Beach breaks in Essex

Essex has everything sun-seekers could want, with over 350 miles of coastline and blue-flag status beaches. Essex’s beaches are perfect for a day by the seaside for you and your little ones with sandy beaches and gently sloping shingle shorelines. Nicknamed the ‘British sunshine coast’, it just so happens that the best beaches in Essex are some of the sunniest spots in the country.

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Seaside resorts don’t get much more iconic than Clacton. By the time the 1950s and ’60s came along, this was the beachside place to be seen, with families pouring in from London and the southeast to soak up the sun. While other English resort towns faded, flaked and closed their doors, Clacton has managed to keep up with the times – and today, it’s still as lively and entertaining as ever and the biggest town on the Essex Sunshine Coast. A bustling but affordable seaside resort, it boasts various entertainment facilities, including a pleasure pier, arcades, the Princes and the West Cliff Theatres, a golf course, seafront walks, water sports, and an airfield offering pleasure flights. The main shopping area contains many of the more familiar national chains, independent stores, and various eateries to tantalise your taste buds, which is a common theme throughout the area. An eclectic annual events programme including fetes, fairs, carnivals and the two-day annual Clacton Airshow.

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Frinton-on-Sea Beach

With its wide sandy beach, Frinton has remained surprisingly uncommercialised and maintained its reputation as a peaceful family resort. In contrast to nearby Clacton or Walton, Frinton has been rewarded with a Blue Flag award for its outstanding cleanliness. The fine, golden sand at Frinton is firm enough for making sandcastles and soft enough for running around playing beach games, making it an ideal family beach. An extensive promenade at the rear of the beach is lined with bright and colourful, old-fashioned beach huts. There is also a vast grassy area, the Greensward, an ideal spot for a picnic. Or take a short walk into the town centre with its full range of shopping amenities. One direction takes you to Walton on the Naze, a lively seaside resort and in the other direction to Holland Haven Country Park, a local nature reserve.

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With miles of coastline, there is an abundance of things to see and do in Southend-on-Sea, from traditional seaside fun and plenty of family attractions. There’s the world-famous Pier and its mile-long railway, Adventure Island fun park with thrilling rides and rollercoasters, Sealife Adventure, amusement arcades and the famous fountains on City Beach. You’ll also find a thriving cultural scene with museums, historic houses and a range of art spaces. Discover the Beecroft Art Gallery exhibitions or contemporary art at Focal Point Gallery. Or step into the half-timbered Tudor Southchurch Hall and 12th-century Prittlewell Priory for an insight into its past. With award-winning beaches, the longest pleasure pier globally, and colourful beach huts, you won’t be short of things to do in Southend.

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