Summer Day Out with the prettiest beach huts; Mersea Island

August 19, 2015

Last Sunday, the weather was meant to be a scorcher so we decided to make the most of the end of summer and head to the beach for the day. We live in Hertfordshire, almost the furthest point from the coast so it's always a treat when we decide to go. We decided on Mersea Island, off the coast of Essex near Colchester which was about an hour and a half from us. I'd seen photos of their famous beach huts and heard amazing things about a couple of restaurants there. It was one of those impromptu days that turned out to be rather magical. And like we'd gone away for a whole weekend in just a day!

Mersea is a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway that floods in high tide, so if you go then plan your visit according to the tide times. Cars often get stuck! Somebody described it as 'a place that time forgot but is now beginning to remember'. It's one of those quirky, old school charm kind of places. It's split into two parts, East and West. We only visited the West this time, where the main beaches are and all the restaurants, but the East with a big country park and miles of walks is meant to be beautiful. I had read this article before our visit which was helpful.

We headed straight for the beach, West Mersea Beach by the Victoria Esplanade. The Parking, even in the summer, is fairly easy by the beach. There are plenty of residential streets to park on that aren't far.

The beach huts were the prettiest I've ever seen and we spent a good couple of hours on the sand by the water and of course taking hundreds of photographs. 

I can't decide which was my favourite colour, they were all such pretty pastel shades. 

The tide was far out when we got there, it's part sea and part river estuary I think, granted it's not the best sandy beach in England but there were still plenty of people swimming in it. And cute sailing boats going past.

The beach huts were pretty even from behind. 

We then got back in the car, but stupidly we should have packed our folding bikes as it would have been perfect to cycle around, and headed to the Coast road with all the restaurants. The island is famous for it's seafood, especially Oysters. Most of them go to the top London restaurants, The Ivy, J Sheekey etc so by eating on Mersea Island you get the best of the best at ridiculously cheap prices.

We'd heard amazing things about Company Shed, it's a favourite of Jay Rayner's and Jamie Olivers. But on a sunny day, especially at a weekend, you'd be more likely to win the lottery than score a table. But a perfectly good substitute just down the road is the West Mersea Oyster Bar. We did have to queue for a while but it was worth it and we got a table in the sunshine for a yummy lunch. 

Shell on prawns, oysters and crab. All caught that morning. {confession, I was too chicken to try the oysters but Ben loves them}. It was a bit spit and sawdust, it's certainly no frills but the seafood is all amazing and so cheap.

You can see all the fishing boats and the oyster catchers, it's one of the best parts of England for them.

After lunch, and an ice cream, we walked to the little jetty, where everybody was crabbing, for a boat trip. Lady Grace runs every twenty minutes, every single day of the year {apart from Christmas Day} for just £3! I love being out on the water on such a hot day and we saw a little seal swimming next to us. 

We want to go back on a cold Winter's day as the skies are meant to be amazing there, and it would be quieter. After the boat trip we wandered around the rest of the island, some of the houses are beautiful. And the high street has a few antique shops that are worth looking it. Such a quirky island, we definitely want to go back again and take the pup! Dogs are allowed on all the beaches year round.

We didn't want to leave and would have stayed for the sunset if we could have done but that would have coincided with high tide and we would have been stranded on the island! So we decided to head back a bit early to avoid it and saw that the RHS garden Hyde Hall was close by so decided to stop there on the way back. A perfect summer's day out.

Definitely on our list of places to go back to! A little hidden treasure.

R <3 xx

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  1. Wow it looks beautiful Rebecca! Sounds like you had a perfect day x


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