It is ten years ago this week since the rich history of Epping Forest was highlighted to its omission from a popular travel guide and a stereotypical description of Essex.

A major travel guide’s snub to the area has provoked fury.

The Lonely Planet Travel Guide’s new edition on Britain contains only a short chapter on Essex, describing it as ‘home to chavs, bottle blonds, boy racers and brash seaside resorts,’ and contains no mention whatsoever of Epping Forest.

But residents have hit back, highlighting the area’s historical riches and natural beauty and asking tourists not to be taken in by the stereotypes.

Chris Sumner, chairman of the Waltham Abbey Historical Society, said: “I am extremely disappointed, Waltham Abbey is one of the richest historical sites in Essex, if not the country.

“Parts of the abbey are over 1,000 years old, it is also the resting place of the last saxon king of England, King Harold, and anyone who knows about English history knows about 1066.”

Mary Salton, also of the Waltham Abbey Historical Society, said: “I am not at all pleased they have not mentioned the area.

“It has all sorts of hidden treasures, there is the old gunpowder mill, and the Lee Valley is stunning.”

Epping Forest services manager Tony Fenwick, said: “It is very unfortunate that the guide has left us out.

“Clearly Epping Forest is a highlight of the Essex area. We tick all the boxes. We have Tudor history, beautiful scenery, all sorts of activities.

“We clearly deserve to be mentioned and will be contacting the Lonely Planet Guides to highlight our attractions.”