The county of Essex has a rich and varied history, dating back to right to Roman times, when Camulodunum (modern Colchester) was considered the Roman capital of Great Britain. The county’s proximity with London, large coastal area and beautiful countryside has led to even great developments than those throughout the medieval period and beyond, and now the county is a fascinating mix of rural villages, coastal towns and bustling, vibrant cities. Despite the ease of transport into central London, and a dedicated commuter belt, some of the counties best leisure pursuits are to be had further out towards the coastal areas; where Essex boasts some of Britain’s great seaside resorts:
Walton on the Naze
A very traditional seaside resort, Walton on the Naze dates back to Saxon times and gained in popularity as a holiday destination during the Victorian era. It is part of the notional Sunshine Coast Line, the train line from Colchester which also covers through a branch line to Clacton on sea. Although vastly modernised, much of its original charm is still very much in evidence. The resort offers clean, attractive beaches, cliffs to explore, and Britain’s second longest pier. There is also a bustling market, beautiful woodlands and wildlife, as well as restaurants, leisure centre, art gallery and more.
Frinton on Sea
Frinton also offers long, clean, sandy beaches, and is another seaside resort which thrived under the Victorians. A haven for shoppers, the town is also known for historical churches and its seafront lined with beach huts. Frinton is a much quieter resort, only opening its first pub in 2000, but is known for it’s conservation activity, as well as offering swimming, sailing and other watersports.
Clacton on Sea
A more well known resort, Clacton on Sea enjoyed immense popularity in the 60’s and 70’s, and has recently undergone a bit of a tourist revival, modernising and preserving, and moving away from its earlier, somewhat tackier image. Also home to a Victorian pier, Clacton is one of the largest seaside resorts in the area, and as well as it’s beautiful beaches, the town offers a real variety of leisure activities from shopping to sports, with lots in between. Clacton has a well established nightlife scene, and is also on the map with good food, making it an ideal spot for a day out or short break.
Another very well known British seaside resort, Southend has 7 miles of seafront, plus the worlds longest pleasure pier, and has become an interesting mix of traditional seaside holiday pursuits and sophisticated shopping, dining and nightlife. Known as Southend from as early as the beginning of the 16th century, the area was redeveloped in the 19th century, with the original pier being started in 1829. Visit art galleries, theme parks and a variety of museums and heritage centres in Southend, or relax in one of its many restaurants.