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4 days

Here is a splendid programme of activities, entertainments and tours to bring your folk together for a very enjoyable four days before Christmas Stay three nights at the Park Inn by Radisson Palace, Southend on Sea and enjoy Finders Keepers - our antiques hunting game, a day out with a top notch Blue Badge Tour and a gardening masterclass at RHS Hyde Hall. On the last evening, there's a Gala Dinner and private performance of A Brief History of Jazz with the excellent Paul Higgs Quartet.

Day One: Arrive Battlesbridge Antiques Centre midway between Chelmsford and Southend. There are 80 antiques dealers and a hotch potch of cafes and a micro-brewery for a light bite housed in a variety of old buildings and courtyards. You'll be given a game briefing and a crisp tenner each to head off treasure hunting, either on your own or you can team up with others and pool your money. Then to the hotel and after dinner, the expert returns for an after dinner talk and valuations to find the winner.

Day Two: Today with the Blue Badge Tour Guide we explore a landscape of lonely creeks, wide horizons and huge skies. The Denge is to Essex what the Romney Marsh is to Kent.

An optional ten minute walk to a smugglers' chapel, free time for lunch in yachty Burnham-on-Crouch and a visit to Old Leigh where the cockling trade still thrives. Dinner together tonight with lots to talk about.

Day Three: Free day today. Have a lie in and a leisurely breakfast before exploring Southend. There are seven miles of beaches and the pier for the walkers, the museum and art galleries for the bohemians, the penny slots in the Kuursal for the nostalgic and plenty of pubs and restaurants for the sybarites. This evening a Gala Dinner with the Paul Higgs Quartet with A Brief History of Jazz. Please see page 106 for show information.

Day Four: One last treat. A visit and gardening masterclass at RHS Hyde Hall on how to up the interest in your garden in winter. There's a really good cafe restaurant on site for lunch before heading home at 2.30pm.

• 3 nights 4* Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

• Your choice of coach company

• 15 single rooms free of supplement

• Blue Badge Tour Guide 1 day

• Finders Keepers Antique Hunt Game

• Crisp tenner for antiques game

• RHS Hyde Hall with Master Class

• A Brief History of Jazz Gala Dinner

• Free organiser place across the tour

• Up to 1 in 10 free as you fill the coach

• Driver room, meals & parking

• 100% Passenger Payment Protection

• Free GTO Liability Insurance

First night is Sunday Nov & Dec 2019 &  selected dates 2020


The stylish 4* Park inn by Radisson Palace stands on Southend's Western Esplanade looking out over the Sea which is what they call the Thames here. The 137 colourful hotel rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, Dove toiletries and fantastic views. Breakfast and dinner are served in the bright and modern sea view restaurant. Great location for shops, theatres and the Pier. Actually Southend is rather good fun and a great winter destination.

£499pp Minimum 25 people