Things to do in Clacton-on-Sea

One of the largest towns in Essex, located just 90 minutes from the centre of London on the glorious Sunshine Coast, Clacton-on-Sea continues to be a leading UK holiday destination. A popular holiday destination during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Clacton has moved with the times. As well as traditional attractions like its historic pier and miles of golden beaches, it now boasts a modern wakeboarding park, SeaQuarium and the three-storey Clacton Pavilion, home to restaurants, bars, a 5D cinema, bowling alleys and much more. Plus, there’s a thriving arts and culture scene with several very active theatres and the repurposed Jaywick Martello Tower, which turned one of the town’s many 19th-Century forts into a leading cultural hub.

As you’d expect from a coastal town, Clacton-on-Sea has more than its fair share of fish and chip shops and ice cream parlours. But the dining scene also boasts fine French restaurants, bustling Mexican joints, authentic Thai restaurants and plenty of spots for afternoon tea overlooking the coastline. The nightlife scene is just as varied, with gastropubs sitting alongside tiki bars, traditional country taverns and several late-night bars and clubs. You’ll be well-placed to take advantage of all the main hotspots when staying at one of our hotels in Clacton-on-Sea.

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Activities

The seaside looms large in Clacton-on-Sea: Whether you’re taking a dip in the channel at one of the many amazing beaches, wakeboarding at Curve Wake Park or enjoying the amusements at the pier, there’s plenty to do that involves the holy trinity of sun, sea and sand. We’ve also included some options for when the weather isn’t cooperating.

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Entertainment

One of the largest towns in Essex, Clacton-on-Sea has a lively entertainment scene spanning a wide range of interests. There are several theatres to choose from, with the Jaywick Martello Tower supplying a healthy dose of art, culture and history. And if you visit in August, you can join the 250,000-strong crowd who turn up to see the Clacton Airshow.

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Places to eat

Tuck into some of the finest food in Essex with our guide to the best cafés, coffee shops, restaurants, bistros, tearooms and fish and chip shops in Clacton-on-Sea.

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Nightlife

Bars, pubs and clubs – it’s all on offer in Clacton-on-Sea and we’ve rounded up the best this bustling seaside town has to offer in our guide to the town’s best nightlife spots.

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Shopping

The leading retail centre in the region, Clacton Shopping Village is a large mall home to a wide range of discount outlets and high street classics, including Marks & Spencer, JD Sports and hiking store Trespass. Located on the northern edge of Clacton and open daily, the Village has plenty of free parking and six food and drink outlets including Greggs, Costa Coffee and Burger King.

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Getting around

Part of the Sunshine Coast Line, Clacton-on-Sea Train Station first opened in 1881 and now runs regular services to London Liverpool Street, including stops at Colchester, Stratford and Chelmsford. The station has four platforms and is located a 10-minute walk from the pier and our Clacton-on-Sea Seafront hotel.

Stansted is the nearest airport to Clacton-on-Sea. The 50-mile journey takes around an hour by car or taxi or around two hours via a direct train to Chelmsford and a connecting bus service to Stansted. The airport is the base for several low-cost airlines, including Ryanair, Jet2 and easyJet, and is the fourth-busiest UK airport with nearly 30 million passengers each year. Alternatively, make your journey even simpler by staying at one of our hotels near Stansted airport before you travel.

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Shopping in Clacton-on-Sea

Shopping in Clacton-on-Sea

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Getting around Clacton-on-Sea

Getting around Clacton-on-Sea

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