Public Beach In Essex
In its own way, this is a beautiful and largely deserted beach on the estuary of the River Blackwater. The beach itself is made up from sand, shingle & shells and it should be noted that as with all estuaries there is a build up of salt marsh and estuarine mud flats. I mention this not from the danger aspect, but from the footwear aspect. Don't wear your best and most fashionable trainers to walk about below the high tide mark as the water retreats! Also, the tide goes out quite a way here, ideal for beach combers and wildlife watchers alike. This beach is long enough for use by both naturists and textiles without a problem. But remember, this is an unofficial and locally tolerated naturist beach! Please dont spoil it for others! It's quite a hike (20 to 30 minutes?) from St Peters Chapel free car park, but it's a very pleasant and level walk along footpaths and the sea wall. As always, leave nothing of value in your car! And, its worth remembering that this is ideal bird and seal spotting country, so bring your binoculars and dont forget to take everything you will need for the day. It's a long walk back to the car for those mirrored sunglasses you picked up in Spain!
Take yourself to the Essex village of Bradwell-on-sea. Not to be confused with the other Bradwell Village near Dunmow.
Turn right at Bradwells one and only fuel station and garage on the outskirts of the village.
Follow the signs to "St Peter's Chapel".
Park at the Chapels free public carpark at far end of East End Road.
Take the footpath to the Chapel which is well worth a visit. It's reputed to be the oldest standing Christian building in the UK, built by St Augustine during the Roman occupation, on the site of a Roman Fort.
After the Chapel, walk on toward the sea wall and turn left (North-ish) just before you get wet.
Keep to the footpath along the sea wall with the sea to your right!
After half a mile or so from here the sea wall surface is concreted.
Follow the concrete sea wall until it finishes.
Twenty yards on there is a sandy path down onto the beach.
Continue along the beach until you're roughly in line with a World War Two pill-box. The "Unofficial" naturist beach is generally acknowledged to start here, and as with all unofficial naturist beaches it continues until the next textiled family which in my regular experience is about two miles further up the beach. However, being the sociable lot we are, we tend enjoy one anothers company for the day and generally stay within this area and half a mile or so further along the beach towards the Power Station, which you will have already noticed on your journey!
There are absolutely no facilities at this beach what so ever, not even a dustbin! So please take your rubbish home with you! Like most of the Essex coastline it can be breezy here at times, and, depending on the wind direction, a wind break may make your day more comfortable. However, there are areas above the high tide line and up to the sea defence wall where natural windbreaks occur (bushes of some kind etc) that will offer you some protection from the wind, and some privacy from the prying eyes of passing hikers, dog walkers and pony riders, not that these are in abundance here!
From your chosen vantage point on the beach you will be able to see up river towards Osea Island and the historic port of Maldon, across river to Mersea Island, and out into the estuary towards St Osyth on the estuary of the River Colne, and as far as Clacton-on-sea and out into the North Sea. You will also be in an ideal position to view passing sailing boats and historic sailing barges from the ports of Maldon and Brightlingsea. Remember, this is an estuary and therefore the tides and currents can be strong and may take you unaware! As with all beaches and water, safety comes first!
Enjoy your day!
Naturist and textile harmony
Description of place:Bradwell-on-sea
Facilities :No food or drink sales
No overnight accommodation
Family or Adults only:Occasional sexual behaviour may be seen
Visitors per dayUp to 10
Naturists per day:Up to 10
Photos (1 of Bradwell and 2 of St Osyth ) courtesy of tom sawyer :)