Campaign launched to challenge stereotype of Essex coast

Visit Essex launched an event today to encourage residents to get out and about and explore the Essex coastline 

Visit Essex launched an event today to encourage residents to get out and about and explore the Essex coastline - 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.

Residents of Essex are being encouraged to get out and about to explore the hidden gems of the Essex coastline

Residents of Essex are being encouraged to get out and about to explore the hidden gems of the Essex coastline - Credit: Carl Allen

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.”


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“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.

The launch took place at Brightlingsea Harbour today 

The launch took place at Brightlingsea Harbour today - Credit: Carl Allen

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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. 

Two Tree Island is rich in wildlife

Two Tree Island is rich in wildlife - Credit: Archant

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.

Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum where the gliders will be remembered. Picture: PETER BASH? CITIZENS

Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum where the gliders will be remembered. Picture: PETER BASH? CITIZENSIDE - Credit: citizenside.com

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

The Broomway, east of Southend-on-Sea, is an outer-worldly public path that connects the Foulness Island to the mainland.

Celebrating the launch of the Essex Coast Campaign

Celebrating the launch of the Essex Coast Campaign is from left to right: Graham Butland Councillor for Devolution, the Arts Heritage and Culture, Essex County Council, Jayne Chapman, Mayor of Brightlingsea, and Mark Durham, Councillor at Essex County Council, Vice chairman, Visit Essex with singers from Motley Crew a sea shanty band. - Credit: Carl Allen

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. 

Bourne Mill 

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. 

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