Vintage Essex

In partnership with Lodge Coaches of High Easter, near Chelmsford, we take you to Vintage Essex, a very entertaining day out for those of you who like to see a lot without walking too far. We combine the best in Blue Badge guiding in picture postcard Essex villages with an afternoon at the Lodge Coaches HQ in the Essex Rodings. We’ve included a ploughman’s lunch and rides in their vintage fleet of 1940s and 1950s coaches. We also meet Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.



Vintage Essex

About this excursion

£99 per person

We meet our guide in Thaxted, Queen of Essex for morning refreshments in an old coaching inn. Betjeman said Thaxted was about as good as it gets. We’ll visit the old wool church where English composer, Gustav Holst played the organ and the vicar flew the Red Flag from the tower. Who’s for a few verses of Holst’s hymn Thaxted, better known as I Vow to Thee My Country? From the church we weave past black and white striped Tudor houses and jolly colour-washed homes from the mediaeval to the Georgian period to the beautifully wonky old Guildhall.

From high in the coach we’ll take in the gently rolling landscapes of rural Essex and the chocolate box village of Finchingfield as we head south to the little known Essex Rodings. Eight villages full of old thatched cottages, timber-framed manor houses and farmhouses form the largest group in the country to share a common name. The Rodings name comes from the Anglo-Saxon Hrodingas who sailed up the River Thames 1500 years ago, turned right at Barking Creek and kept going until they found this remote and fertile landscape.

A ploughman’s lunch will be ready for us the Lodge Garage in High Easter. We’re surrounded by the vintage vehicle collection and old coaching ephemera collection of the Lodge Family who are approaching their centenary in the coaching business.   It’s a lovely afternoon with time to enjoy the collection of old coaching and bus ephemera and rides out in the immaculately restored 1940s and 1950s coaches that have starred in Only Fools spin off Rock and Chips and the blockbuster series The Crown. We finish the day with a cup of tea with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – not the original car used in the film as it doesn’t fly, but it’s good fun!

The cost of this event includes luxury coach transport, your Blue Badge Guide for the day, morning coffee with biscuits, a ploughman’s lunch, two rides in vintage coaches, tea with biscuits and, of course, treats.


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