Clacton-on-Sea Travel Guide

  • Pier, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England.
    Pier, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England.
    by planxty
  • Pier, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England.
    Pier, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England.
    by planxty
  • Seafod stall, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England.
    Seafod stall, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex,...
    by planxty

Clacton-on-Sea Things to Do

  • Beer festival

    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.

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  • Pier

    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.

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  • Go to the beach

    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.

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  • Just like being in London.

    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...

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  • Take a train ride.

    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...

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  • The Pier.

    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...

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  • Marine Gardens

    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...

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  • Clacton Pier

    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,...

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  • Another part of the beach

    Here you can see the 'busy' part of the beach with lots of people and attractions for children.

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Clacton-on-Sea Hotels

Clacton-on-Sea Restaurants

  • Pizza!

    Busy Italian restaurant in the town centre. Good tasty pizza and garlic bread for us, Mrs Bonio especially enjoying her profiteroles afterwards.

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  • OK, it's not the Ivy.

    As the title says, it's not the Ivy. What it is, housed in a particularly ugly pre-fabricated building is an end of pier restaurant. I didn't bother with the food which seemed to be entirely of the freezer to plate variety, but I did have a decent cup of coffee which I drank outside (in keeping with the new smoking ban in place in the UK) and very...

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  • Restaurant at the end of the... Pier

    After walking the whole length of Clacton Pier you will see the forbidding wall of metal which is the rear of the Jolly Roger Restaurant. However, it is not nearly as bad as you would expect. I thought it would be an expensive tourist trap, but it was reasonably priced with a good range of palatable meals on offer. There are plenty of indoor tables...

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Clacton-on-Sea Nightlife

  • bonio's Profile Photo

    by bonio Written Sep 13, 2007

    A quiet and friendly pub, just outside the town centre, and the only pub we found a decent pint of real ale. Most pubs in town appeared to favour fizzy yellow drinks if you know what I mean. Anyway a few pints of Shepherd Neame's excellent beers for us here. Worth a visit.

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    • Beer Tasting

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Clacton-on-Sea Transportation

  • The train is best.

    Like most of my other journeys round the South of England, I tend to take the train. Trains to Clacton take about one and a half hours, departing from Liverpool ~Street station in London. the service is not that great, only going every hour (at eight minutes past the hour) during peak times.As always, please use the appended website to check...

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  • Clacton by train

    Clacton's railway station is about 15 mins walk from the seafront. There are direct trains every hour to/from London Liverpool Street. The journey takes approx 1and half hours. From other directions change at Colchester, which is half and hour away.There are regular buses from Clacton which can take you to other small towns along the coast. Bus...

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  • By car

    By road from London it takes about 2 hours. Take the A12 from London to Colchester; change on to the A120 until you reach the junction with the A133, which will take you via the 'Weeley Roundabout' to Clacton-on-Sea.

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Clacton-on-Sea Local Customs

  • It Couldn't Happen Here!

    I can still remember when I was at art college & the song West End Girls was on the radio - a new force in pop music had arrived who called themselves THE PET SHOP BOYS - nobody could foresee then just how successful the duo would become, to the extent that they'd have the budget to produce an idea for an extended pop video, that turned into a...

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  • Where Paul Raymond got started...

    Paul Raymond is best known as the impressario who opened the Raymond Revue Bar in Soho in 1958It was the first strip bar to be licensed in Britain, & also developed a reputation as a venue where the latest stand-up comedy talent made their breakthrough to the big time, often observed in the audience by some of the best known celebrities from...

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  • Engalnd's lifestyle

    I was a little bit surprised when saw houses where "'simple" englishmen are living - very modest. I liked this small houses with samll gardens. Some people decorated gardens with figures from bushes. Looks interesting!

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Clacton-on-Sea Warnings and Dangers

  • Followers...

    Clacton's a resort with either lovers or haters, I've not encountered many indifferent views to the place - I suppose this means it's a 'marmite' sort of place...Why so?In my opinion, those who love it, stay beside the seaside & do not venture too far into town, those who do, tend not to return...I meant a German girl, visiting England for the...

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  • Mussels, cockles and winkles...

    Small shellfish generally look quite delightful and inoffensive unless they are removed from the sea, ripped from their tiny shells and sold in small polystyrene containers to hungry tourists. A naked, dead cockle looks repulsive and tastes of nothing except for seawater and sand. And plenty of vinegar, if you are wise enough to add it. If you are...

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  • Clacton-on-Sea Hotels

    19 Hotels in Clacton-on-Sea

    206 Reviews and Opinions

Clacton-on-Sea Tourist Traps

  • Clacton Factory 0utlet...

    Clacton Factory 0utlet has been through a number of titles since it first opened a couple of decades ago, which does rather illustrate the fact that it's never proved as popular as was intended, & that re-branding will sell it to a new clientele...Alike many such 'out-of-town' shopping precincts, what was originally named Clacton Common Factory...

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  • Stones

    Those who like sandy beaches should enjoy the left part from the main entrance, as on the right part you'll find a beach with stones.

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Clacton-on-Sea Off The Beaten Path

  • Wartime sea-rescues...

    Along Clacton seafront, west of the pier, just before the sea wall turns into Jaywick, is a memorial plaque remembering 30th April 1914Winston Churchill, while serving in the Navy, was forced to land the seaplane he was flying, & abandon it on the seafront, coming ashore at the point now marked by the plaque...While waiting for the vessel to be...

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  • Town Centre Fountain...

    I'm not really sure which category to file this under, so I've chosen this 1 because Clacton fountain is something you might easily miss - despite the fact it's located right in the centre of the town, opposite McDonald's...You might miss it, because;1 - it's never turned on, &;2 - there is no actual structure to the fountainThe actual 'fountain',...

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  • Colne Point...

    Colne Point is as far off the beaten track as it's possible to go, walking south from out of Clacton, towards & past, Jaywick Sands, & on towards Point Clear...If you like to discover, out of the way, eccentric little settlements that appear untouched by the passage of time, then make the effort to walk to Colne Point...I don't know anywhere else...

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Clacton-on-Sea Sports & Outdoors

  • ginte's Profile Photo

    by ginte Written Aug 13, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It should be almost heaven for children, as they can find there lots of atrractions for them: different swing, games, ice-cream, candies, etc. Everything is located on the long bridge to the sea near the main entrance.

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    • Adventure Travel
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Clacton-on-Sea Favorites

  • arturowan's Profile Photo

    by arturowan Updated Dec 21, 2013

    Favorite thing: Clacton-on-Sea - the place where my birth certificate states I was born, so I suppose I got to say something positive about the place, although its not somewhere I bear great affection for!
    But, the other most significant thing that has happened in Clacton, in my living memory, is the building of the wind farm on the Gunfleet Sands, out at sea to the left of the pier...
    Now, some folk are very ANTI these things & say they spoil the view - I have the absolute opposite view - now Clacton has A VIEW - & 1 worthy of coming to see!
    Watching the turbines being erected, was the most interesting thing I've seen happen here, other than when the Red Arrows' annual visit for the air show...
    & since the offshore farms were completed - the primary array in 2010 & the secondary array in 2012 - I still find it fascinating to watch the service crews at work on them, or just to see the blades turning, & at night, when each turbine is distinguished to shipping with its own navigation light...
    If you visit Clacton, then my advice would be to stay along the seafront & do not venture too far into town...
    Clacton seafront is quite picturesque, with the Venetian Bridge over Pier Avenue, connecting both sides of the promenade for pedestrians...
    Both sides of the seafront have extensive gardens, but those to the west have been recognised for their beauty & are now Grade2 listed...
    These gardens were deliberately sunken to prevent the plants suffering too much in the relentless icy blasts of wind from the North Sea, & the 3 main gardens each has a different theme; 0riental; sensory; & plants with a high tolerance to drought (- believe it or not, Clacton is in the driest area of England...)

    Fondest memory: As I don't remember being born, then my best memory is sitting on 1 of the many benches along the paths to the east of the pier, early on a summer's day, when the tropical-looking plants here are in flower, perfumed scents in the air, & the busy sound of a squadron of bees, & other pollinating insects, doing what such creatures do best...
    It's just as good as the Riviera, but just such a shame, such sunny days are all too few & far between, & sometimes, as in 2012, not at all, when an English summer is more like a monsoon season...
    But in 2013, the best summer I can remember...

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    • Beaches
    • Birdwatching
    • Family Travel

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Explore Deeper into Clacton-on-Sea
Jaywick Sands...
Off The Beaten Path
First civilian mainland casualties of WWII
Off The Beaten Path
Walk to Holland without getting wet
Off The Beaten Path
The pub – typical place for spending free evenings
Local Customs
Walking
Things to Do
Beach
Things to Do
Park
Things to Do
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