Riverside gem

Essex, a county to the east of London, is often portrayed as a place full of people with empty minds who are only concerned with fake tans, fast cars and designer clothes.

It is the place I grew up in, and it deserves a much richer reputation than that. It has an ancient history and some beautiful places, including a town set by the River Blackwater called Maldon.

It’s an adopted home town for me, as my mother – featured in one of the gallery images – has lived there for three years, while my father spent his final days there before his death earlier this year. My sister and her family have settled there too, so there is a strong emotional and family attachment to the town.

It has a charming, bustling high street with many independent shops and businesses. But take a walk down the hill, and you hit the riverside, which houses old sailing boats with high masts. The promenade gets very busy, but at the right time of the day can be a place of calm and solace.

The end of the walkway is dominated by a statue to ancient warrior Byrhtnoth, who fought in vain to save Maldon from Viking marauders.

Like that old soldier, I think a lot of this old town beside the river.







Click on the first image to launch the full-size gallery

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