Fun things to do when visiting Mersea Island
- Credit: Rodger Tamblyn for Visit Colchester
The most easterly inhabited island in the UK, Mersea Island is located around eight miles from Colchester between the estuaries of the Colne and Blackwater rivers. Even though it is small, its size should never be underestimated, writes Holly Eells...
The island is separated into two parts, with West Mersea as the main urban centre, where all of the fabulous independent shops, guesthouses and delicious restaurants can be found, and East Mersea, which is more rural with an agricultural focus. This Essex coast gem offers an idyllic island-life experience — the ideal coastal adventure.
Katharine Sheppard, Business Partner - Tourism at Colchester Borough Council says, ‘Along the coast you can discover Mersea Island, home to the native Colchester oysters.
'On the East island, you will find wild beaches, holiday camps and exquisite picture-perfect beach huts. Alternatively, head to the quaint town of West Mersea to find bustling fisheries and pretty sailing boats.’
A thing to note, Mersea's high tide sometimes covers the roads and prevents people arriving to the island or leaving it, so it's best you check the tides before hitting the road so you don't get caught out.
Also, don't forget to consider the community who call the island home.
Visit Colchester states: 'This small island can get really busy, so please consider the host community when you visit, use official car parks and take your rubbish home.'
So whether you're after a quiet escape or a seaside holiday, here are five more things to do on Mersea Island:
- 1 The Cheshire choirs singing for Christmas
- 2 Everything you need to know about Sarah Beeny's move to Somerset
- 3 Win a winter break at the Shireburn Arms in the heart of the Ribble Valley
- 4 WIN £250 worth of Christmas food and drink
- 5 Win a £5000 staycation in Cornwall
- 6 Christmas markets in and around the Cotswolds
- 7 Win a £1000 rug from Alternative Flooring
- 8 Christmas in Hertfordshire 2021: Top festive markets
- 9 Magical Christmas markets in Surrey 2021
- 10 Magical Christmas markets in Sussex 2021
West Mersea beach
The beautiful sand and shingle beach in West Mersea is renowned for its exceptional quality water and offers all the facilities you require to have a fulfilling beach day.
It is also a suitable location for families because of its nearby kids’ playgrounds.
Cudmore Grove Country Park, East Mersea
In East Mersea, there is an incredible nature reserve, Cudmore Grove Country Park, which covers more than 102 acres with captivating views and it still offers you a sandy beach.
There is also a fun playground and a chance to witness an abundance of stunning wildlife.
Walk around the island
There are several walking trails that take you past interesting historical sites, such as the ruins of a 16th-century fort. Visit Colchester has a downloadable walking leaflet featuring seven walks between 1.5 miles and 3.5 miles long.
Go crabbing at West Mersea
West Mersea boasts a wonderful shoreline, which is perfect for family activities like paddling and crabbing.
A great budget-friendly activity for the kids, all you need is some string, a bucket, a large washer and bacon as bait. More information on crabbing can be found here.
Eat local delicacies
Don’t forget to sample some of those famous oysters! You'll find plenty of restaurants serving these crustaceans -try the West Mersea Oyster Bar or The Duke's Seafood, both on the west side of the island.