Seaside In The Spring

“Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside….” over the recent Easter week I visited the quiet UK Essex resort of Holland on Sea, just north of the bustling resort of Clacton – a promenade links the two resorts and is easily walkable (although in summer there is a road train running ). I have visited Clacton for my holidays as a small child and in 2004, my parents moved to Holland on Sea from London – it was always a dream of theirs to move to a bungalow by the sea. Compared to Clacton, Holland doesn’t have the amusement arcades, funfairs and the pier but I do prefer the laidback feel of Holland on Sea.

Lining the promenade between Clacton and Holland Haven Country Park are colourful beach huts – glorified sheds that have captured the hearts of many people.  Prior to 2014 the promenade fronted the railings and rocks of the sea defences – still a nice walk but most families headed to the beaches of Clacton and Frinton (the resort north of Holland on Sea). 

The promenade in 2014 walking from Holland On Sea towards Clacton

Since 2015 a major renovation project has been going on to reclaim the beach at Holland on Sea – the promenade and beach huts are still there but now they front miles of endless sandy beach.  The promenade is fabulous for walking – however dog walking is restricted to the promenade only in the summer months (May – October).  

Holland-on-Sea beach

Some beach huts are looking a bit tired at the moment but the winter season has come to a close and the dry, sunny weather has enticed the owners to paint their huts – the array of colours are dazzling – and some huts have scenes painted on them.

For Pinning Later

One hut as we walked past, was having an intricate scene painted not only on the outside but I also glimpsed the colourful painted scenes inside the hut too.  

The council has also erected some new beach huts on a reclaimed part of the beach which are available to hire on a daily basis.  

In the distance, you can see the outlying wind farm that lies out in the North Sea….

If you don’t want to boil up your kettle in your beach hut for a well deserved cuppa, then the assortment of cafes dotted along the prom will certainly provide you with your caffeine quota.  Alas, being out of season, I only found one cafe open aptly called The Beaches Cafe.  This cafe is a favourite with my mum as a tea stop on her daily walk. On this occasion though we indulged in lunch – yummy cod & chips, large jacket potatoes stuffed to the rafters with coleslaw, burger & chips, and my youngest son enjoyed his bacon & fried egg sandwich immensely!  The menu catered for those who want sandwiches, salads and toasted sandwiches too – as well as a coffee machine serving “real” coffee  and more delicate cups of tea if you don’t like a large mug of builder’s tea! My favourite part was the delicious ice cream – flavours included traditional vanilla, strawberry, chocolate as well as some more interesting flavours including lemon sorbet, rum & raisin, and my absolute favourite … maple & walnut! 

The Beaches Cafe also had a variety of beach equipment for sale from beach balls and fishing nets to blow up jet skis and giant whales.   Their shoes section had an array of boating shoes, flip flops and slider sandals for adults and children.

You could quite easily spend ages at the view from the window … although in summer, tables and chairs spill out over the terrace and  along the promenade itself…

As it is National Walking Month in May, I can’t think of a nicer place to have stroll…

Linda x

Photo Credit: Linda Hobden

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30 thoughts on “Seaside In The Spring”

    1. Very relaxing .. I live only an hour’s drive away around the coast so not too far away to get a bit of seaside tranquility. I live in a village in the salt marshes so the coastline is different but just as beautiful though. 🙂

    1. It is a delightful place to retire to – I must admit that at times you are more likely to encounter mobile scooters than cycles! It is also a place that is great for young families – the schools are good, the beach, grassy areas and parks and a lovely laidback feeling and yet 5 minutes down the road you have the bustling town of Clacton. Where I live is too quiet for my mum, this place is just perfect 🙂

  1. Whenever I think of visiting the UK, I picture going to the big cities like London. For some reason, I don’t think of their being quaint seaside towns, that look a lot like Maine from your photos… 🙂

    1. The coastline and countryside of the UK are quite diverse. The Essex area is very much like the coastline of Maine – it is the driest & sunniest area of the UK, usually mild in winter and warm in summer, snow is rare (unless the wind blows in from the east, last time was in 2012!)The area around Clacton/Holland on Sea has some lovely sand beaches…I live an hour south of here on the coast, where the coastline gives way to creeks, salt marshes and oyster beds 🙂 London isn’t too far away – an hour or so by train 🙂

    1. Beach huts are privately owned and pretty expensive too – one in Holland on Sea is currently up for sale for £22,000. Some have been owned by their families for generations. They are used as a place to change into your beach gear;storage area for beach balls, deckchairs,fishing gear etc; shelter from the elements; some have electricity or bottled gas facility for a kettle, small food preparation area/sink. They do not have toilet facilities (you have to rely on the public toilets or the cafe facilities) or windows. Sometimes a company owns several and then hires the huts out on a daily/weekly basis.

    1. I love the colours of the beach huts and they look their best when the sun is shining as the blue of the sky blends well with the diverse colours of the huts. 🙂

  2. Do they actually stay in the beach huts or is it just a place to hang out during the day? It sounds like they have a way to cook since they can make tea. I love the colors and those who have done art work on them. What a lovely place to have a holiday!

    1. No living or sleeping areas in the huts (no windows either)- they are just places to “hang out” during the day – the “cooking area” is very basic, tends to be a sink and a small work surface and some have mains electricity or camping gas to use a kettle for tea. You could prepare sandwiches in there but not much else. Used more as a storage area for your beach chairs, fishing rods, beach balls etc. No toilet facilities either – you have to rely on the public toilets or the cafes. However, the colours of the beach huts do make wonderful photographs 🙂

  3. What a lovely place to stroll Linda! I can’t believe the cost of the huts though considering their basic offerings!! It was fun joining you for a walk, thanks 😊.

  4. I absolutely love those beach huts. We have a version of those where I vacation in Truro MA. They are tiny and each named for flowers. Thank you for introducing me to this area.

  5. This post turned out to be far more positive than I expected. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I misread the title as Suicide in the Spring.

    It’s been a long day. I really do know how to read. Well, most days I do. 🙂

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