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Shoeburyness beach test 2015

How does this beach stack up against other great beaches in the UK?

Shoeburyness is one of those beach location that, try as you might, it can't quite stop being just a little bit grotty and uninviting. Maybe it's because you know you're still really on the Thames, and we know how inviting that is to dip a toe in.
But on the other hand is that not a little ungenerous to this tiny little beach head? To stand on the beach front and survey the horizon in front of you it's not, on a hot day at least, uninviting. The town behind you may not be loaded with sophisticated cafes, restaurants and little euro bistros but that's ok, because if you want that then go to Brighton, what it hasn't got might actually be its greatest asset, the lack of commercial activity is what elevates this to a place of tranquillity. Well that was true last time we reviewed this location and it remains true now or though there is a shiney new hotel/ restaurant that's popped up in the last year. But back to the beach, you can't help appreciating that here they do the wooden decked walkways very well indeed. This rather uniquely allows you to venture towards the water's edge without being overly committal about going in, and judging from some of the sentiments we picked up from the various bobbing heads in the water it's so cold that you might well want to think twice about getting off the said decking. Another point to notice is that you don't really have sand here. You have a kind of sand hybrid of sand, dirt, pebbles and rocks, and of course a fair scattering of litter; well this is Essex after all.
The council has spent a little over half a million pounds on this area in the last year sprucing it up and adding to its general sense of affability and by in large it works and is well worth coming to if Southend really isn't your thing, and there are plenty of people for whom it is not. But walking along the beach front you can't help feeling that there is a little more work still to do here. Last time we were here we pointed out that it's the "anti- southend", but it needs to find a stronger identity and do something about the litter. Then it really would be a place worth targeting for visitors.

Postcode: SS3 9AD

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