7 dog-friendly beaches in Essex

Beautiful and multicoloured huts in Mersea Island, UK.

Enjoy a day at the beach with your dog at one of Essex's lovely beaches, such as West Mersea beach. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Now that school's out, many of us are thinking about sunny days spent by the sea with our family – including the four-legged members. So we've rounded up seven beaches for you and your hound to try.

Mersea Stone Beach 

A shingle beach on the easternmost tip of Mersea Island that has the remains of a World Ward II pillbox on its eastern shore. Strategically important for centuries, you can find Tudor fort remains here too.  

West Mersea 

Colourful beach huts, and holiday parks with a laid-back, unspoiled feeling, West Mersea is dog and family friendly. You can also go crabbing off the jetties, or just let the day go by under the sun. 

Thorney Bay 

A small, sheltered sandy beach on Canvey Island that faces the River Thames. There is a grassy children's play area and the beach offers views across the Kent coastline. 

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Irlam’s Beach 

Another sandy beach, and a relatively quiet one too. It's not really ideal for swimming, but you can fish cor  bass, eel flounder and mullet in the beach's mudbanks, rock patches and creeks. It's also good for spotting wildlife in the dunes and marshland behind the sand.  

Osea Island 

A private island set in the Blackwater River estuary, Osea Island is only reachable by a narrow causeway at low tide. The island is 400 acres of idyllic countryside with shingle beaches and while it is private land, there is charmingly rustic accommodation on the island available to hire. 

St Osyth 

A beach for the naturists and dog walkers, the quiet St Osyth beach snakes along from the St Osyth Beach Sunday Market to the Lee-Over-Sands hamlet.  

Unsurprisingly, it is off the beaten track and the beach’s sand dunes offer more privacy. It is about a 20-minute walk from the nearest parking, and has an unofficial gay and straight area.

The Naze 

Close to Walton-On-The Naze but a tranquil escape from the bustle of life, the Naze’s shores is a fossil hotspot, for shark’s teeth in particular. There are also various World War II defences littered across the beach, and the Grade II listed Naze Tower, a maritime navigational tower that dates back to the 18th century. 

For more information about dog-friendly beaches in Essex go to thebeachguide.co.uk