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Visiting West Mersea, Essex
The small Island of Mersea, situated 9 miles south east of Colchester in north east Essex England is unique, beautiful and of historical interest.
Boasting a thriving small village, some good local restaurants, wonderful natural trails along the seafront, an active yacht club and sailing community West Mersea offers a taste of rural seaside life and a break away from the city.
East Mersea also has a small village and offers caravaners and campers a choice of parks to stay overnight or weeks at a time.
A small museum in West Mersea behind St. Peter and St. Paul Church - originally founded around the 7th century - on Coast Road provides good local information and some interesting artefacts about the history and development of Mersea Island - originally Mersey Island.
There is evidence of pre-roman settlement, Anglos Saxon and Danich settlements and buildings. In 1046 Edward the Confessor granted the island to the abbey of St. Ouen in St Rouen France the Priory of West Mersea was established.
You can read more about the history of Mersea Island at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mersea_Island
Restaurants and Places to Visit in West Mersea
West Mersea is famous for oyster beds. The company shed restaurant and oyster bar at 129 Coast Road serves fresh oysters in season, traditional fish and chips and other seafood lunches and dinners. www.the-company-shed.co.uk
The Art Cafe at 2 Coast Road is a lively cafe open for breakfast lunch and afternoon tea. The walls are adorned with local art for sale and there are small display cabinets of handmade jewellery and pottery made by local artisans. Home cooked using fresh ingredients from a traditional english fry up, home made soups, continental breakfast pastries and tea scones - made fresh by "The Cake Hole" right next door, fish of the day to vegetarian dishes the cafe has something for everyone at a reasonable price. http://www.islandartcafe.co.uk/
There are excellent local shops in the village of West Mersea. You can buy fresh bread, fresh meat from a butcher whose barbeque meats are to die for, local grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Ther is also a supermarket, gift stores, sweet shops and salons.
Take a walk along the beach. There are several public entrances onto the beach. Enjoy the colourful beach huts, activities on the water, rich collection of stones and sea shells and moored boats which have been turned into permanent house boat dwellings.
At the farthest end of coast road you will encounter tiny cottages and historical houses dating back to the late 1500's.
In August The Mersea Regatta provides week long sailing competitions for different classes with a fun fair, craft show, entertainment and firework show to end it off. Mersea week runs Sunday to Saturday in August.
The Island has one hotel, five pubs some of which offer accommodation and bed and breakfast facilities.
How to get to West Mersea
Public Transport on West Mersea is limited but there is a bus service from Colchester Mainline Station and Colchester Town Station. www.travelfor.co.uk/Essex/West_Mersea
There are frequent fast trains from London which stop at Colchester from Liverpool Street Station. Trains from Norwich and Ipswich also stop at Colchester.
Taxi service from either station is approximately 22 British Pounds including tip.
For driving directions go to http://www.gomapper.com/travel/map-of/west-mersea.html
West Mersea is connected to the mainland over the river strood by a causeway. Sometimes throughout the week there are high tides which prevent access. For tide tables go to http://www.tidetimes.org.uk/west-mersea-tide-times