Be inspired by the Essex coast...
With more than 350 miles the Essex coast is the longest of any English county. It is a most diverse coastline offering a variety of fun and enjoyment: traditional English seaside resorts at Southend-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze; historic maritime towns such as Harwich, Maldon and Leigh-on-Sea; sailing centres at Burnham-on-Crouch, Brightlingsea and Mersea Island; and not be forgotten the miles and miles of remote and unspoiled coastline important for wildlife.
This year a number of Essex beaches have been awarded Blue Flags and awards for Quality Coast. Chalkwell Beach, East Beach, Shoeburyness, Jubilee Beach, Three Shells Beach, Shoebury Common Beach all in Southend-on-Sea; Brightlingsea Beach, Dovercourt Bay and Martello Bay in Clacton-on-Sea.
So why not take a stroll along the world's longest pleasure pier at Southend-on-Sea and enjoy some traditional fish & chips and if your feet hurt you can take the pier train back to the seafront! Visit Leigh-on-Sea where the cockle boats can still be seen unloading their daily catch and try a range of fresh seafood in the restaurants and pubs along the seafront.
In the north of the county Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze offer all the fun of the seaside with events such as the Clacton air show, summer art trails, music festivals and carnivals - the choice is yours! Alternatively book a boat trip with Tony and discover the playful seals in the Walton backwaters. For a more sedate pace visit Frinton-on-Sea with its fascinating Art Deco buildings or take a stroll along the promenade past the colourful beach huts. Cliff top walks along the Tendring coast, often referred to as the Essex Sunshine Coast, offer panoramic views of the Walton backwaters and National Nature Reserve.
In the sea port of Harwich, Essex maritime history calls to you from every corner, every alley, pub and lighthouse. Look out for the Lighthouses, the Treadwheel Crane, the Lifeboat Museum, the Ha'Penny Pier, the house of Christopher Jones, Master of the Mayflower and the Old Custom House's. Whilst in town take part in the historic maritime walk organised by the Harwich Society.
Further south, discover Maldon and nearby Mersea Island which have collectively been described as the ‘New Brittany' and Burnham-on-Crouch as the ‘Cowes of the East'. During the summer season the Essex shores and coastal towns come alive. The colourful sails of the boats cruising to their first regatta brighten up every visible corner of the North Sea. Take a relaxing trip on a Thames Sailing Barge from the Hythe Quay in Maldon, famous for its crystal sea salt, to Mersea Island, where you can indulge in some native oysters at the Company Shed. To fully experience this diverse coastline, book a seal cruise or a bird watching trip on one of the regular summer outings.
Bounded by the river Blackwater to the north, the North Sea to the east and the river Crouch to the south, the Dengie is an oasis from the modern world, where Essex weather boarded cottages jostle with historic inns and life is just a heartbeat slower. Sunsets on the Crouch are stunning when the tidal river is in flood. Be there at even flight, when thousands of geese fill the sky as they head for their nightly roosts.