The largest town on Essex’s ‘sunshine coast’, Clacton-on-Sea has been a popular holiday destination since the Victorian era.
It’s easy to see why, too. Not only does it have some great sandy beaches and rows of pretty beach huts, but it’s got clean, shallow waters and a pier, complete with amusements and rides.
If you prefer not to go to the beach or visit the pier, there are plenty of other attractions. It has two theatres and a week-long carnival every August. If you’re close to the town on the August bank holiday, be sure to stop by as it hosts an impressive two-day air display that takes place over the water, so wherever you sit on the beach or the grassy banks behind it you’ll get a great view. The Red Arrows appear most years.
Behind the beach itself, separating the sand from the main part of the town, you’ll find a string of beautiful gardens that are well worth seeing at the height of summer when the flowers are in full bloom.
It has a fairly large high street with a good selection of shops and places to eat. Just outside of town there’s also a factory shopping village where you can buy clothes and homewares at discount.
It’s very easy to get to Clacton-on-Sea from Happy Campers HQ. Take the A12 north away from Chelmsford towards Colchester, then turn off onto the A120 from the Colchester bypass. You’ll see signs to Clacton at this point. Follow these for 9.5 miles and you’ll find yourself right in the centre of town.