We’re spoilt for choice in Essex, with an amazing coast with a lot to offer, ranging from traditional seaside resorts with long piers like Clacton and Southend, to historic places such as Harwich and Old Leigh. For a full list of destinations, visit our Essex Coast page, but here are some of our Top Tips :
Starting at the north of the county, you could spend time on Dovercourt beach and walk up to Harwich for something to eat and for a bit of sightseeing around this amazing old town.
There’s a lovely stretch of beach starting at Walton and heading down through Frinton and Clacton and down to Jaywick. You could head up to the Naze at Walton and look around the tower and explore the Naze. Walton and Clacton have lots of sandy beaches, piers, fish and chips, candy floss and doughnuts, pie and mash : the real British seaside experience. Frinton prides itself on being a bit more refined, so it you want a quieter time on the beach head there.
East Mersea has Cudmore Grove country park, a large expanse to be explored. West Mersea has beaches and huts towards the north, and the fishing/yachting further down.
Heading south there’s Heybridge Basin to explore, and of course Maldon – not quite the seaside or the coast, but for little ones Promenade Park can have a seaside feel to it.
South of Maldon, and tucked way, but worth checking our are Bradwell-on-Sea and Burnham-on-Crouch.
Further south there is of course Southend, with a huge stretch of beach and amusements, the longest pier in the country (there’s a train running up and down the 1.5 mile length of it), and their Sea Life Adventure Aquarium which has lots to see with over 40 displays. (Essex Days Out Tip : book online in advance and save a few pounds).
And there’s Leigh and Old Leigh to be explored – Old Leigh being a favourite destination for us (there’s a pub that is also a fish and chip shop and an ice cream shop!).
Canvey Island has a beach and amusements and a view of the estuary. Further along the estuary there is Tilbury Fort to explore, and you can see it’s strategic importance as it overlooks the entrance to the Thames.
And probably the most south and west bit of Essex coast are Rainham Marshes.
And of course Southend has Adventure Island, an enormous fairground. But why not wear the little darlings out by suggesting you walk to the end of the pier and back first? It’s a long way, as we found out a while back. There is the option to get a train back!