The Clacton beer festival was on when we visited, coincidence? no way!
It's a small and friendly festival held in a local church hall, around 50 beers for me to choose from and several Belgian fruit beers for Mrs Bonio to enjoy. Enjoyed the music and the food on offer too, would happily revisit the festival.
A rare sunny and warm day in August 2007, ideal time to head for Clactons good sandy beach for an enjoyable couple of hours. Plenty of room and deck chairs for hire, even managed a tan.
Impressed by the cleanliness and that several lifeguards were on duty too.
A long time ago, when I was starting on my VT "journey", I posted a lot of tips about the area I live in in London. One of these was a tip about Tubby Isaac's stall in Aldgate - a place to get excellent seafood. I was, therefore, very pleasantly surprised to find anther branch (if that's the right word) in Clacton. Being nearer to the sea, I reckon the merchandise there is, if possible, even fresher.
If you visit Clacton, you must visit here. My personal favourite? A big pot of cockles (locally caught) with lots of vinegar and white pepper.
Well, I'm not talking about getting the train to London (for which see separate transportation tip), what I'm talking about is a road-train trip along the front to Holland-on-Sea.
The train, as pictured, runs regularly during the summer months. It's only about a mile or so in each direction, but it might serve to keep bored youngsters amused for a while.
OK, let's assume you have ignored the warning on my intro page to Clacton and you go there, you will almost inevitably end up on the pier.
Historically, t is quite interesting being opened to the public on 18th July 1871, having been built by a man called Bruff who could see the potential holiday market in the town (or village as it was then). It was extended in 1893 to it's present length of 1180 feet. It hasn't been wothout it's problems, mind you. Storms and high seas in 1978, 1979 and 1987 have all take their toll on the structure.
Today, it is a basically large amusement arcade suspended over the sea. The photos give a flavour (I hope) of what is on offer.
You will find the Marine Gardens spread along the seafront above Clacton's beach, with several themes - Rose Garden, 1920's Garden, Sensory Garden, Mediterranean Garden etc. They were created in 1921, restored and enhanced in 1996. In the Rose Garden there is also a spectacular metallic pavillion which looked impressive.
As someone who has a small back garden myself I was pleasantly surprised by these little parks. The warm, dry climate of the 'Sunshine Coast' allows some interesting plants to be grown successfully. In my opinion much better than your average tired English seaside municipal lawn!!
Clacton Pier stretches out into the North Sea and was opened in 1871. It was the first part in the plan to make Clacton an attractive, Victorian seaside destination.
There is plenty to keep you entertained on the pier. At the shore end there is a covered fairground, with dodgems, a ghost train, roundabouts and arcades. At the far end is a large, reasonably priced restaurant. The tranquil sunny weather and constant cheesy piped music made me feel like I was on the set of "The Truman Show". There were plenty of small yachts out to sea, maybe desparate Clactonians trying to reach the horizon ;-)
From the far end you have an excellent view of Clacton, stretching from the Martello Towers at one end of the beach and north to the beach huts of Holland-by-Sea.
You can find an escape from the hot London's streets in the summer at the beach of Clacton-on-Sea. All beach is 'divided' into two zones with the long bridge full of entertainment for children. On the right part you will find it more noisy and with lots of people and left part is much calmer and more romantic.
Plenty of the usual amusements here and eating drinking places too but, also quiet ares to sit and enjoy the sun away from the noise.
It's free to get on.
Here you can see the 'busy' part of the beach with lots of people and attractions for children.
When it's enough sea and sun for you at the beach, you can enjoy a town by walking not far away from it. Some houses and yards are really nice and cosy.
Near the main entrance to the beach you will find a nice park with lots of flowers. I'm sure, you will enjoy this calm place.