Smugglers and Strawberry Jam

With an excellent Blue Badge Guide we’ll be visiting smuggling haunts in Essex and the famous Tiptree Jam farm. This will be a classic day out with a combination of beautiful countryside, rich history and rattling good stories. After a two course lunch in the ancient riverside town of Maldon you can enjoy a tractor-trailer Farm Tour and afternoon tea at the Wilkin & Son farm at Tiptree.



Smugglers and Strawberry Jam

About this excursion

£108 per person

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a classic grand day out – a combination of beautiful countryside, rich history and rattling good stories combined with a brand new opportunity to enjoy a tractor-trailer Farm Tour, visit Essex Smuggling Country, enjoy lunch in the ancient riverside town of Maldon and afternoon tea at the John Lewis of Jam on the Wilkin & Son farm at Tiptree in Essex. You will certainly have some memories to take home.

We shall meet our Blue Badge Guide at Abberton Reservoir, set in an Essex valley flooded in the 1930s to supply East Anglia with drinking water. This is where the dam busters made their practice runs and where recently Sir David Attenborough opened an attractive visitor centre looking out over a wetland bird paradise and it is where we begin our day with morning coffee or tea and biscuits.

The lonely marshlands of Essex are Smuggling Country. Whole villages were involved in bringing the contraband tea, gin and even soap ashore under cover of night. It is said that people went to church not just to pray but also to watch over their precious booty, hidden in the church itself! Ghost stories abound – many inventedMaldon 2 by the smugglers to explain strange bumps in the night. We stop in the beautiful smugglers village of Goldhanger on the banks of the Blackwater Estuary to see wonderful views across the estuary and creeks.

Maldon is an ancient riverside town, scene of an epic Viking battle and home of the famous sea salt. It’s a good place to stop for lunch so we’ve booked two courses with a tea or coffee for you in a lovely atmospheric spot.   Please see the lunch choices below**.  Time permitting, there’s some good little shops to explore.

Tiptree is jam! In the 1860s William Gladstone called for the nation to make jam – really he did and in Essex arable farmer Arthur Wilkin took up the call to arms! Today the Royal Warrant holders Wilkin & Son is the John Lewis of jam making with every member of the workforce owning a stake in the company and many living in company houses. Come and discover the Tiptree Jam story and for the first time ever enjoy a 40 minute trailer tour out on the Tiptree Farm. You’ll see the wide variety of fruit grown and step down to pick and taste along the way. Marvel at the self-misting space-age greenhouse where the distinctive Little Scarlet strawberries are grownStrawberries & cream scone at table height to ease back strain in fruit pickers!

It’s the past, present & future of all things jam and it’ll put a smile on your face. There’s also time to enjoy the quirky little museum which mixes local history with the eccentric collection of the late John Wilkin and includes marvellous curios from the Samoan tree bark table cloth to the machine gun thrown from a WW1 German Zeppelin. We round the day off with a Tiptree Afternoon Tea – a sandwich and a scone with cream and what else but – Tiptree jam!

The cost of this event includes luxury coach transport, the services of a knowledgeable Blue Badge Guide, morning refreshments, a two course lunch with tea or coffee, entry fees, trailer tour, afternoon tea and, of course, treats. 


Main Course : Fish and Chips  or  Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Dessert:  Bread and Butter Pudding  or  Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream


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