13 August 2011
We went to Clacton on Sea for a day out on our way to Harwich to catch our ferry for our holiday in Holland.
Parking at Clacton-on-Sea
This is our first time to Clacton-on-Sea. It was a beautiful sunny day at the weekend so expected it to be fairly busy, but we didn't know until after we arrived it was also the day of the annual Clacton-on-Sea swimming event. There didn't seam to be much in the way of car parks near the main pier area so we drove down the sea towards the large car park. We however dropped on an on-road parking space before we reached the car park.
It was a reasonably long walk towards the pier and amusement area. There are a few cafes / shops and we stopped for an ice cream to break the walk up a little. There is a sandy beach with a promenade level with the beach or a higher path that is at the same height as the road.
Seaside / beach
The beach was a good sandy beach. There are toilets and outdoor showers just before reaching the pier.
There is a lifeguard which was obviously well manned on the day of the swimming event, but I don't know how often there are lifeguards on duty at normal times.
Pier and amusement areas
There is a pier with an amusement park which is partly indoors and partly out. There is a mix of different rides for all age ranges including a roller-coaster.
There is a separate amusement park a short distance from the pier. This amusement park is more suited to young children. This includes a children's bumper cars which is the first I've seen of it's type which our children both enjoyed.
Both amusement parks accept tokens or wristbands, but the tokens / wristbands are not interchangeable between the different areas.
There is a Dotto land train which provides a round trip to Holland-on-Sea. There is an option for one-way tickets, but there didn't appear to be much at Holland-on-Sea to be worth getting off for so we stayed on for the return journey.
Places to eat at Clacton-on-Sea
We didn't spend very long at Clacton-on-Sea as we spent much of the morning travelling down. We didn't eat there (except for a snack and drink) as we ate lunch before we arrived and had already decided to eat at the hotel in Harwich for our evening meal, but there seamed to be a reasonable choice of places to eat.
We only had a short stay at Clacton-on-Sea, but it was a nice destination for a day out with children. It is popular so if you prefer a quite beach then you may want to look elsewhere, but it does have the addition of the amusement areas, landtrain etc. which our children enjoyed.