Fun historical outings in Tendring

There’s more to Clacton, Frinton, Walton and Brightlingsea then just the seaside. In fact, the Tendring area is rich with history.

We’ve listed some fun historical days out that might be of interest to you and that give you a little taster of the region’s heritage.  We’ve tried to list spots that might appeal to our older clients and also help the younger generation learn a thing or two about this wonderful part of the world. Happy exploring.

The Martello Tower Aircraft Museum

If aviation interests you, a visit to The Martello Tower at Point Clear should be right up your flight path. Built in 1805 to repel an invasion from France, that never materialised it’s one of the few Martello Towers still open to the public along the Essex coast.

The tower houses the East Essex Aviation Society and Museum where sights include the wreckage of a crashed American P51 Mustang that was forced to ditch into the sea off the coast of Clacton in 1945.  Other items on display include war time memorabilia, uniforms, equipment and rather randomly a 10,000-year-old mammoth bone.

Open all year round on a Monday from 7pm to 9pm, then between April and October it opens on Sundays from 10am until 2pm and from June to September it’s also open on Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm.  There’s free car parking at the Ferryboat Inn, next door. You reach the museum by heading to St Osyth then onto Point Clear.

Clacton Pier

Clacton Pier is one of our most popular historical landmarks. Opened in 1871, it’s a family favourite that tourists flock to, especially in the summer months.

There are rides, a soft play area, ten pin bowling, Seaquarium and sea fishing.  The Pier is wheelchair accessible, you can drive down Pier Gap, where there’s a drop off point and there are wheelchair accessible toilets also available.

For the best views of Clacton, The Wheel Experience is the Pier’s latest attraction with each gondola holding four adults and two children.  This 110-foot Observation Wheel has over 5000 LED lights that light up the skyline at night.  If you’d rather sit and watch the fun, you can either hire a deckchair and enjoy the lovely sandy beach, maybe rent a beach hut or enjoy the surrounding gardens all along the promenade. Clacton Pier can be found along the seafront, at Marine Parade West.

The Naze Tower

The Naze Tower is one of the most famous sights in Walton-on-the-Naze. This 86-foot, octagonal tower, built in 1720 was a navigational mark to aid shipping but now the eight floors house an art gallery, a museum, tea rooms and a roof viewing platform with spectacular panoramic views.

The Naze includes something for the history buff, the art lover, and the cream tea fancier.  The tower and it’s 111 steps isn’t wheelchair accessible but for the able bodied amongst you, you can climb to the top for the breath taking 360-degree views, there’s a chair on each floor to rest and catch your breath. The covered outdoor seating area is perfect for those who want to sit and enjoy the tower from the ground. Public wheelchair accessible toilets are located across from The Naze, in the visitor’s centre.  You can find The Naze Tower at Old Hall Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze.