About Us

Welcome to Family Friendly Essex. My name is Joe. I’m a new father to a wonderful boy named Benjamin. We live in Harlow, which is a town in Essex. I love nothing more than spending the weekends going out as a family and exploring this county.

Benjamin has been the inspiration for starting this website.

Every weekend, we attempt to go out into Essex to find something new to do as a family. Being a family with a very young child, we have extra requirements. For example, needing a place to change Ben when the nappy is full!

On many occasions, we have visited places and these facilities were not provided. Having known this beforehand, we would not have gone.

Our Mission Statement

We have a simple mission. We wish to visit every attraction and family-focused business in Essex and review them. Giving you more information on those places. So that you are able to make an informed decision.

You will be confident of the venue. As you can see that a real family has been there, done that, with a story to tell. 

Frustration with Attractions in Essex and Other Sites

The number of times we have gone out travelled and got to the venue. Only to find that they do not have simple facilities such as baby change. Resulting in me having to change Ben on the floor of a regular toilet, luckily we have a travel changing mat. 

Some sites advertise as family friendly, but fail to provide simple facilities.

Venues, that advertise as family friendly, should be family friendly. Many sites that I have used before, tend to be business directories. These sites are great to find somewhere to go, but all have the same issue. They are a business, they reach out to other businesses to feature on the listings. The aim of the business directory website is to make money, like any other business.

On business directories, the attraction writes their own description. 

So the description is always in the best possible light. In the end, this is a form of advertising. The venue is not going to advertise the fact that they don’t have family facilities. In most cases, they will exaggerate them.

Why Start Family Friendly Essex

Family Friendly Essex is going to be different. We are a family, a real family, not a business. Who go out and visit places in Essex weekly. Then we will write honest reviews, and provide feedback on the attractions that we visit. 

Family Friendly Essex will never feature sponsored posts. Sponsored posts present ethical challenges. They are posts where the attraction would pay the site to publish. This could conflict with our mission statement, which is to always be honest and open.

The attractions will never have an influence on what’s published here. We will reach out to attractions to ask to review them, or they might approach us, but no money will change hands. This site will always be honest, and the opinions our own. Never influenced by others. 

All reviews and comments will always be our own.

When we publish a post about an attraction. We will invite the attraction to comment with an explanation on our review. If we find it to not meet our expectations as a family. 

It is fair to say the day we visited a venue might have been a bad day. For example, an attraction might have baby change facilities, but on the day it was out of order. This might be due to scheduled maintenance, or a breakage. The review will still note that the facility was not available. As with everything, there are always two sides to a story.

The Family

So as I have said before we are a young family. I’m new to this being a father role. I have taken to it rather well. Yet planning family days out that’s fun for all is still difficult.

My partner (Becky), is an amazing mother, I could not ask for more. Becky is like me, loves spending time with the family, and enjoys a day out. We both love silly days and generally act like a couple of kids.

The Family behind Family Friendly Essex.
Being childish makes our days out of a lot of fun. I remember one trip to Colchester Zoo. It was during the school holidays, and there were special events going on throughout the day. 
If me and Becky have fun somewhere, children are bound to love it as well.
We spent 30 minutes in a queue to get our faces painted. We were the only adults in the queue. When we reached the front, the face painters got surprised that there wasn’t a child; this was before Ben was born. We ended up walking away with our faces painted, I got a butterfly, while Becky had a tiger.

The Cats

We also have two cats. I mention them here as they are part of the family. Boobie and Stinky, are fantastic cats, we love them so much. 

They are so entertaining and bring a smile to our faces even after a bad day. They have two very different personalities, and they suit each other. Having said that, all cats clash at some point and they have a lovers tiff.

Boobie and Stinky are like chalk and cheese.

They were our children before Ben came alone. These cats get treated as such, loads of toys and cuddles. They will not be featuring much on this site, as they would not be accompanying us on our days out. 

Yet it is important to mention them, as they are part of the family. They are a major part of our family, which all pet owners will understand.

Social

Everything gets better when you build a community around it. We have created a Facebook page, and Twitter username. We will post everything from the site to those two social networks, and would love your feedback. It would be amazing if you shared them with your friends if you found them useful. 

While we are out and about, we will be updating social media so you’ll get a feel for the place that we are visiting that day. We also want to create a community around this site, and social media is the way to go. 

When we publish new reviews, we would love for you to comment on your experiences if you have been there before. With your feedback, it can only make the community stronger.

We don’t know all the places to visit in Essex and the surrounding area. So will be reaching out to you, the community to recommend places for us. We will take those requests and add them to the list to places for us to visit. 

I would love to come up with a way, where you will be able to create reviews and post them to Family Friendly Essex as well! How awesome would that be?

More families creating reviews. Means better days out for families. Working together we can cover so much more.

We are only one family, but by building a bigger family of families in and around Essex we can cover so much more. You can contact us either through the contact us page, or social media (Facebook or Twitter). We would love to hear from you!