“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).
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).
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.
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…
Photo Credit: Linda Hobden