The beautiful seaside town just 90 minutes from London that feels like it could be in Mexico

A stunning seaside town just 90 minutes from London is the perfect place for a day trip at the weekend – and some say it feels like Mexico.

Clacton-on-Sea, the largest town on the Essex Sunshine Coast, is full of life and home to an incredibly beautiful seaside resort.

It boasts a pleasure pier, arcades, theatres, a golf course, seafront walks and water sports.

The main shopping area contains many of the more familiar national chains, independent stores as well as a Mexican restaurant called El Guaca, which is famed for its pina coladas and its ‘authentic’ Latin American feel.

Clacton Pier was the winner of the prestigious Pier of the Year award in 2020

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One Tripadvisor review said: “Excellent selection on the menu, friendly service and authentic food.

“They even have Pacifico beer which I haven’t had since I was last in Puerto Vallarta. Great location looking over the beautiful gardens and the sea beyond.”

Another reviewer said: “The front patio area which was set up like a bar/restaurant along the Spanish Promenade where we could sit and watch the world go by.

“And they do the best pina coladas I have ever tasted in my life.”

A third user said: “Just like Mexico. Went to Clacton for a couple of days and saw this restaurant did look like much from the outside but when they sat us down the inside was great.

“I’ve been to Mexico twice but being at this restaurant felt like I was back there again.”

The town's economy continues to rely significantly on entertainment and day-trip facilities

The town’s economy continues to rely significantly on entertainment and day-trip facilities

The town saw a peak of tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s, and the town’s economy continues to rely on entertainment and day-trip facilities, with many people choosing to retire in the area.

Clacton’s main attraction is its pier and the amusements that surround it. Here you’ll find all the classic arcade games like fruit machines and hook-a-duck, and there’s also an aquarium where you can spot some beautiful marine life.

There’s also an open top bus tour that visitors can enjoy, where they can hop on and off at any location they feel like.

Do you have any top tips for days out near London? Let us know in the comments

Do you have any top tips for days out near London? Let us know in the comments

Writing in the Londonist, Laura Reynolds says that Clacton is blessed with beautiful sand.

She said: “On a warm day, the area around the pier gets predictably packed, but things quieten out as you head south-west, towards the Martello tower.

“Even if you’re not looking for a spot to plonk your towel, it’s worth taking the walk along the promenade.

“Beach huts and ice cream shops line the seafront, with a couple of murals by street artist Silent Hobo to be seen.”

On the town’s outskirts, Hasty’s Adventure Farm offers a chance for young children to become at one with nature.

It’s a chance to see sheep, goats, chickens and other farm animals. There’s also go-karting and other fun activities for young families with little children.

The nearby Clacton airport is home to the annual Claction Airshow – and light aircraft can often be seen in the skies over the town.

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Just outside of town is Clacton Shopping Village offering a unique shopping experience with lots of independent stores.

With a direct train in just 90 minutes from London Liverpool Street, this makes Clacton-on-Sea a desirable destination for anyone fancying a day out at the beach.

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