Coastal pubs in Essex: 12 of the best places to go

West Mersea (c) John Fielding, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

West Mersea (c) John Fielding, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Treat yourself to a pint of real ale surrounded by fresh sea air and coastal views at any one of these 12 glorious Essex pubs

1) The Essex Skipper, Frinton-on-Sea

Recently refurbished, The Essex Skipper is a traditional family friendly pub with a fantastic selection of real ales, lagers and wines.

Take your pick of classics from their huge menu and then take a stroll down to Frinton's beautiful beach or head up the coast towards Walton on the Naze and the iconic Naze Tower.

2) The Victory, Walton on the Naze

With its old wooden beams and cosy fireplaces, The Victory in Walton on the Naze is the perfect spot for evening drinks. If the sun is shining then find a space in the private garden and work your way through their great selection of real ales and lagers.

If you start to feel peckish then the pub has a separate restaurant area where delicious food is cooked to order. The Victory often hosts live bands and events which you can keep track of via the 'What's on' section of their website.

3) Oakwood Inn, Clacton-on-Sea

The Oakwood Inn in Clacton-on-Sea always offers a warm and friendly welcome to its patrons. Serving home cooked and affordable food such as steak and kidney pie and deep fried haddock and chips, there is plenty to choose from.

The garden is beautiful with trees for shade and lots of picnic benches. It's also dog-friendly meaning Fido can come too after you've taken a picturesque stroll on Clacton's beautiful golden sands.

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4) Bath House, Walton on the Naze

The Bath House was opened by David Green in 1990 when he was just 21 years old, making him the youngest landlord in a free trade pub in England and Wales at the time. He has worked hard over the years to create a family-friendly, local pub where everyone is welcome.

Take your pick from the pub's plethora of beers from around the world or treat yourself to something tasty from the ever changing specials board. After a day out by the coast keep an eye out for the Bath House's distinctive green roof and you know you'll be close to a well-earned drink.

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5) Lock and Barrel, Frinton-on-Sea

The Lock and Barrel in Frinton-on-Sea is well known for being the first pub to open in the town. Found on Connaught Avenue, it sits neatly amongst the charming independent shops and boutiques making it perfectly positioned as a mid-shopping trip stop-off for food and a few drinks.

With lots of raised seating areas, cosy log fires and a couple of outdoor courtyards, there's plenty of space if you're in for a quiet lunch. The food served is traditional pub fare ranging from home-made steak and ale pie to a homely lasagne and even a few vegetarian dishes.

6) The Queens Head, Maldon

The Queens Head in Maldon is set in a fantastic location right on the quay, next door to the Thames barges. The Hythe is one of the town's most attractive areas and you can drop right into the pub from the banks of the River Chelmer.

On a sunny day their outdoor seats overlooking the estuary are the perfect spot to enjoy a few pints of ale and a bite to eat.

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7) The Coast Inn, Mersea Island

A bar and restaurant, The Coast Inn on Mersea Island is a superb place to sit back and relax when you've had a busy day of exploring Old Mersea and the surrounding area, one of Essex's most photographed locations.

A terrace with benches look out onto the boats floating gently on the water and is ideally positioned for you to enjoy a breathtaking Mersea sunset.

8) Victory at Mersea, Mersea Island

Enjoying a peaceful waterfront location, The Victory has stunning views of the Blackwater Estuary and the North Sea. Taking advantage of its seaside setting, it brings fresh fish from Mersea Island Fresh Catch on a daily basis and serves incredible seafood dishes as well as a variety of contemporary pub favourites.

Located just along from The Coast Inn, you could make it a mini Mersea pub crawl on a beautifully long summer evening.

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9) The Peterboat, Leigh-on-Sea

A pub that has been in the town's records since 1757, The Peterboat has been treating patrons to great local beer and incredible estuary views for generations.

As you're right next to the coast it would be rude not to try their 'Old Leigh Cockle Chowder', one particular dish that delighted reviewers refer to nearly every time.

10) The Cricketers, Bradwell-on-Sea

Located a short walk inland from the Dengie National Nature Reserve and the iconic St Peter's Chapel, The Cricketers is a relatively remote pub and has a quiet, friendly atmopshere to match the location.

Visitors praise its food offerings and sensible prices so you know you will be sure of a delicious, filling meal that won't hurt your pocket.

11) The Yachtsmans Arms, Brightlingsea

Brightlingsea is a small, traditional seaside resort with views of the River Colne and over to gorgeous East Mersea. After you've had some traditional, unfussy food from The Yachstmans Arms, head down to the waterside so you can enjoy such views.

As welcoming to pooches as they will be to you, there's really no reason why you shouldn't book into the pub right now.

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12) The New Bell Inn, Harwich

Comfortably regarded as one of the best pubs in Harwich if not the very best, The New Bell Inn has won Tendring CAMRA's Pub of the Year title twice in the past ten years.

Starting life out as a blacksmith shop, the building became a pub during the middle of the 18th century. Even though it has undoubtedly changed considerably since then, it has retained its commitment to serving some of the best independent ales from small breweries across East Anglia.


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