The village of Wrabness is located on the Stour Estuary between Manningtree and Harwich. It is probably best known for the nature reserve with its woodland and marshes on the edge of the estuary.
Wrabness beach itself is a reasonable sized stretch of sand backed by an array of beach huts and chalets on stilts. However, the beach can be quite muddy beyond the high tide mark. Towards the central section of the beach the backdrop becomes more wooded. There are always small boats and dinghies pulled up on the beach as this is a popular spot to land/launch onto the sheltered waters of the Stour.
As well as the beach and nature reserve Wrabness is also known for “Julie’s House” – an fairytale style cottage created by Turner Prize-winning Essex artist Grayson Perry. You can actually rent the cottage and enjoy its views across the estuary and beach to yourself.
Like much of this coast Wrabness is on the London Clay Formation which means there are fossils to be found, usually after stormy weather when they are washed ashore. Shark’s teeth are the most common find but prehistoric horse and whale bones have also been found.
It is worth noting that the beach at Wrabness is privately owned, at least above the high-water mark. We are not sure what implications this has for access but it may involve crossing private land. Therefore, it may be worth checking this before planning a visit.
Type of beach
Dogs friendly beach?
Dog ban in force
We have been informed that dogs are not allowed on this privately owned beach
OS grid ref.
TM 1671 3219
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Wrabness Beach Reviews
Amazing beach close to London
A very special place. Yes the beach is privately owned but walk via Grayson Perry’s amazing award winning house and you’ll be able to gain access for a walk. There’s an unusual vibe here but it’s captivating in the same way Dungeness is. Kind of austere but cool.
Wrabness beach of old
David MullenOct 24th 2020
I was so sorry to learn that the beach is now privately owned and not family friendly. Back 30 years this area was a great day out, with good parking and a beautiful beach which families could enjoy the wonderful sea views. There were a few small beach huts but nothing like those situated there nowadays.
I just loved the quietness of the place and letting the dogs having a great time running in and out of the sea.
No facilities, and actually privately owned, so not worth the hassle!
No public access
Ellie HowellAug 13th 2020
Couldn’t wait to get down here but all the SM about this beach is really misleading: it’s not a public beach at all. There’s a long and steep and double gated private lane down to the shore, and then the beach itself is all privately owned by the beach hut company. There is a footpath along the sea wall and across the first bit of beach but then it just stops. No BBQs allowed either. Had a quick dip anyway but by the time we slogged back up to the car we were just as hot and sweaty. Don’t bother. Unless you’re prepared to shell out £££ and buy yourself a hut.
As others have said, it’s along walk down to the beach (even further back up the hill!) the majority of the dry beach sand is privately-owned, and dogs and barbeques are banned.
The reason there are no organised water sports or public facilities is because it and the surrounding land is privatley owned by the hut owners (above mean high tide) and as such there is no public access for general use. Details can be found here - http://www.balhaven.co.uk.
Not worth the visit
AnnJul 15th 2020
Having driven to this beach, parking up on the side of a narrow road our first issue with the length of the walk to reach the beach, where we then
found that there is no access to the water without crossing private land which also of course meant we were unable to picnic on the beach as we had hoped. With two children the lack of facilities, which we now understand is due to this being a private beach makes this a totally unsuitable location for our young family.
No facilities & quite a hike
Joseph TurnerMay 08th 2020
Walked down to beach from main road, but when arrived found there were no facilities. The tide was out and it’s basically deep mud to water, so not ideal day out.
graham the ladAug 07th 2019
Lack of organised water sports otherwise super great
Tony HollingtonJun 10th 2019
Lovely place, nice and quiet.