An Essex Surprise - Beach Huts Galore
If you had said to me that Essex would have been a great county to visit for a day out on the coast then I would have been quite surprised and not have been very au fait with any of the resorts along that part of the English coastline but I have to admit that I was quite pleasantly surprised when we recently spent a lovely day at Walton on the Naze.
Now the journey down there was not a great start and this time it was the not the notorious M25 to blame but the A12 that leads off of the London orbital to the coast. It had become one huge carpark and at one stage we were even contemplating abandoning the journey and going elsewhere but we stuck with it and eventually managed to use the Sat Nav to find an alternative route along country lanes that took us through little villages avoiding the snarl up.
With my Mother-in-Law joining us on this trip and with her mobility issues we had brought along a wheelchair to ease the strain of walking too far. The wheelchair friendly promenade presented no problems and we managed to walk the entire length without any significant issues. For those with young children there is a huge amusement section that included ten-pin bowling, rides and bingo (with a wristband purchase) under cover inside the traditional pier, which is the third longest in the country (792 metres/2600ft) built in 1895. There are gently shelving beaches ideal for safe swimming
There are plenty of tea shops and cafes to keep you nourished during the day and as it was such a glorious day we sat outside of one of them along the promenade and watched the world go by.
I always Google any new area that I visit to see if there are any good photographic opportunities and one of the standout features that kept coming up were the beautiful pastel coloured beach huts. Now I love a good beach hut because they are so photogenic in the right setting and these were certainly some of the prettiest that I had seen. Although the area was not quite as dramatic as those at Southwold or Wells next the Sea, their rooftops and shades of colour were picture perfect. In fact I was amazed at how many beach huts there actually were there, the whole of the banking behind the promenade was full of them. The ones in the picture at the top of this post are a new development and are currently on sale for £16,950.
The unspoilt headland of Walton consists of about 50 acres of grass coastal heath land and 50 acres of scrub woodland with about 200 acres of saltmarsh to the north of the sea wall. The Naze itself is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its fossil-rich cliffs, and at its northern end is The John Weston Nature Reserve. Dominating this area is the Naze Tower, built in 1720 by Trinity House to guide shipping into the busy port of Harwich. The tower is open from April until the end of October as an art gallery, museum and café.
So, if you are looking for a day trip to the coast and want somewhere different to try out then I would recommend this Essex resort, safe bathing and plenty of amusements to keep the children content and some nice photographic opportunities for the adults. Along the coast is West Mersea which I am being informed is a nice little spot too, so one to bear in mind for another day.