So, early bank holiday morning bright sunshine (soon turned to rain but let's overlook that), North London mum plus family set off in search of adventure, and sea air. Our destination- nearest coast to North London- is Maldon on the East Coast - and yes- it is in Essex (and also the home of the sea salt).
When you want a bit of sea air it can be tiring managing the queues into Brighton, and most coastal areas are at least 2 hours for our spot in London, so we decided to "Google" the nearest coast and hit on Maldon- 1 hour away- we loaded the car and headed off.
The entire district of Maldon is, it seems, rich in history. The main town of Maldon itself (where we headed) is held to be among the oldest recorded towns in the county of Essex and records show that settlements in the area go back to Saxon times.
For a day trip out Maldon is really good fun, especially if you get some sunshine (unfortunately we didn't). Set on the estuary of the Blackwater river coast (admittedly not quite open sea but still boats and seagulls!) there's really loads to keep children amused down by Promenade Park. As the name suggests, you can walk along the banks of the estuary to get some good sea air and enjoy the view as the tide comes in. In the small marina ( I think anyway- my seafaring vocabulary is rather narrow- feel free to correct)- there are a number of impressive classic sailing barges. We were lucky enough to encounter an Open Day, and we were able to visit on board a sailing barge- which was serving tea downstairs - great fun for the kids. If you are organised you can also book a short sailing tour- the photos looked great.
Back in Promenade Park there is a fab Galleon ship adventure playground with lots of climbing and slides for the kids. Further along is a sensory playground, with a wild flower garden and a maze- great for the North London Little Ladies who fancy themselves Dora. There's also a large splash area- a great draw in hot weather, and an ornamental lake complete with fountains. Finally, a model boating lake! And there's a market on bank holiday Monday so plenty of interesting stalls to browse. And there's no charge except for the parking.
The actual town centre is about 10 minutes walk from the park. It's OK- lots of outdoors and homeware shops- our only disappointment was the lack of interesting places to eat (the only chain was Prezzo but even that you had to book). But if it is sunny enough you could easily head down with a picnic.
With so much on offer in Promenade Park, we'll definitely be heading back (if its ever sunny again) for a day out and fresh coastal air! For more information, head to It's about Maldon or Visit Maldon.