Mersea Island – Essex’s Seaside Secret

Essex is a County that is widely considered to be full of ignorant people, exascerbated by a hideous TV show which depicts the offspring of wealthy people who appear to have a combined IQ of about 50 and whose most likely response to any question is likely to be “Shut uuuuup”.

Now before you get your knickers in a twist, the reality is of course rather different – Essex is full of interesting people, idyllic spots and spectacular scenery.

A good example is Mersea, an island on the coast about five miles south of Colchester. Half of the island is given over to a large nature reserve – the Cudmore Grove Country Park. Featuring wide sandy beaches and long-established grasslands it’s popular with Brent geese, and for the urban explorers there are some interesting concrete sea defences to check out too.

The west of Mersea island is more built up, with a marina and quaint beach huts – there are also shops and places to eat including an award-winning fish and chip shop, the Islander Fish Bar, which has been a local feature for decades.

Visitors to Mersea should note that it is linked to the mainland by a tidal roadway – make sure that you check the tide tables before setting off, as you risk being cut off if you don’t time your arrival and departure correctly!

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