It takes an hour and a half from Liverpool Street to Clacton-on-Sea, and you can change just before you reach it at Thorpe-le-Soken for a branch line to Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze (hyphenated names seem to be all the rage here). This whole coast is basically one long gently shelving sandy beach (possibly with a tendency to mud at low tide?), which makes it a fine place to swim on a sunny day. The one disadvantage is that the water here is somewhat brown, due to silt from the low-lying coast in these parts.
Of the three resorts, Walton on first glance looks rather disappointing, with an enormous ugly pier (the second longest in the country) and rather patchy architecture, but it has a series of fine sandy beaches, with shallow seas making for easy swimming, and the centre of the town just inland has a number of pretty corners. In season, there are several seafront cafes. Frinton's long straight beach is backed by archetypal beach huts, which lend it a certain charm.
- From Clacton you get a fine view of the London Array, the massive new windfarm with some 45 turbines, which is apparently leading this country's fight against global warming.
- A walk along the sea wall links all three resorts, with a slightly wilder bit between Holland-on-Sea and Frinton - see SWC walk 52.
- The Naze, to the north of Walton, is worth exploring. The initial bit, just to the north of Walton is a nice green contrast to the rest of the coast, and from the northern most tip there are fine views across to Harwich and Felixstowe. The marshes on the north and eastern shores of the Naze are interesting for birdlife.