Discover Essex’s Sunshine Coast, along the Tendring coast and countryside
The Tendring district covers a whole host of places – Brightlingsea, Clacton-on-Sea, Dovercourt, Frinton-on-Sea, Harwich, Jaywick Sands, Manningtree, Mistley, St Osyth, Walton-on-the-Naze and surrounding areas – and as we approach the summer months it has plenty going for it.
With over 36 miles of stunning coastline, a diverse blend of picturesque villages, beautifully unspoiled country landscapes, wild coastlines and traditional seaside towns, there’s lots of activities to keep you occupied during your visit this summer.
Lots of exciting events are taking place in Tendring this year. The forces’ sweethearts, The D-Day Darlings, will celebrate the King’s coronation at the Princes Theatre, Clacton, on 8 May. Music fans will enjoy the annual Harwich Festival, which runs from 22 June to 2 July and will showcase the very best of live music, theatre and art for all ages. Lovers of the countryside will be snapping up tickets to this year’s Tendring Hundred Show, which returns on Saturday 8 July for its 106th year, at Lawford House Park near Manningtree. The agricultural show is a treat for all the family, with plenty of animals and machines to entertain. If jets and planes are more your thing, head to Clacton seafront for the much-loved Clacton Airshow on 24-25 August and expect thrilling flight displays and a fun day out.
The Sunshine Coast has a vibrant arts and culture scene, alive with theatres, performance arts events, live music and exhibitions, many located in unique settings, such as Jaywick’s historic Martello Tower or the Naze Tower, Walton. For a traditional stage, Clacton’s two theatres guarantee plenty of joy and laughter for all the family with David Bowie, Abba and Cher experiences at Princes Theatre. Also make sure you don’t miss Westcliff Theatre’s fun-filled Summer Show in August.
History and heritage are in abundance throughout Tendring. Its coastal location provides a unique and varied heritage, from pre-historic artefacts, medieval buildings to Victorian villas, with many sites recognised as being of national significance. Follow the Mayflower Trail whilst exploring the story of the ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers to America and visit Master of the Mayflower, Christopher Jones’s house in historic Harwich Old Town. Moving history forward, the sedate seaside town of Frinton-on-Sea has an abundance of Art Deco houses. The Round House, as its name suggests, is an entirely circular 1930s Grade II-listed property. This extraordinary house forms part of a collection of individually designed modernist houses on the Frinton Park Estate, designed by renowned architect Oliver Hill in 1934, and are a joy to see.
For more standout architecture, head to ‘A House for Essex’ in Wrabness, which is an artwork with a difference. This unique and incomparable house, overlooking the Stour Estuary, was designed by the county’s own Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, and is a wonder to behold – with the bonus that guests can stay the night.
Tendring’s nature reserves provide excellent opportunities for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. The area is known for its diverse range of dynamic natural environments which benefit from national and, in some cases, international conservation designations. Hamford Water National Nature Reserve, an area of international importance, is a sanctuary for both migrating and nesting birds at different times of the year. It also forms the setting to Arthur Ransome’s eighth book in his Swallows and Amazons series, the Secret Water. Close by is Holland Haven Country Park, which is managed to conserve the landscape, coastal grazing marsh and wildlife of the area whilst offering quiet enjoyment for visitors. Its Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation recognises the rare and varied flora located at the park.
The vastness of Tendring’s coastline is ideal for bathing in the summer sun. Take a stroll against the backdrop of the North Sea, along one of the promenades, and breathe in the fresh sea air. The coastal towns always have stunning floral displays featured in the cliff top gardens. Plus, there is the unique charm and character of the beach huts stretching along the coastline. There are plenty of opportunities for a dip and some open water swimming in the sea at one of the award winning, blue flag beaches.
Away from the coast and countryside, the main towns offer a unique selection of independent shops and popular high street names, or if you are looking to whet your appetite, an array of traditional country pubs, happening bars, restaurants, fish and chip shops, cafes and coffee shops offer a warm welcome. There’s also a great opportunity to improve kitchen skills with the one-day hands-on cookery workshops at the Mistley Kitchen, a well renowned cookery school located in a fine Georgian townhouse in the estuary village of Mistley.
Accommodation ranges from holiday parks, glamping and camping, bed and breakfasts to boutique and luxury hotel spas. For total relaxation from the nine-to-five, pay a pamper visit to Lifehouse Hotel and Spa, Thorpe-le-Soken. Nestled within 12 acres of peaceful English Heritage listed gardens, this hideaway provides a wide range of luxury treatments and healing body therapies to help you relax and unwind.
With excellent links by road, train and coach the Tendring District offers an easy and quick escape to a different pace of life.
To discover more about the local area, visit essex-sunshine-coast.org.uk or visitessex.com. Or follow TheSunshineCoastOfficial on Facebook or download the Love Tendring app available for Android and Apple