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Forget London, Tour The Area Surrounding Stansted Airport

Jul 2, 2008
Stansted Airport may be called London Stansted but the area surrounding the airport should not be ignored as a tourist destination in its own right. Once you have landed, instead of jumping straight in the hire car and heading to the capital it is worth taking the time to explore the beautiful region of Uttlesford. This area in the north of Essex has long been famed for its beauty and quaint Englishness. By using you hire car to tour this area you not only get a grasp of country life in England but get to see some of the most picture perfect towns and villages anywhere in the country.

After picking up your car from the hire desk it is easy to jump straight on the link road and the M11 to London. More advisable is to take a sharp left as you exit the airport and you will find yourself on country lanes bordered by magnificent flora. Close by to Stansted is the quaint village of Broxted; it resembles many of the towns and villages in the region and gives you an impression of why using your hire car to tour this area is such a great idea.

In addition, you should also include a visit to the close by towns of Elsenham and Stansted Mountfitchet; the town from which the airport gained its name. Mountfitchet has a timber castle that will amaze and enthral younger visitors giving them an impression of what life was like centuries ago in this part of the country. In addition, the pubs and eateries in these towns give visitors a sense of true Englishness and the local fair is to die for.

As you approach Stansted Airport from the air it is probable that you will pass over the unique and historical town of Thaxted. This town has a guildhall and church that are some of the finest examples of medieval architecture anywhere in the south; the church being so imposing that many visitors may think it resembles a cathedral rather than the centre of a parish. Be sure to stop off in your hire and spend the night as the locals are famed for their love of a good time, being both hospitable and friendly. At certain times of the year it is also possible to see the most English pursuit of Morris dancing; all this only fifteen minutes drive from Stansted Airport.

Thaxted itself is famous for another reason as most classical music enthusiasts will be aware. A former resident, Gustav Holst composed 'The Planets Suite' while living in the town. One part of the suite and particularly 'Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity' has a melody that Holst himself named 'Thaxted' after this most beautiful of towns, although the spectacular surrounding countryside also gave the composer inspiration.

Stansted airport also lies close by to Cambridge, once again giving the opportunity to delay your trip to the capital and see this majestic University City. The canals in the city and the punts that traverse them give Cambridge a timeless feel that is hard to find anywhere else in the country. Using your hire car to spend a day in the scholarly paradise is a welcome distraction from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

So one you have landed at Stansted Airport and are thinking of heading straight to London consider your options for a moment. By spending a few days touring the surrounding countryside you will get a grasp of this beautiful region whilst seeing some of the attractions that make this area truly unique.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty looks into original journey ideas for those using car hire Stansted airport services.
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