We’ve been meaning to do this all summer but life kept getting in the way and the days we could have gone, the weather was terrible. We pencilled in last Sunday for a beach trip but the forecast showed rain … though not until mid-afternoon so we thought we’d go for it and try to get there early!
We loaded the car with buckets and spades, coffee and lunch and set off for the Essex coast straight after breakfast. We went to Frinton-on-Sea – about 1 hour and 45 minutes from us in north London. It has a beautiful sandy beach and is usually quite quiet. There is nothing else to do there, no shops or amusements, though it does have toilets (and free parking!). We haven’t explored the town but I’ve been told it has some great charity / antique shops! Next to Frinton, is Walton-on-the-Naze which again has a nice beach but also a pier with amusements and much more in the way of stalls selling ice-cream and buckets and spades. In the other direction, the better known Clacton-on-Sea is 5 miles down the coast and you can see the wind farm at Clacton from the beach at Frinton.
So by around 10.30am we were set up on the beach at Frinton, I had coffee in hand and Andy was paddling with girls. The tide was just finishing going out, Seren loves the waves and was disappointed that we couldn’t go further out and swim as other families were doing, but mummy and daddy hadn’t brought their swimmers! So just paddling it was. We will have to be better prepared next time now Seren is ready for more than just paddling. And Imogen loved paddling this time too! Back in Norfolk in May, she wasn’t keen at all. Though the sea was icy cold then and it has definitely warmed up since then. She was quite keen to run off into the sea too so had to keep a tight grip on her!
Then it was time for sandcastles and Imogen’s other favourite beach activity – eating sand. I’m really hoping she will be over that by next summer! It was impossible to completely de-sand everyone to eat lunch but we did our best. After lunch, we played football and collecting a bucketful of stones and shells to bring home to paint one rainy afternoon.
The forecasted rain did start about 2pm so we packed up and made the trek up the hill to the car. We went to Walton for ice-cream and a walk inside the amusements on the pier to keep dry. Seren was allowed one ride and she was absolutely fine with that as I think she was a bit overwhelmed by the lights, noise and people.
The girls fell asleep on the way home and Andy and I enjoyed the peace!