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Handy for London and the Lakeside

Once an Essex village, Upminster is now part of the east London Borough of Havering and well-connected to the centre of the capital by Tube and Overground. It's also just a short hop to Lakeside Shopping Centre, where you can easily spend the day browsing some of the 250 stores and eating and drinking in the various cafes and restaurants.

Visit Upminster Tithe Barn

This 16th-century thatched timber barn is now a Museum of Nostalgia with a fascinating collection of eclectic old items, including farm machinery and household objects like gramophones, tins and typewriters. Pay a visit on one of the barn's open days. Another historical attraction is the Upminster Windmill. One of London's few remaining relics of its kind, it's now being restored back to working order.

Take a walk in the woods

Walking, running, cycling and horse riding are all on offer in the woods and meadows at Thames Chase Forest Centre. And when you've had enough activity, relax with a drink and a snack at the Forest Centre cafe, or browse the locally-made arts and crafts in the shop. Planning a trip to Upminster? The Travelodge Brentwood East Horndon Hotel, with Intu Lakeside on the doorstep, is just 10 minutes away by car. The Travelodge London Romford The Quadrant, Near the market and shops, is a 20-minute drive away.