WITH many planning day trips to the seaside as the spring brings warmer weather, some may be wondering where to go.

Well, some residents of Manningtree may feel no desire to leave, such is the beauty located right on their doorstep.

Despite boasting its status of being the UK’s smallest town, Manningtree has received high praise this week.

Gazette: Boats sail at Manningtree RegattaBoats sail at Manningtree Regatta

London-focused magazine Time Out named the town as one of 16 seaside destinations you should visit within reasonable distance of the capital city.

According to the original article’s author, Lucy Lovell, Manningtree is a “classy, historic hangout with winding ancient streets and a forward-thinking foodie scene”.

The reasoning as to why you should visit continues with: “Manningtree is thought to be the smallest town in England, but don’t let its size fool you.

“Steeped in history, its Georgian high streets have hardly changed since they were built and, even further back, it’s famous for its links to gruesome witch hunts.

“Nowadays, the time-worn streets are peppered with independent shops and eateries, like Townsends bookshop, Italian bistro Lucca Enoteca and record and natural wine shop Winyl, as well as arty spots like North House Gallery.”

Gazette: An aerial view of the townAn aerial view of the town

It comes as no surprise to councillor Ben Brown, who feels a sense of pride to be involved with the town.

He said: “To see Manningtree placed in Time Out’s list of top towns to visit once lockdown is lifted really comes as no surprise. It’s a little town with a lot to offer.

“If you’ve yet to visit, why not come on Saturday and have a set of keys cut as you peruse the market stalls.

“You can hit the high street, with a wave to the postman, as you purchase a fresh loaf for lunch from the local bakery before treating yourself to a coffee from one of the many cafes beneath the belly of the historic Manningtree Ox.

Gazette: The picturesque townThe picturesque town

“The grand Georgian facades are beautiful to look at while you make a mental note of each establishment soon to be offering an opportunity for that long-awaited haircut.

“Outstanding natural beauty surrounds all who visit here, with wide open skies casting a spell over the mudflats, into the Stour estuary and then out to sea.”

The article also notes other nearby beauty hotspots visitors shouldn’t miss out on, such as Wrabness Nature Reserve, which is “a charming patch of green with stunning views over the Stour Estuary”.

Tourists were also encouraged to follow the coastline along to Greyson Perry’s ‘House for Essex’, which residents have enjoyed since 2015.