9 Best Essex Coastal Towns to Live or Visit
31st July 2023

9 Best Essex Coastal Towns to Live or Visit

Are you thinking about living in or visiting one of the best Essex coastal towns?

If you are thinking of moving to one of Essex’s many outstanding coastal towns, this is the article for you.

Moving to Essex coastal towns ensures locals are provided with some breathtaking locations.

As with all of the best coastal counties, Essex is home to some truly unique spots.

Essex also boasts a fascinating history, spectacular countryside and some beautiful villages.

If you have decided to move to one of the best Essex coastal towns, you will surely be aware of the numerous attractions they offer.

Now that you have made the ruling to move to one of the best Essex coastal towns it is time to ask, which one?

In this article, we discuss some of the best Essex coastal towns in depth!

We aim to deliver a complete guide to some of the best seaside towns that are available.

This is THE blog for you if you are thinking of moving to any of the best Essex coastal towns!

Here are our 9 best Essex coastal towns to live or visit.


Brightlingsea. Image credit: Depositphotos

Brightlingsea is both a unique and an ancient maritime town, steeped in history it has been inhabited by Bronze Age settlers and much later by the Romans.

The town is located within the Tendring Districts in northeast Essex which extends from the River Stour in the north to the coast and the River Colne in the south, a pretty area indeed.

Other towns in the district include Frinton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, and Harwich.

Its traditional industries included fishery (with a renowned oyster fishery) and shipbuilding.

With the decline of these industries, the town is now largely a dormitory town for Colchester a distance of 10 miles.

Brightlingsea is known for its sandy Blue Flag beach backed by a promenade lined with colourful beach huts and a haven for yachting. A popular resort with plenty of amenities.

Being a coastal town there is much to do on the water, from swimming to jet skiing and from sailing to cruising.

Brightlingsea Creek Harbour offers all-time access so you are not restricted to the tidal table, it offers some of the best cruising grounds in the UK.

For a town that is so accessible and has so much to occupy holidaymakers and those who call it home, you would naturally assume house prices would be on the high side.

Clearly, moving to Brightlingsea is a very good option for a variety of buyers!


Clacton-on-Sea beach. Image credit: Depositphotos

Clacton-on-sea is another of the most famous coastal towns in Essex.

This seaside town is the largest settlement on the Tendring peninsular and has been a prevalent tourist destination for years!

Brimming with typical British seaside excitements, living in or moving to Clacton on Sea is sure to tick all the boxes for lovers of the beach.

The town’s popularity grew massively during the 1950s and 60s when a journey to a beautiful beach became a popular choice for many of Essex’s residents.

Clacton-on-sea made newspaper headlines in 1964 when rival gangs, The Mods and Rockers, clashed on the beach!

This infamous event went a long way to putting the town on the map.

It really does seem that all publicity is good!

The town’s remarkable pier, amusement arcades and stunning beaches all further solidified the popularity of the town as a staple British coastal destination.

For a more in-depth guide, read our article which focuses on living in Clacton-on-Sea.

We are sure you agree that this destination is a worthy entry to the best Essex coastal towns!


Frinton-on-Sea coastal view. Image credit: Depositphotos

Another of Essex’s coastal beauties, Frinton-on-Sea is small, with a population of approximately just 5000.

First attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Frientuna.

The name may mean ‘fenced-in or enclosed town or settlement.

Frinton has royal connections.

In the first half of the 20th century, the town attracted visitors from high society. Connaught Avenue, named after the Duke of Connaught and opened by his wife, was nicknamed East Anglia’s Bond Street.

The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) frequented the local golf club and Winston Churchill rented a house in Frinton.

Like so many coastal towns in Essex, the beach is popular both in summer for its zoned areas for swimming, sailing, and windsurfing and during the winter as a wonderful place to walk.

The promenade is popular with young and old alike.

Stretching from the boundary with Walton-on-Naze to the golf club in the south is also a favourite walking route.

Having had a reputation as being particularly popular with retirees, Frinton is currently experiencing an influx of young city folk who have been buying up the town’s fine mid-century houses.

Particularly in the northern seafront area.

It is not just the younger generation who are waking up to the town’s great property market either.

Its immaculate beaches, green open spaces and good schools make it a great choice for young families to move to Frinton as well.


Walton-on-the-Naze coastline. Image credit: Wikipedia

Walton-on-the-Naze is another great addition to our list of best Essex coastal towns.

A special location, Walton-on-the-Naze is surrounded by the sea on three sides!

This location offers sandy beaches and steadfast sea defence, making the Naze beach an ideal spot for walking and exploring the Essex Coastline.

Visitors can even discover fossils that date back to the Ice Age!

Walton=on-the-Naze is the perfect place for those who enjoy all sorts of marine activities.

Locals can enjoy a spot of sailing, kayaking and even kite-surfing.

The area even offers something for those with families.

Be sure to check out the Essex Wildlife Trust Centre, enjoy the views from the top of The Naze Tower, and even enjoy the wildlife, including the stunning seals found in the Walton backwaters.

Canvey Island

Canvey Island
Canvey Island coastline. Image credit: Depositphotos

Canvey Island is separated from mainland Essex by a network of creeks and is accessible via two bridges.

Following a surge in its popularity during Victorian times, it has become a great holiday destination and its beach was popular with bathers.

Canvey offers some very attractive quiet and peaceful neighbourhoods.

There are also the traditional bucket and spade, rock and candyfloss day trips.

Not everyone is a visitor and plenty of people call Canvey home.

Once mainly agricultural, many residents are now employed in the petrochemical industry.

Whilst this dominates its economy, a large number commute to London.

The island has as many as 30 schools catering for children from primary through to secondary level many are rated highly which has encouraged families into the area.

If you fancy moving to Canvey Island, it’s the perfect spot for a quick getaway from the mainland and a small haven for those who live here.


Chalkwell Esplanade
Chalkwell Esplanade. Image credit: Wikipedia

A small suburb of Leigh on Sea, Chalkwell is nestled in between Westcliff-On-Sea and Leigh-On-Sea.

The area is home to some of the region’s grandest properties.

Obviously, Chalkwell Beach is available to all and provides a wonderful day by the seaside, but it is not quite as commercialised as Westcliff or Leigh.

The local Chalkwell Park makes for a peaceful retreat with its open green spaces an alternative to the beach.

The park hosts some interesting events with the largest being the one-day music festival “Village Green” attracting thousands.

Not quite within the commuter belt, but Chalkwell still offers a very respectable 50-minute journey to London Fenchurch Street station.

Chelmsford sits north of Chalkwell a distance of 19 miles.

Basildon is directly to the west of the town, so residents have plenty of options with regard to employment.

If you are searching for a home in the area, you will be pleased to hear that prices are competitive.

With good prices and excellent amenities, this very nice area is just the place to put down roots.

Close to the fresh air of the Essex seaside but not too far away as to be cut off from larger locations in the region.


Southend-on-Sea is home to the longest pleasure pier in the world. Image credit: Depositphotos

Introducing perhaps the most well-known of all the coastal towns in Essex – Southend-on-Sea

A tourist hotspot for decades, this seaside destination has truly put Essex on the map!

Southend-on-Sea epitomises the British seaside experience.

Regardless of your experiences with coastal towns in the UK, everyone has been given the image of a quintessential seaside town.

Donkeys, rock, piers and amusements!

Southend-on-sea is a staple for all seaside lovers.

At 1.34 miles long, the town boasts the longest pier in the world! at 1.34 miles.

In fact, the pier is so large that visitors can ride a train to the end!

If you are a lover of the seaside, moving to Southend on Sea is sure to appeal.

For a more in-depth look at this popular town check out our Southend-on-sea article!

We simply couldn’t write a blog about the best Essex coastal towns and not include this famous location.


Leigh-on-Sea at sunset
Leigh-on-Sea at sunset. Image credit: Unsplash

Leigh-on-Sea is a worthy addition to our list of best Essex coastal towns, offering residents a delightful blend of seaside living, rich history, and a vibrant community atmosphere.

The lovely coastal setting of Leigh-on-Sea is one of its greatest draws.

The town’s location along the River Thames estuary offers breathtaking views and a tranquil atmosphere.

Locals can take leisurely strolls along the beach, unwind on the sandy shores, and enjoy a variety of water sports.

Leigh-on-Sea continues to retain its village charm, complete with winding cobblestone streets, independent stores, and quaint cafes.

The community in the town is warm and welcoming, giving its residents a strong sense of community.

The town has its railway station, providing direct services to London and other destinations.

Additionally, easy access to major roads makes commuting convenient for those who work outside the town.

Living in Leigh-on-Sea provides a unique and idyllic lifestyle that attracts both locals and newcomers alike.

Mersea Island

Beach Huts, Mersea Island
Beach Huts, Mersea Island. Image credit: Unsplash

As the most easterly inhabited island in the UK, Mersea Island has a land area of about seven square miles.

Even though it’s only 10 miles from Colchester, the area has a very natural landscape and seems like a completely different world to Essex’s county town!

You’ll need a car if you’re thinking of relocating here because there isn’t a station nearby (although you can take a ferry from Mersea to Brightlingsea).

Mersea Island has stunning coastal views and a tranquil atmosphere due to its location between the Blackwater and Colne estuaries.

The sandy beaches are perfect for leisurely strolls, and locals can take in the breathtaking sunsets over the water.

The island’s main activity takes place in West Mersea, which is located to the island’s southwest and is where the main restaurants, shops, and museums are located.

Furthermore, the island’s close-knit community organises various events and festivals throughout the year.

This creates a lively and sociable atmosphere for its residents.

From food fairs to art exhibitions, there’s always something happening on Mersea Island!

Ready to Move to an Essex Coastal Town?

Goodmove truck

Are you thinking of living in one of these Essex coastal towns?

Hopefully, we have been able to highlight some of the best locations to consider moving to Essex.

Each of these coastal towns in Essex has a variety of excellent attractions.

Including a choice of great properties, meaning there is surely a perfect home for you!

Did one of the 9 locations appeal to you?

If so, it is time to start planning your move.

GoodMove will make your move to the best Essex coastal towns an easy and stress-free process.

We take great pleasure in confirming everything runs smoothly and flawlessly.

Hopefully, we can help you to settle into your new home right away.

As well as our competitively priced removals package, we can also offer extra services such as temporary or long-term storage facilities should you need them.

GoodMove cover all areas of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and our friendly estimators can call round at a convenient time for you and strategically plan your move to perfection.

During these unique times, GoodMove are also offering a new video survey service.

Using our new technology, we can gather all the information required to assist with your move, from the comfort of your home!

Video surveys will help you save valuable time and preserve the best safety levels.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move to one of Essex coastal towns or any other location underway do not hesitate to call us on the number listed above.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or click on our live bot in the bottom right and a member of our customer services team will be in touch shortly.

We look forward to helping you move to one of these Essex coastal towns.