Sun and showers on the Naze

Yacht off Jaywick Sands, Essex

Yesterday, we headed for that Playground of the East, Clacton-on-Sea. Well placed on a sandy coast with good clear sea views, Clacton is somewhat more restrained in its merry-making than, say, Southend-on-Sea or Margate.

Clacton Pier
Entrance to Clacton Pier

Nestling beside it on the coast is Jaywick Sands, originally conceived in the 1930s as a village of modest holiday homes for Londoners, but now occupied by a permanent population. Jaywick, quaint, mysterious and a force to be reckoned with, merits an article of its own*.

Street gull
Juvenile street gull

I had been to Jaywick some years before – in another life, it almost seems – but we paid only a flying visit this time, for old times’ sake. Then it was back to town to catch the bus for other destinations.

Clacton, like any crowded town, is a good place for people-watching but those of you who know me will not be surprised that my attention was taken rather by the animals. While waiting for the bus, we watched this juvenile gull who was apparently quite at home in the gutter and accustomed to the traffic and the people. Here he has found and apple core and is busily stripping off the pulp.

Drinking fountain and crest
Walton-on-the-Naze. Drinking fountain
and crest

Our bus ride took us here, to Walton-on-the-Naze.

To my mind, Walton is a charming little town. Compared with Clacton, it is relatively quiet, though the fact that it was late afternoon on a Saturday, with the sky favouring us alternately with beautiful sunshine and showers, may have had something to do with it. I thought to observe among the people that affability and lack of hurry that the Londoner notices as soon as he strays out of the city.

Breakwaters, Walton-on-the-Naze

There were few people on the sandy beaches, which seemed slightly odd on such as day when, despite the showers, there was sunshine. That the beach is popular is suggested by the row of colourful beach huts (see below), some of which had been refurbished and were obviously in use.

Beach huts, Walton-on-the-Naze
Beach huts, Walton-on-the-Naze

We sat for a while on the bench in the picture, watching the shipping running past on the horizon and the seabirds wheeling about above or taking their ease on the almost deserted beach.

It was pleasant to stroll along the seafront and in the town and I expect we shall return another time. All in all, Essex has some beautiful places to visit and I think it is not as well known as it deserves to be.


*If any Jaywickians are reading this, I would be glad to hear from you, via comment or email. In particular, I would be interested in knowing whether there are any Web sites or blogs run by Jaywickians.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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4 Responses to Sun and showers on the Naze

  1. Ed says:

    You’re right. And some friends of mine today, were impressed by the view on a postcard from Wivenhoe, not far from Colchester. There are beautiful places in England and too few French people are aware of that.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    Indeed there are some beautiful places and we have to work hard to protect them against spreading towns and the mania for building more and more roads.

  3. Big John says:

    I’ve only ever been to Clacton once in my life. I was sixteen and all I saw was the inside of Butlin’s Holiday Camp. Is it still there, Tiger ?

  4. SilverTiger says:

    According to A Timeline of Butlins’ past…, the Clacton Butlins was sold in 1984/5.

    Skegness is still alive and kicking, however, if the spirit moves you! I suspect that it will be a very different sort of Butlin’s these days, though.

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