re ALWAYS welcome! Love the idea of asking Chase fans questions 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Mel says:


  7. Haylee says:

    Great pics – two of my friends come from / live in Chelmsford!! And having LotR street names is the coolest thing ever – all the ones near us seem to be named after Scottish villages or places in the Lake District. Not anywhere near as fun! I’ve seen that guest house on quirky accommodation, bet it’s a fab place to stay 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Haylee! That’s so cool about two of your friends being from Chelmsford! Have / would you ever visit?

      The LOTR street names are about the only cool thing we have going for us haha but that are dandy! I know there’s an estate in Chelmsford somewhere that has Charles Dickens characters as street names but I can’t remember quite where it is.

      Maybe one day – Harry Potter!!!!! Imagine living down Patronus Lane or Gringotts Walk 🙂 🙂 🙂 AHHHH!

      I wish I was rich and could afford that guesthouse!! 🙂

      • Haylee says:

        I have been down to se them both, although it’s a good few years since I’ve been – they tend to come up here more often (many uni friends still nearer us).
        You could have so much fun with Potter Street names – I think the idea should be submitted to local councils!

  8. Lloyd Marken says:

    I love the purple flowers hanging off the rafters, very impressive.

  9. Lloyd Marken says:

    Does not matter the length of the drive home, if you’re having sex in a place that isn’t your’s – you’re on holidays. By that token I’ve……….I really need to take a holiday. Inappropriate and inaccurate jokes aside, these are wonderful photos and a great post. It is certainly a beautiful part of tbe world.

  10. Jay says:

    Thanks for taking us on a neighbourhood stroll. You are a delight and a half, as usual.

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