Clacton Holiday Weekend 2024

The last weekend in April was Andrea and Eileen’s Clacton weekend break. I was sharing a caravan with Eileen, Fozi and Louise at Weeley, just outside Clacton, and arriving first, set off to explore the small village of Weeley, which didn’t take long! Getting ready to go out, I realised we didn’t have any hot water, and told the site reception, who sent an engineer to fix the problem. Fozi and Louise weren’t going to the Thai restaurant, where we were going with Andrea, Sarah, Cathy and Richard, so Eileen and I set off, whilst they stayed at the caravan. However, the engineer couldn’t fix the problem, so we were upgraded to another caravan, moving some of our stuff overnight and the rest in the morning.

Saturday saw an early start. We all met at Andrea’s house at 10 a.m. and were soon joined by Annick, Frances, Peter and Parviz, who were also on the caravan site. The plan was for a country walk visiting a gin distillery, the backwaters for lunch and return to Thorpe-Le-Soken, about 6 miles. We arrived early at the nearby East Coast Distillery site and were given an entertaining talk on how the gin is produced and flavoured and, more importantly, sample some of the products. Whilst I’m no gin drinker, it was still very good visit. .

After the tour we set off to the nearby backwaters for a waterside lunch, and after lunch headed off on the waterside footpath which should lead us back to Thorpe. After about 10 minutes, I was beginning to have doubts. We should have been heading inland, but instead the water was widening (considerably) which didn’t bode well. Checking the map confirmed that we were on the right footpath, but heading in the wrong direction. A quick about turn and having checked with a local we were now going the right way, we had a pleasant river/ countryside walk back to Thorpe.

In the evening we all had a meal in Clacton, followed by a show at one of the local theatres. It was an 80’s music evening, with the group performing many 1980’s electro-pop songs, by bans like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode and other synthesizer based bands. Personally, I loved all that type of music, so thought it was a good evening.

On Sunday, we all went to Holland-on-Sea and enjoyed a bracing walk along the sea-front, although it was too cold for a paddle. We then went to Brightlingsea for lunch, a warming cafe and a visit to the local museum with a walk along the river-front and around town. Returning to the cars, Eileen asked whether she needed to use Sat-Nav or if I was confident to navigate the 10 mile journey back, which obviously I was. After about an hour, as we were approaching Birmingham, I was beginning to have doubts (no only joking! – we were good, although my constant comments of “blimey I’m good” every time we passed something in vaguely the right place, were probably beginning to grate).

In the evening we all went for a curry at a restaurant in Thorpe-Le-Soken, which was very nice, and a fabulous way to round off the weekend, after which we said our farewells to everyone and headed back to the caravan for a final night.

I would like to thank Andrea and Eileen for organising the weekend, sorting out the accommodation, and arranging some excellent walks (and visits) and good places to eat.

Trev Eley,  20th May 2024