Marco blogs about Clacton and Clacton Pier

Clacton shouldn’t be rated as 95th!! I just had to put paw to laptop in defence of Clacton’s 95th place in the best beach holiday destination published in the recent Which? Travel Magazine. It’s not truuuuuuuuuueee…… (this is me howling).

When have these 3,000 people been to Clacton, and what have they seen to be SO negative?

I was a visitor with my adults this weekend and can only think that those who answered the survey weren’t there. Have they visited the Marine Parade gardens? Been to Clacton Walked on the Pier? Rode on the train?

No, I didn’t think so.

So let me tell you about Clacton, a dog’s eye view as to its friendliness for dogs.

Clacton Beach

No rubbish on the beach, and a good view of Clacton pier from the walkway.

No rubbish on the beach, and a good view of Clacton pier from the walkway.

Firstly, the walk by the beach. As it was June, the actual beach was closed to dogs, but you can see the  ‘DOGS WELCOME’ sign by the walkway, with a welcome bowl of water. Just the thing.

Clacton Pier

The Sea front gardens on  Marine Parade

They’re just in front of the Pier, you can’t miss them. Well, I can’t, as the owners took me into the Sensory garden where the smells were out of this world. Not what you think but bushes, trees and plants, such as myrtle, cypress and sage.  There are several gardens, all wonderfully maintained with the assistance of volunteers. The gardens are completely open, with seating to enjoy them, and - no rubbish or cans at all.

Churchill lands on Clacton Beach

There’s a placard in the gardens about Winston Churchill landing on Clacton Beach in April 1914.  Now there was a man who appreciated dogs - especially poodles!

Clacton Pier

Most importantly, the pier. No sea side is complete without a pier. In fact, ‘A seaside without a pier is like a pig without ears’. So said a Mayor of a different seaside resort – that’s a story for another day. Clacton Pier is the largest in size in Europe at 6.5 acres.

Billy Ball and his brother Elliott are the owners of Clacton Pier and are passionate about both preserving it and developing it. As stated by Billy at his interview on Radio Essex broadcast on Friday 6th June, arcade games and activities are necessary to keep the pier in funds all year round.
Clacton Pier

Only guide dogs are allowed on the pier.


Clacton Seaquarium

Clacton pier is the only one in Britain to have an aquarium actually on it!

The adults saw the Aquarium and enthused about it.
Terrapin - Clacton Seaquarium

There’s a terrapin pool for rescued terrapins with the oldest being 52 years old. They come to the Aquarium after being abandoned or lost – one was found walking down Hackney High Street! Big Bertha, the largest, was found by a dog in woods. She’s a foot across – I couldn’t have carried her!
Much effort is made to keep the terrapins healthy. Gavin is the fish expert and had explained that they are weighed and measured monthly. To identify, some have numbers, others tiddlywink counters glued – painlessly- to shells. Some don’t like being weighed, and hide under rocks when the net comes out! The males are the smaller with long claws to hold on (yes, it is what you’re thinking).

Clacton Pier hosts free visits for Emergency Services

Cheers to Billy and Elliott for hosting  their Emergency Services weekend, when families from the Police, Fire Service, Ambulance, RNLI and Coastguard can enjoy the attractions and rides for no charge.

Wonder whether Finn (seen here on Britain’s Got Talent with PC Wardell) will get a ride? Brilliant work you two on Finn’s Law

Where is dog friendly to stay?

We stayed in what must be one of the most dog friendly, the Chudleigh, where Carol and Peter have been proprietors for over 50 years.

Marco’s rating

So, what are the Which? visitors seeing to rate 95/97?

Yes, there are some day drinkers but aren’t there in many towns? There was little begging compared to cities.

Marco thinks that those who rated Clacton as 95/97 may have NEVER EVEN BEEN.


Conflict of interest/Sponsorship: Marco has received no sponsorship or reward for his blog.

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