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Five Beautiful Essex Beaches To Visit This Summer

By Katie Byrne – 10th February 2020

I’ve always loved the seaside.

When I was a child growing up in London, the seaside was exotic. Going to the beach meant a train trip and sandwiches made by mum – generally still eaten whilst on said train – with a leisurely wander around a new town before sinking into the sand for the afternoon, armed with a bucket and spade.

(And a weird urge to collect EVERY sea shell I saw. Anyone else? Arriving back home with a bucket full of shells – and the occasional super-smooth stone – was as part-and-parcel of my seaside trips as a 3pm Mr Whippy.)

Beach huts in Essex

Anyway – fast-forward twenty-odd years and I still love the beach just as much. When we moved to Essex, almost two decades ago, I didn’t equate that somewhere seemingly so urban could also be home to beautiful golden beaches. But that’s the beauty of Essex: it straddles the line between rural and city, with stretches of seaside and rolling hills just a stone’s throw away.

If you read Bec’s recent travel guide, you’ll know that there are beautiful beaches all over the UK – and if you want a dose of sea-spiration (er – kind of works?), be sure to check it out.

During the recent lockdown – towards the tail-end of it, at least – I’ve rediscovered the beaches that I’m lucky enough to call close-ish to home. Whilst our first attempt to get to a beach – a hot Sunday in late May – wasn’t exactly a success (we didn’t even get out of the car), we’ve found that an evening visit is the perfect time to enjoy a stroll along the sand. In appropriately socially distanced style, naturally…

Read on to discover some of my favourite Essex beaches – and don’t be fooled. Whilst my photos here might all be of sand and sea, these towns are also home to so much more: fish-n-chips, ice-cream, candyfloss… All of the good stuff. And if you’re visiting post-lockdown, you’ll want to stock up on 2ps – those famous piers are home to arcades like no other. Enjoy!

Clacton-On-Sea

Home to a world-famous pier, Clacton is the epitome of a British seaside town. With a shop-lined stroll separating the beach from the train station, it’s got something for everyone. The beach is beautiful, whilst the fairground rides as appealing to young as they are old. It’s a hit with the celebrities, too: none other than Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash were spotted there recently. Candy floss, chips and even the occasional bit of celeb-spotting – what’s not to love?

Jaywick

It has a reputation (hey: it’s not every ‘coastal village’ – thanks, Wikipedia – that finds itself the subject of a Channel 4 documentary) but don’t be put off: Jaywick beach is beautiful. Shingly and sandy in equal measure, it’s a great spot to have an amble or get comfortable for an hour or so. Just make sure you don’t get too stuck in the mud, like I did when I visited.

Walton

Also boasting its very own pier, Walton is the perfect place to watch the waves crash in while you devour vinegar-lashed fish and chips. Home to picture-perfect strips of colourful beach huts, it’s also a great pick if you want a brisk family stroll. Head to the left to explore the historic Naze (home to the Martello Tower which is, in turn, home to excellent chocolate cake) and head to the right for a leisurely amble towards…

Frinton

A quintessentially English town, take a stroll down Frinton’s Connaught Avenue (dotted with shops and cafés) before arriving at the sea, which appears dramatically in front of you. With a grassy bank in front of it, it’s almost a tropical sight – the only thing detracting from the exoticism being the fact you can enjoy the view whilst also nibbling on a Greggs sausage roll. Keep your eyes peeled for the architecture, too – there are some serious retro properties overlooking that seafront. (Side note: Frinton was also subject of a documentary, too: The Curious World Of Frinton On Sea.)

Holland-On-Sea

Nestled between Frinton and Clacton sits Holland-On-Sea: the perfect place to head if you want to escape the usual crowds. So clean it almost sparkles, the beach here is home to soft golden sands and even the seaweed strewn rocks look as if they’ve been freshly filtered for Instagram.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there’s Mersea, Felixstowe, Harwich… And more!

Where are your favourite beaches to visit in Essex? I’d love to hear your recommendations – message me over on Instagram with your tips.

Katie x

RECOMMENDATION | Keelham Farm Shop – Skipton 117
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