From £449 per person sharing Single or Twin Room  
Single Supplement £65 
Optional Door to Door Service £20 per person* 
*within 15 miles of Birmingham City Centre 

Sunday 11th August: The Royal Gunpowder Mills  

Depart Birmingham and head south to Waltham Abbey and the Royal Gunpowder Mills with a comfort stop on the way.  
 
Nothing like getting a holiday off with a bang! The Royal Gunpowder Mills has been making Gunpowder and Cordite for both Military and Commercial use for over 300 years and now the site has been turned into a Living Museum. There is so much to see from the Gunpowder Plot exhibition to films about the explosives industry and stories about the Women who use to work at the mills during the war. There are many other exhibitions and displays such as the Rocket Vault, Armoury and one the 1940's war years. You can take a land train around the site (additional cost of around £2 - 2019 prices are not yet known). So much to see you will be hard pressed to fit it all in. 
 
Leaving the Museum we head for our hotel between Maldon and Colchester. 

Monday 12th August: Colchester Castle & Beth Chatto Gardens 

A short drive takes us into the heart of Colchester and to one of its oldest buildings Colchester Castle. The Castle now houses the Colchester Museum which charts over 20000 years of History and contains some very important collections including the Woodham Walter and Fenwick Hoards, the Kelvedon Warrior and the Coin of Cunobelin. Admission to the museum is included however if you want to take a tour of the roofs and Roman Vaults there is an extra charge. The Castle is close to the City Centre if you do not want to spend too much time in the Museum.. 
 
In the afternoon we travel to Beth Chatto Gardens an amazing 20th Century Garden created by Beth Chatto. From a bramble covered wasteland and an area of a former car park she started work in 1960 and created a world renowned garden classed as one of the leading Plantsman's Garden in the country. Beth worked in the Gardens until she was in her 90's when her Grand Daughter took over the Management. Beth died in May 2018 aged 95. In walking around the gardens you will find areas that accommodate plants for almost any condition including the Gravel Garden that is never watered 

Tuesday 13th August: Southend-on-Sea and Maldon 

IA breath of sea air today with a visit to Southend-on-Sea. Free time during the morning early afternoon to do as you please. Southend is famous for having the Worlds Longest Pier (There is a train service if you want to ride rather than walk to the end) there is an entrance charge which is not included (2018 price £2 to walk both ways, £5.60 adult rail return £2.60 concessions) . Under the railway station at the land end of the pier is a fascinating museum charting the history of the pier. For other attractions visit the tourist information website
On the way back to the hotel we stop off in Moldan. From where we park the coach there is a 10 minute walk to the picturesque Hythe Quay where you will find some of the Thames Sailing Barges that used to collect goods from ships around the coastal area and transport them up to London. There is also the historic church of St Mary the Virgin thought to have been there since Saxon times and well worth a visit. 

Wednesday 14th August: Harwich Harbour and Lord Marney Tower 

Harwich Harbour and the Port of Felixstowe combine to be one of the largest Ports in the Country handling both Container Ships and Passenger Ships alike. Today we travel to Ha'penny pier where we will board a boat that will take us around the harbour and surrounding area. The trip will last approximately 1 hour and will use the Harwich Foot Ferry.  
 
In the afternoon we return towards the hotel visiting the Lord Marney Tower, described as a Tudor Gate House in the Italian style. After standing the test of time it was rocked by the Great British Earthquake of 1884 and required some restoration. The area has been owned by the Marney Family since the Battle of Maldon in the 10th Century and had a dwelling here from the 12h century., The building you see today is the Tudor Palace built by Henry Marney. If you are fit you may want to climb the tower (the tallest Tudor Tower in the country) where you get some good views of the surrounding countryside. Alternatively you can visit the Gardens and perhaps take refreshments in the tea room. 
 

Thursday: Wilkin & Son Museum 

No visit to Essex would be complete without a visit to the Wilkin & Son Museum in Tiptree where they manufacture the world famous Tiptree jams and preserves. The museum shows the development of Jam making down through time. Before leaving there is a tea room where you can purchase refreshments and taste their product, or you can go into the shop and get stocked up with goodies to take home with you. 
 
Leaving the Museum we travel back to Birmingham with a comfort stop on the way. 

Hotel: Crowne Plaza, Five Lakes, Colchester 

Accommodation is on a half board basis starting with a dinner on Sunday night and ending with breakfast on Thursday Morning. Evening Meals will be buffet style. 
 
All rooms have en-suite Bathrooms, air conditioning, windows that open. . Flat screen television, tea/coffee making facility.. 
 
Standard Wifi is available throughout the hotel  
 
Ground Floor Rooms are available  
 
The hotel Has an indoor swimming Pool and Fitness Centre 
 
General information: 
 
To secure this holiday a deposit of £45 will be required per person. Final payment will be required 8 weeks before departure. Please read our terms and conditions prior to booking. 
 
Our coaches do no have a lift and are accessed by 5 steps. Manual wheelchairs can be carried in the luggage compartment if pre-booked, but no powered scooters/chairs. Accessibility to places being visited can be obtained from the venue websites, please ask if you cannot find the information you need. 
 
 
"Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the latest holiday. 
Each day was different but so interesting. Thank you very much for all your hard work," 
 
RW -Grassington Dickensian Festival - 10th December 2018 
 
 
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