Campaign launched to challenge stereotype of Essex coast
- Credit: Carl Allen
It is famous for its classic, traditional British seaside towns such as Southend and Clacton-on-Sea.
But with 350 miles of wonderful coastline, the seaside in Essex is much more the games of crazy golf, sticks of rock and flake 99s that it is famed for.
So Visit Essex, which promotes tourism in the county, has launched a campaign to challenge people's stereotypes of the coast and open their minds to its saltmarshes, secluded sandy beaches and dramatic landscapes.
As well as traditional seaside attractions, the coastline is also home to native oysters, seals and many species of wading and migrating birds - making it the perfect place for walks, cycles, rides, paddles or sailing.
Graham Butland, councillor for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture at Essex County Council, said: “We have a lot to offer, from the much-loved resorts to quiet sandy beaches. We want people to explore, experience and enjoy all of the Essex coastline.”
“It’s wonderful that we’re finally opening up and can enjoy time with friends and family.
"Now that we can get out and about, we would encourage people to step off the beaten track and explore somewhere new.
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"Essex is blessed with one of the longest coastlines in the country and we’re blessed with acres of space, to go for a stroll along our coastal path, paddle our estuaries and sail alongside our coastline.”
Here are just a few of Essex's hidden gems.
Two Tree Island, Southend
The Two Tree Island, is a small island lying south-west of Leigh-on-Sea covering over 640acres and is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.
The reclaimed saltmarsh is just a stone's throw away from Leigh on Sea train station and is the perfect place to go walking and birdwatching.
There are approximately 6km of walks over a mixture of gravel and grass to choose from.
Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum
Located between Braintree and Colchester, visitors can discover over 1,000 years of history and explore ancient woodland.
During the May half-term, the Marks Hall estate is putting on a nature explorer family trail.
Families are being encouraged to explore the Marks Hall Estate Arboretum and discover interesting facts about the unusual natural world.
The Broomway, east of Southend-on-Sea, is an outer-worldly public path that connects the Foulness Island to the mainland.
It is allegedly named the "deadliest" path in Britain, as it leads directly into the sea and when the wind is low, the large shallow pools of sea water can mirror the sky and horizon.
West Mersea Oyster Bar
Famous for its seafood, the West Mersea Oyster Bar is definitely a place you want to be visiting after a day crabbing on the pier.
Visitors here will receive some of the freshest food ever, as the Colchester Rock Oyster and Mersea Native Oysters are bred in the creeks of West Mersea before being prepared in the shed that is on the side of the restaurant.
Dating back more than 1,000 years, Bourne Mill is situated on a large artificial embankment which was built to create the mill pond to the west of the mill.
There is a circular three-mile walk which takes you through some of the nooks of Colchester where visitors will pass the River Colne, Bourne Valley and Cannock Mills as well as many pubs that were built in the mid to late 19th Century.
It was previously used as a fulling mill, to wash oils out of the cloth and urine was used in the fulling process.