The Best Beaches In Essex For Surfing

Avatar photo



Updated on

Recently, many Brits have turned to surfing as a hobby. It is a fun and engaging sport that allows you to connect with nature. If you’ve not yet caught the fever, you might want to try it out and go beyond your basic boardwalk experience for several reasons.

For starters, this sport is especially great for those who enjoy the water. It’s also an enjoyable pastime that many people can practise on their local beach and on their own time. Moreover, it’s a perfect way to tour new places, experience other beach waves, and have fun. 

We’ve made a list of the top five beaches to go if you want to catch a sweet wave in Essex. Take note of them and the best time to visit before tourists start trooping in.

The 5 Best Beaches in Essex for Surfing

Essex is every beach lover’s dream. It has a coastline that is more than 350 miles. With sloppy shorelines and sandy beaches, the beaches in Essex are just the best place to hang out with your family, friends, and loved ones.

From swimming and fossil hunting to beach combing and sunbathing, swimming, these beaches offer the best experience, whether you are a solo adventurer or on a group trip.

Plan your next trip as we walk you through the best beaches to surf and have fun in Essex.

1. Shoebury Common Beach

Shoeburyness’s shingle and sand beach is surrounded by a boardwalk and a sizable grassy area that is a haven for several beach cottages. Even though it’s near Southend, the 

Moreover, this is the best beach to learn to kitesurf as the waves are quite tame and the waters are shallow. Shoeburyness beach is a hidden treasure that offers a tidal pool for kids to play in when the wave is out. 

Although there are dog restrictions, there is a dog training area. Uncle Tom’s Cottage sells tasty snacks, coffee/tea, and even spades and buckets for kids.

Facilities and Features

Contrary to the majority of the beaches in Southend, this quarter-mile beach is primarily sandy. However, we advise you to wear beach shoes because of the sharp shells, shingles, and occasionally bricks from past industries. There are a few natural shades, which may be rather busy on hot summers and holidays.

There is a specific area for water sports, with windsurfing and kitesurfing being particularly well-liked. Crabbers love Shoebury East because the beachfront has a small swimming area. Here, the wave comes in swiftly.

The distance between the train station and the beach is five minutes on foot. Usually, parking is affordable; some are seasonally charged. Parking for those with disabilities is free. There are restrooms with accessibility features, as well as outdoor showers, freshwater taps, and beach areas. 

Despite occasionally having a mobile cafeteria, the beach does not currently have a café. Public BBQs are available till 9.30 PM. If you want to enjoy the nightlife, the neighbouring village has other stores and an excellent pub.

visit essex

2. Canvey Island Beach

The Canvey Island Beach is situated within Thames Estuary, on the outskirt of the Essex coast, and is divided from it by a series of minor waterways. While strolling down the beach, you can view the Kent coast, and beyond the beach is a sizable flat lawn area with a playground. There aren’t any dog prohibitions, so you may enjoy the beach at your leisure with your pet.

Canvey Island has a fascinating history. Locals believed an unnamed marine monster washed ashore on Canvey Island in 1953. The 1.5-meter creature, known as “The Canvey Island Monster,” is now thought to have been some anglerfish.

Facilities and Features

There’s a children-only tidal water pool at the Canvey Island beach, which is one of its most notable attractions. When visiting Canvey Island, ensure that you come with your kids so they can take full advantage of the experience. 

Additionally, there are several stores and dining establishments on the beachfront where visitors can get snacks and drinks while having fun all day.

best hotels home

3. Jaywick Beach

Located on the South East coast of England, this is one of the most popular surfing beaches in the country. With a wide range of stunning scenery and unrivalled views, this is one of the best places to take your boardwalk ride and explore the best beaches in Essex for surfing. 

This is the place if you’re looking for a spot of culture and history. It’s also the easiest place to discover surfing in the south of England. Jaywick is a beautiful beach with a fascinating history. 

It was initially called “The Bruges,” after the beautiful Walloon city of Belgium, during the late 18th century. Its name comes from the small Dutch town of Westcliff, which had been given the name “Jaywick” by the English in honour of the city’s famous cobbled streets. 

The British were seeking a healthier, mores-free environment than the Netherlands, where they were creating a new culture in their own name.

Facilities and Features

Since the beach was recently extended and rebuilt, it now features a lot of rock breakwaters that help prevent the sand from being carried away.

Jaywick has only a few amenities. However, you will find a parking lot and public restrooms at both ends of the beach. In addition, there is a small, walled promenade behind the beach that is well-liked by dog walkers.

There are several Martello towers along this section of the beach. The English constructed these little spherical forts in the 19th century to protect against invasion.

There are enough warning signs for beachgoers to avoid the sharp rocks. Beyond Lion Point, you will see warning signs regarding slick, jagged rocks and wet mud.


4. Westcliff Beach

Westcliff Beach, set in the East of Great Britain, is the most famous surfing spot in the country. The famous East coast wave is known as “The Great West Wave” because it washes away the west coast sand. Westcliff Beach is a picturesque location with several little wooden houses set amongst greenery and sand. If you’re looking for fun, it’s also a great place to unwind after a long day at the shore.

Westcliff Beach is ideally situated for the renowned Rossi ice cream shop and provides excellent walks (at low tide and with appropriate footwear). There are also the well-known Archway Eateries, where you may have a delectable meal or snack while enjoying the surroundings in nice weather.

The Genting Casino, located on the shore, provides entertainment, amazing live music, a cafe, and the opportunity to gamble. The Cliffs Pavilion hosts top-notch entertainment year-round and is just a short distance from the seaside.

With the help of the environmental organisation Keep Britain Tidy, Westcliff Beach will proudly display the renowned Blue Flag certification in 2021. This blue flag is now an international accolade given to well-managed beaches with exceptional water quality.

Facilities and Features

Westcliff Beach is ideally situated for the renowned Rossi ice cream shop and provides excellent walks (at low tide and with appropriate footwear). There are also the well-known Archway Eateries, where you may have a delectable meal or snack while enjoying the surroundings in nice weather.

The Genting Casino, located on the shore, provides entertainment, amazing live music, a cafe, and the opportunity to gamble. The Cliffs Pavilion hosts top-notch entertainment year-round and is just a short distance from the seaside.

There are basic but enough amenities like sunbeds or a tiki bar on the beach. There are numerous places to drink, eat, and shop along the shore. Moreover, there is a parking space at Westcliff beach. Since it isn’t very big, it may be full of people during the summer.


5. Thorpe Bay Beach

The local organisations awarded Thorpe Bay beach the 2021 Blue Flag Certification for exemplary beach hygiene and secure pedestrian access.

The Thorpe Bay beach is a wonderful location for a refreshing stroll and for people searching for a peaceful holiday since it offers amazing views of the stunning Thames estuary. Take a stroll by the idyllic cottages or stop at neighbouring cafés or restaurants for food.

Everyone can have a wonderful day at the beach since a boardwalk leads directly to the sand and is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Facilities and Features

The Thorpe Bay beach has a bike path that runs the entire stretch of the seashore and a swimming pool for kids. Moreover, many cafés and restaurants close by have decking that leads directly towards the beach.

Numerous regional recreational establishments are available, such as the Thorpe Bay Lawn Tennis Club, Thorpe Bay Yacht Club, bowls club, and Thorpe Hall Golf Club.


Bonus: Secret Beaches in Essex

While we have listed the best beaches in Essex for surfing, there are some secret beaches that only a few people know about in Essex. Interesting right? 


The Brightlingsea is a minor Cinque port on the River Colne, seven miles away from Colchester. Even though it is popular with locals, few tourists have heard of it, making a journey here during the “off-season” is pleasant for your soul.

visit essex

Monkey Beach

A short stretch of sand in the West Mersea is aptly titled “Monkey Beach.” You will see the lovely, beaten-up houseboats anchored on the tidal flats on a single side. On the opposite hand, there are little causeways that wind across wetlands that you may use to get to the shore.


Bradwell Beach

Bradwell is visible from Mersea Island, although it is quite far away—about a half-hour drive. This region of the shore, where the North Sea and River Blackwater join, is also called the Dengie Peninsula. It is a beautiful, pristine location to explore.

It’s a fairly solitary salt marsh and beach, partially covered with cockle shells.


Surfing Guide for Beginners

Surfing isn’t the primary thing that springs to your mind when thinking about the UK, despite the island’s extensive coastline. Surfers Against Sewage, an environmental organisation, estimates that there are approximately 500,000 frequent surfboarders in the UK. 

Following a recent surge in interest, many more people are ready to go into the ocean to catch a break. Take advantage of the beautiful weather until it lasts. But where should you even begin?

We gathered some advice from the pros to learn more about surfing and to get some crucial guidance.

Take Lessons, Especially If You Are a Beginner

Although training is crucial for learning how to surf, it is best to practise on the actual water rather than theory. You must eventually enter the sea and get experience. After attempting the actual thing, you can return for another session and attempt to fix your errors.

Take Your Time to Master the Fundamentals Since Patience Is Crucial

Most people who enter the sea want to rise and ride their first tide as quickly as possible. However, learning a few essential skills is necessary for them to surf properly.

It’s important to learn how to wipe off. There is much more to surfing than standing up and learning to turn. Many individuals rush the process, which is their first mistake. 

You will learn techniques you can utilise in the water by mastering the basics, such as turtle rolling, paddling, duck diving, and wiping out.

Get the Appropriate Tools

The beauty of surfing is in its openness. You only need a towel, a wetsuit, and a surfboard to begin in terms of equipment. However, even though you don’t buy much equipment, what you obtain according to your degree of expertise is vitally essential.

There is a need for a suitable board for your skill level. People sometimes attempt to move too little, too quickly, making it difficult to surf. Surfing experts suggest a bigger foam board for beginners but emphasise that you should hold off on purchasing your own until you have taken some training.

Additionally, the leash, which is the rope holding you to the surfboard, must be in fine condition. People often fail to realise that the rope that holds them to the surfboard effectively serves as stability support.

Ensure your suit is of high quality as well; if you get an inferior one, you can experience problems. Don’t cut corners on the essential items. Avoid buying a cheap wetsuit, considering one that is proper for the weather; you’re in the UK and not in the Bahamas.

Consult With a Pro

Be truthful about your aptitude. Many people like making exaggerated claims about their abilities, but this might cause issues with your equipment. Most frequently, individuals purchase incorrect boards, which could be dangerous.

Please consult your nearest surf store and seek guidance from them after you have a couple of practice sessions. This will help you purchase the tools that fit your ability level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why do people like surfing?

Surfing is a water-only sport where a surfer rides a board against the speed of the wave toward the beach. In other words, it’s you versus the wave.

Surfing lets you connect with nature and gives you a boost of endorphins. It allows you to exercise patience, focus, and balance. It gives you that exhilarating rush of adrenaline when on the water. However, many surfers do not find their local beaches the best for a surfing experience.

That’s why many surfers travel hours to go to another location where the beach is perfect for surfing.

Q2. What should I do as a beginner surfer?

While surfing is primarily about enjoyment, safety is extremely important for surfers, particularly beginners. The waters on any beach, including Essex, can be exceedingly unpredictable.

Never surfing alone is one of the main safety recommendations. Ask someone to accompany you so they can monitor your progress. Be descriptive when stating the duration of your time in the sea. People can’t tell if you will stay for some minutes or hours if you don’t inform them of a precise time.

When you get to the beach, inquire about the weather conditions with the lifeguards and take care not to leap into excessively huge and challenging waves. Surfing properly also requires a strong swimming ability and a reverence for the ocean.


If you want to explore new places and discover yourself, then surfing is for you. Surfing is a great sport to keep you fit while avoiding the heat. Practising the sport on the best beaches in Essex will be more fun. As you have read, many of these beaches have adequate facilities to make surfing fun. 

The best thing about surfing is that it’s a family-friendly activity that anyone can participate in together. You don’t need to be a professional surfer to enjoy the benefits of surfing, and there are plenty of places to practise your skills. 

Don’t forget to book a surfing lesson with a pro if you want to go beyond your basic boardwalk experience. Moreover, check the condition of the waves before exploring the best beaches in Essex for surfing.

About The Author

Avatar photo

Reviewed by


James is a writer who is a self-confessed kitchenware and coffee nerd and a strong advocate of Sundays, good butter, and warm sourdough.