Best beaches in Essex

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Below are a list of the top 12 beaches in Essex as selected by the users of the Beach Guide website.

The current most popular beach in Essex is Frinton-on-Sea. If you would like to have your say on which are the best beaches in Essex just follow the link to the beach and vote by clicking the star ratings at the top right of the page.

  • 1. Frinton-on-Sea Beach

    Frinton-on-Sea © Nigel Cox | BY-SA

    Frinton, with its wide sandy beach, has gone out of its way to remain as uncommercialised as possible and maintain its reputation as a quiet family resort. 

    Somewhat in contrast to neighbouring Clacton or Walton has an air of reserved gentility and has been rewarded for its outstanding cleanliness with a Blue Flag award.

    The…

  • 2. Jaywick Beach

    Jaywick © Glyn Baker | BY-SA

    The sandy beach of Jaywick lies approximately mid-way between Clacton-on-Sea and Colne Point. Whilst not quiet by any stretch of the imagination it is never as busy as Clacton. The beach here has been subject to an extension and reconstruction project in recent years and now has a number of rock breakwaters which help keep…

  • 3. Walton-on-the-Naze Beach

    Walton-on-the-Naze © Christine Matthews | BY-SA

    Not only does Walton-on-the-Naze have a fine sandy beach, it is also home to the second longest pier in Great Britain.

    The beach itself is a good sized stretch of sand dived up by various wooden groynes and a couple of breakwaters. As a bonus sand here is the perfect consistency for building sandcastles making it…

  • 4. Holland-on-sea Beach

    Holland-on-sea © Rich M

    Four miles up the coast from Clacton, Holland-on-Sea is a much less developed part of the coast, and offers a quieter spot to come to get away from the crowds at Clacton. This is a good place to come for long walks along the coast, where there is a chance of spotting a variety of…

  • 5. Canvey Island Beach

    Canvey Island © Nigel Cox | BY-SA

    Canvey Island is located in the Thames Estuary just off the coast of Essex, from which it is separated by a network of small channels. From the beach here you get a fine view of the Kent coast and can watch the ships come and go up the Thames.

    In the early 20th century Canvey…

  • 6. Shoeburyness Beach

    Shoeburyness © Trevor Harris

    The sand and shingle beach of Shoeburyness is backed by a promenade and a large grassy area which is home to any number of beach huts. For those not lucky enough to have the use of one of these huts there is always Uncle Toms Cabin with its light refreshments, ice cream and all the…

  • 7. Brightlingsea Beach

    Brightlingsea © Brian Green | BY-SA

    Brightlingsea is a flat sandy beach backed by a promenade lined with colourful beach huts. Formerly an important fishing and shipbuilding area, Brightlingsea is now a haven for yachting. A popular resort with plenty of amenities including a lifeguard service. Other activities on offer in this charmingly nostalgic location include windsurfing, canoeing, jet-ski, swimming, and…

  • 8. West Mersea Beach

    West Mersea © David Martin | BY-SA

    This south facing sand and shingle beach looks out over the Blackwater Estuary from Mersea Island. West Mersea is a fairly old fashioned type of resort beach, but in the good sense. Whilst you will find holiday parks and beach huts there is also an unspoiled, laid-back feeling about the place. Pleasures are simple; crabbing…

  • 9. Thorpe Bay

    Thorpe Bay © William | BY-SA

    Thorpe Bay is a sandy beach located in the Southend-on-Sea area of the Thames estuary by the popular resort of Thorpe Bay. The beach is located slightly over a mile to the east of Southend Pier. 

    Thorpe Bay has won both Blue Flag and Quality Coast awards guaranteeing not only clean water but that this…

  • 10. Clacton Beach

    Clacton © Stephen Mckay | BY-SA

    Considered by many as the jewel in the crown of the Essex coast, Clacton-on-Sea beach certainly provides a taste of the classic British seaside holiday. Along with a fine Victorian pier as a centrepiece, there are all the seaside amusements, cafes and entertainment you could wish for. Clacton beach itself is actually surprisingly good; a…

  • 11. Three Shells (Southend) Beach

    Three Shells (Southend) © Edward Clack | BY-SA

    The Blue Flag award-winning Three Shells beach is a family favourite in Southend. The "Lagoon" means it's possible to swim even if the tide is out and the beach is sandy. It's just a couple of hundred metres away from Southend-on-Sea's Adventure Island, which is the location for most of the town's theme park rides. 

    There's…

  • 12. The Naze Beach

    The Naze © Robin Lucas | BY-SA

    The Naze is a peaceful stretch of sand that is a world away from neighbouring Walton-on-the-Naze. Backed by crumbling cliffs it can feel quit exposed being on the Naze as it juts out into the sea. This spot oozes history both ancient and modern. Being on the London Clay geological formation means there are fossils…