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Essex Beaches



One thing Essex certainly isn't short of is beaches. For many, many years the Essex coastline has proved to be a popular holiday destination for London and the Home Counties, as well as attracting tourists visiting from Europe and even further afield.
For your convenience we have brought together information and resources for the majority of Essex Beaches to be found along our counties picturesque coastline.

Canvey Coastline

Thorney Bay Beach (Canvey Island)
This quiet and sheltered sandy beach is ideal for families and for a great relaxing day out. The beach is surrounded by large open grass areas with picnic tables, a children's play park and free car park. There is also a newly opened café, with public toilets, that allows for that all important cup of tea, hot lunch or just a cool ice cream to sooth away the rigors of sun bathing, rock pooling or ball games on the grass. Picnics and paddling are always a favourite at this beach.

All this and yet just an hour from Fenchurch Street station in London via a short bus hop and short walk.

The A127 & A13 from London and the A130 from Chelmsford all head towards Canvey. Alternatively, frequent buses from Benfleet train station will drop you off at the livelier Canvey seafront areas – but then it’s just 400 yards of soft grassy seawall slopes to take you to this little Canvey gem.

Labworth Beach (Canvey Island)
Stretching along for 900 yards on the north bank of the Thames, you can choose a quiet spot or a more popular area of this beach and walk the high or low promenade paths or mown grass slopes that fall between. There are café’s & snack bars abound and there is even a top quality restaurant set in an Ove Arup designed circular building called the Labworth Café, alternatively the Concord café snack bar is set right on the beach itself. The large park is continually being added to and wide open grassy areas are set with sensory garden areas and ornate flower beds. For the children there are two large sea water paddling pools to provide hours of fun along with a children’s fun fair, amusements and mini golf. The Times newspaper recently placed Canvey beach in their top ten great British attractions. Come to Canvey seafront to enjoy the sun, have family fun or just watch the world go by or the large boats on the river - it really is a great British day out!

By car, just follow the A127 & A13 from London or the A130 from Chelmsford – car parking is always available. Try the Train from Fenchurch Street station in London and a short bus hop right to the bandstand at the beach.

Southend on Sea Coastline

Southend on Sea has seven miles of sparkling seafront spanning from Shoeburyness to Leigh on Sea. Along this unique stretch of coastline you will find six very special beaches.

Bell Wharf Beach (Leigh on Sea)
A very small and sandy beach which is extremely popular with families, situated at the eastern end of Old Leigh in an area famous for cockle fishing and heritage. Shops, cafés and car parking are close by. Access is from Leigh Old Town and Leigh railway station is ten minutes walk away.

Winner of the prestigious ENCAMS Quality Coast Award 2008.

Chalkwell Beach (Chalkwell)
This is a long, narrow sandy beach with refreshments, car parking and volunteer lifeguards at weekends. Access is from Chalkwell Gardens and Western Esplanade, and Chalkwell railway station is at the western end of the beach.

Winner of the prestigious ENCAMS Quality Coast Award 2008.

East Beach (Shoeburyness)
This small sandy beach, with a grassy headland, has excellent car parking, café, recreation area, beach shower and toilets. There are also zoned areas for water sports. Access is via Eastern Esplanade and Thorpe Bay, and Shoeburyness railway station is only 5 minutes away.

Winner of the prestigious EU Blue Flag and ENCAMS Quality Coast Award 2008.

Jubilee Beach (Southend)
Southend's fantastic new beach opened in July 2002. Jubilee Beach was created from the construction of the improved flood defences, and stretches from Southend Pier to Thorpe Bay. The Marine Parade section of the beach is very popular with families and has cafés, restaurants, beach goods shops; amusements and car parking close by. Access is from Marine Parade and Eastern Esplanade. Southend Central railway station is ten minutes walk away.

Winner of the prestigious ENCAMS Quality Coast Award 2008.

Shoebury Common Beach (Shoeburyness)
Shoebury Common Beach (also known as West Beach) is a long pebble/sand beach with controlled slipway access for Personal Watercraft and Dinghies. This popular beach has a café, car parking and good amenities. Access is via Eastern Esplanade and Thorpe Bay. Thorpe Bay railway station is about 15 minutes away.

Winner of the prestigious EU Blue Flag and ENCAMS Quality Coast Award 2008.

Three Shells Beach (Southend)
Three Shells is a unique, small, family beach with all facilities close by and near to the Town Centre. It is well managed with support from the Local Trade Association who valets the beach daily and has installed a beach shower and children's climbing frame. Access is from Western Esplanade, to the west of the Pier. Southend Central railway is ten minutes walk away.

Winner of the ENCAMS Quality Coast Award 2008.

Tendring Coastline

With over 36 miles of clean, sandy beaches, you are bound to find just what you're looking for on the Tendring coastline. We can also boast three blue flags and six quality coast awards. Our seafront and nature wardens are kept busy looking after all of our beaches.

Albion Beach (Walton on the Naze)
With one of the area's best beaches and home of the UK's second longest pier, Walton charms visitors of all ages. From beach activities to countryside walks, Walton has it all. Gently shelving beaches provide an ideal location for a day by the sea. Nearby shopping and entertainment facilities ensure there is always something going on.

The beautiful Naze cliffs and National Nature Reserve provide the perfect opportunity for walking and bird watching. Gaze across Hamford Water and watch yachts enter and leave the marina whilst in the background the large vessels sail towards the Port of Harwich.

The Quality Coast Award beach is located adjacent to the town of Walton on the Naze, on the Essex Sunshine Coast. Access is by a mainline railway connection from London and Ipswich, bus service from Frinton on Sea and Clacton on Sea, or by road from the south, from London and Colchester via the A12, A120, A120, A133 and B1034 and from the north, from Ipswich via the A12, A120, A133 and B1034.

Brightlingsea Beach (Brightlingsea)
Brightlingsea on the River Colne is rich in seafaring history and has the distinction of being the only Cinque Port outside Kent and Sussex. The town is a haven for yachting and hosts international sailing events annually. Its sandy Blue Flag beach runs along Western Promenade next to Batemans Tower, a historic local landmark. A parade of beach huts line an attractive and enjoyable waterside walk where you can join the nature trail along the site of an old railway line to Alresford Creek. A range of sports and leisure activities are available along the promenade and sailing barges offer pleasure trips to visitors. Access by road is via the B1027 and B1029.

Dovercourt Bay Beach (Dovercourt, Harwich)
Dovercourt is a peaceful family resort with gentle shelving sand and shingle Blue Flag beaches, including the land mark historic leading lights. A wide range of family activities are available along the promenade, including an impressive range of sport and leisure facilities e.g. skate park and model yacht pond and boating lake. The resort enjoys panoramic views of Harwich and the port of Felixstowe and Hamford Water National Nature Reserve. Enjoy a stroll around the narrow streets in the historic old town of Harwich or walk along the seawall to the nature reserve with its resident seals.

Located adjacent to the town of Dovercourt, access by road is via the A120 following the signs for Award Beach, by mainline rail from London and Ipswich, Dovercourt or Harwich Station. There is also a bus service from Colchester, Clacton and Ipswich.

Frinton Beach (Frinton on Sea)
Frinton on Sea is a quiet family beach destination located on the Essex Sunshine Coast. A gently shelving sandy beach noted for its cleanliness and gentility, the area places special emphasis on relaxed family fun at the seaside. Enjoy walks along the extensive greensward or take a short walk into the town centre with its full range of shopping amenities. A walk in one direction brings you to Walton on the Naze, a lively seaside resort, and in the other direction to Holland Haven Country Park, a local nature reserve.

The Quality Coast Award beach is located adjacent to the town of Frinton on Sea, on the Essex Sunshine Coast. Access is by mainline railway to Frinton on Sea with connections from London and Ipswich, by bus services from Clacton on Sea and Walton on the Naze, or access via road, from the south via the A12, A120, A133 and B1033 and from the north, from Ipswich via A14, A12, A120, A133 and B133.

Harwich Beach (Harwich)
Harwich Quality Coast Award Beach is located adjacent to the historic town of Harwich on the estuary of the rivers Stour and Orwell in north east Essex. The town is an important port and the old town of Harwich is a conservation area, containing many beautiful historic buildings.

Harwich Beach is a rare example of an emerging dune system in Essex, where the coast is predominately saltmarsh. It could be best described as a "working beach" that fishermen and sailors use throughout the year to launch, land and moor their boats on. Although not a designated bathing beach, it offers excellent views of Felixstowe docks. For this reason it is ideal for those that wish to enjoy a walk along the seashore in both the summer and winter.

Access by road is via the A120; follow the signs for the Town Centre and Navyard. It is served by mainline rail from London and Ipswich, to Harwich. There are also bus services from Colchester, Clacton and Ipswich.

Martello Bay Beach (Clacton on Sea)
Clacton on Sea is the largest and busiest of the Essex Sunshine Coast's resorts. It boasts beautiful golden beaches, a fun-packed pier, exceptionally maintained seafront gardens, sea front kiosks, two theatres and pleasure flights.

This beach can also boast Blue Flag status which was regained this year. The beach is gently shelving and benefits from a child safety wristband scheme to provide reassurance for parents.

The thriving town centre combines national chain stores with independent shops; the nearby factory shopping village offers designer labels at bargain prices. A calendar of events (including a free two day Air Show) keep visitors entertained throughout the year.

Martello Bay is located approximately one mile from town centre and is adjacent to West Beach. The town is served by mainline railway connections to London and Ipswich and road connections from the north (Ipswich and Colchester) via A12, A120 and A133.

The Naze Beach (Walton on the Naze)
The Naze has a Quality Coast Award and is located just north of Walton on the Naze, in north east Essex. The beautiful Naze cliffs and national nature reserve provide the perfect opportunity for walking and bird watching. Gaze across Hamford Water and watch yachts enter and leave Titchmarsh Marina, while in the background large vessels sail to and from the Port of Harwich.

Access is by mainline railway connection from London and Ipswich. There are bus services from Frinton on Sea and Clacton on Sea. Access is via road from the south from London and Colchester via the A12, A120, A133 and B1034.

West Beach (Clacton on Sea)
This is a busy and popular seaside resort on the Essex Sunshine Coast. Its many attractions include, Clacton Pier, bars, restaurants and town centre shopping. The town boasts theatres that provide traditional seaside entertainment and a cinema. Clacton hosts a large Air Show as part of its action packed August Bank Holiday programme. It is also justly proud of its beautifully maintained themed seafront gardens that line the upper promenade. Adjacent to Martello Bay, the Quality Coast Award West Beach has gently shelving sand and with the added bonus of the operation of Clacton's pioneering child safety wristband scheme, gives parents that extra peace of mind.

Clacton on Sea is served by mainline railway connections from London and Ipswich. Road connections south from London and Colchester are via the A12, A120 and A133 and north from Ipswich via the A14, A12, A120 and A133.


We would like to thank the following local Councils for kindly providing the information contained within this article on Essex Beaches:

www.castlepoint.gov.uk - Castle Point Borough Council
www.southend.gov.uk - Southend on Sea Borough Council
www.tendringdc.gov.uk - Tendring District Council

All the information contained within this article on Essex Beaches was accurate at the time of being published, however we do suggest checking with the relevant council’s website before making any travel arrangements or if you have any particular requirements.
Related Links

www.tendringdc.gov.uk - Tendring District Council Tidal Table
www.pla.co.uk - Port of London Authority Tide Tables
www.blueflag.org.uk - Blue Flag is a prestigious, international award scheme which acts as a guarantee to tourists that a beach or marina they are visiting is one of the best in the world.
www.keepbritaintidy.org - The Quality Coast Award was introduced in 2007 with its main focus being on raising standards at the coast. The Award reflects the great achievements of England’s beach managers and significantly helps them in future planning for beach improvements and developments.
www.essex-sunshine-coast.org.uk - If you are in search of the traditional pleasures of the seaside with a modern twist or prefer the delights of beautiful and picturesque villages to discover and explore, The Essex Sunshine Coast, also known as the Tendring Peninsula is the ideal location and has all you will ever need to make that picture perfect holiday.
National Rail Enquiries - We provide impartial advice on all aspects of journey planning; fares and buying tickets, live train running updates and other useful information.
NOMAD Sea Kayaking - NOMAD Sea Kayaking is an Essex based Sea Kayaking Company specialising in leading trips along the Essex, Suffolk and Dorset coasts as well as offering expert, professional advice and retailing kayaking equipment and accessories.

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