From windswept walking to blue sky sunshine ….

How different can two days be?

Tuesday 18th February 2020

Today we had to get to Point Clear to start our walk. Having finished in Brightlingsea yesterday, this was the nearest place on the other side of the estuary and, in the absence of a ferry at this time of year, this involved two bus rides and a mile’s walk to just get to our starting point.

Starting off … Brightlingsea in the background

Funnily enough, on the bus ride there, we couldn’t help but admire the houses – all detached, sizeable properties, individual designs with large gardens … not a terrace or semi in sight.

Such a different story though once we got to the seafront area of Point Clear … and it’s so hard to describe. We walked down a street which could have been named “Clutterville” – the majority of the houses had serious hoarding issues going on, inside and out. Yet mingled in with these Steptoe’s yards were some attractive well maintained properties too …. it was weird. And it was the same once we reached the actual seafront, beach houses incredibly fortunate to have such a location – but most of them incredibly run down with rubbish filled gardens. A little way along there seemed to be an area of beach front properties undergoing modernisation but it all seems to be a work in progress.

Point Clear – all pretty grim. Wouldn’t recommend it as a holiday destination!
Some more attractive properties mingled in …

Today was incredibly blustery with a cold wind blowing in all directions it seemed. It was also grey and cloudy and with the area feeling so desolate it was simply a case of getting the job done …. and getting out of here!

We hadn’t walked far before we had to veer off the promenade and head inland for a while. There’s still no official coastal path on this stretch yet so Steve had planned a route using Ordnance Survey and another walker’s suggestions. We seemed to do a very large loop that took us roadside for a while and then through farmland. This included walking through a farm that had some smart glamping pods as well ‘Private Road’ signs …. if you make yourself look inconspicuous no-one can see you!! The road to the sea continued for some time after this … in fact it seemed to go on for miles. Finally we found a track that brought us onto the sea defence wall and led to the beach at Lee-over-sands.

But absolutely nothing to get excited about. Again the houses looked so ramshackle and there was fly tipping everywhere. We said we had honestly never seen anything like it. From here the path took us through St. Osyth and then Jaywick Sands and, apart from a few examples of smarter properties, this whole stretch of coastline seemed so deprived … almost third world in places. I’m sure they were fabulous back in the day but they are now seriously tired – just couldn’t imagine turning up here for a holiday!

Lee-over-Sands …!!

At Jaywick however at least the beach started to look more attractive, beautifully sandy … hence the name I guess – Jaywick Sands. Steve’s Mum and Dad holidayed in the area in the early fifties and we have some fabulous photos of them at Jaywick Sands.

Steve’s Dad (Dennis) in Jaywick Sands in 1952
Steve in Jaywick Sands in 2020

From here it was a simple promenade walk into Clacton-on-Sea. We passed a new development of affordable looking housing right at the seafront, literally yards from the shore … you don’t see that very often. And so we found ourselves at Clacton Pier where a mug of tea and a toastie revived our spirits (and appetites) after 10 miles of walking. We had a wander through Clacton on the way to the station …. starting off with the Amusement Arcade strip … but to be honest, we didn’t find Clacton as run down as many of the seaside resorts we’ve visited on our walks, despite the negative press it gets. Big up Clacton-on-Sea!!! 😎

Amusements at Clacton-on-Sea

Wednesday 19th February 2020

And today by contrast there was very little wind … the sky was blue and at times you could feel the warmth of the sunshine.

We caught the train to Clacton to start our walk where we had left off yesterday. We even managed to escape the wrath of the ticket inspector – Steve had managed to buy the wrong tickets but she didn’t pick up on it!! Phew!

Clacton Pier starting point

It was an easy 6 and a half mile stroll today, all promenade, with the sound of sea lapping and miles of golden sand. With the sun shining and the beach huts looking so glorious, what more could you ask for. It was fabulous to see so many children out playing on the beach and cycling on the promenade.

Frinton-on-Sea
Always looking out for good designs … I’m going to get a beach hut one day!

At Frinton-on-Sea, the beach huts became even smarter and there were so many of them, all shapes, sizes, colours and designs. I love looking at the names – ‘Once Upon a Tide’ ‘Go with the Flo’ ‘Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses’… but today’s favourites were ‘Jabah’ and ‘Pizza!’ And the smartness carried on into Walton-on-the-Naze where we ended today’s walk.

Walton-on-the-Naze

Jumped on the train and were back in Wivenhoe by lunchtime …. and treated ourselves to lunch and beers at the local … well, we are on holiday, sort of!! 😘

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