Family day trip to Southend

When I was a child I loved the seaside, its sea breeze, fish and chips, penny arcades and ice cream. It didn’t take a lot to keep me happy, I didn’t need it to be glamorous or warm and sunny- I just loved the atmosphere. I spent the youngest part of my childhood in Hackney in London and, because my mum worked, spent the summer holidays with my Aunty near Southend (in Rayleigh). I have really happy memories of this time: we spent time on the farm harvesting and looking after the pigs, and some days  we visited Southend.

On a trip down memory lane, I decided to pop to Southend for the afternoon with my daughter (25) and son (6). The weather wasn’t great but it didn’t matter, we had so much fun and,before we knew it, it was time to leave…

adventure island

 Adventure Island

We hit the adventure golf here but there really is something for everyone: roller coaster, swings, crooked house, Flying Jumbos, Helter Skelter, Jungle Express, Kiddi-Koasta (roller coaster for the littlies!) and more. Trip Advisor reviews are great too!

After building up an appetite we headed for fish and chips, of course! We went to Clarks Fish and Chip Shop opposite Adventure Island. If I had read the Trip Advisor reviews beforehand I would have avoided it like the plague but actually the lady who served us was lovely, the dining area itself clean and comfortable and the fish and chips went down well for all three of us so we would go back.

chip shop

Then we headed for the arcades, sooooo much fun!

2p slot machine is a must and stick with it you might get lucky and win a prize, we won three!

Freddie beat Tas at the racing car game oops!

I beat Freddie at Mario Kart – double oops!

There is a fab water fountain feature that I think would be fun on a sunny day, was a little too cold today…

fountains

But never too cold for an ice cream!

Southend provided a fun family day out, and the fact we live in landlocked Hertfordshire, it makes a good place to visit to see the sea for a drive in under an hour. We will be back.

http://www.visitsouthend.co.uk/

Our visit to Osea Island, I think I’m in love…

We visited Osea Island last week for just two and a half hours and left with a sense of contentment and the feeling that we had witnessed something rather special. A little like the feeling you are left with after watching a thought provoking film…

5-Gone_fishing__stay-with-us

It’s hard to find the right words to describe Osea as everyone’s idea of perfection is different. If you are looking for perfect lawns and manicured accommodation then it’s probably not for you. If however you are looking for something with a distinctive personality that will disconnect you from everyday life  then you will not be disappointed. With a feeling of easing backwards in time its like no other place this close to London that I have been to.

I actually think I am in love…

So where and what is Osea Island?

Osea Island

Osea Island is a private Island located just off the Essex coast of England: it is so secret even the locals have never heard of it. It is steeped in history (which I will cover in another post) and owned by music producer Nigel Frieda. Here is a little insight on what i think about Osea Island as a short break family holiday destination…

Why I think adults will like Osea Island

The Osea Island Causeway - tide out

The Osea Island Causeway – tides out!

The only way to access Osea by car is when the tide is low via the causeway. When the tide is high the island is closed off from the rest of the UK for eight hours at a time giving you an amazing sense of freedom and pure escapism.

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You will love watching the children explore nature’s natural playground and the whole family will indulge their senses in this quite majestic place.

Osea Island transport

Osea Island transport

The island is safe, no traffic (transport on the island is in the form of foot or pedal power) and only guests are allowed to be here.

Osea Island Gamesroom

Osea Island Games Room

The small games room is kitted out with the usual ping pong table and games but you will also find piles of vinyl (that’s what us oldies used to play music on for those too young to know!) and a selection of old fashioned record players to play them on giving you a little glimpse into the world of Osea’s owner Nigel Frieda. Through the door at the back of the games room is a small cinema room with a few rows of comfy arm chairs. This small club-house is simple and offers an eclectic mixture of entertainment which will delight the senses of both young and old.

Osea Island Gym

Osea Island Gym

If taking in the scenery, fresh sea air and strolling around the 4 ½ mile stretch of beach and gardens is not enough for you don’t worry there is a gym and tennis court for all residents to use.

Osea's swimming pool

Osea’s swimming pool

If you are looking for water activities then why not try Kayaking, boating or fishing and the outdoor swimming pool is open during the summer months.

Why the kids will like Osea Island

Foraging on Osea's beach

Foraging on Osea’s beach

All the above! Mum and dad will be so relaxed the children will be in their element foraging for treasure on the beach, climbing trees, building camps, playing games in the garden, splashing in the pool, playing ping pong in the club house or petting the lovely resident donkeys Salt and Pepper.

Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper

We took our five year old when we visited and he still hasn’t stopped talking about the causeway, we let him drive along it too (well steer on daddy’s lap). The excitement of driving where the sea usually sits and going to a private island has been a talking point for him ever since!

Driving on along the Causeway

Driving on along the Causeway

Osea Island is a place like no other, we were transported back in time and taken to a faraway place after just a couple of hours here, I can’t wait to spend a couple of nights! Just imagine…

Sunset on Osea

Sunset on Osea

There are 19 child-friendly holiday homes on Osea Island of varying sizes, accommodating from 2 – 22 people alternatively you can hire the whole island and there is a fab venue licensed for weddings (more on that in my next blog post). If you can’t wait take a look at their holiday cottages and Manor House, Captains House and Beach cottages and apartments here on Holiday Tots:

https://www.holidaytots.co.uk/view-property/401-manor-in-osea-island/