Our area guide to explore the best of Mersea Island and the Essex coast
You will find Mersea Island in north eastern corner of the county of Essex – at the point where the River Blackwater joins the River Colne, ten miles south of Colchester (Britain’s earliest Roman Town). The island measures five miles by two and is joined to the mainland by a causeway called The Strood. Twice a day, at Spring Tides, we become a real island.
Check out some of the wide range of family attractions available within a short drive of Waldegraves Family Holiday Park!
West Mersea Hard
West Mersea hard is the heart of West Mersea’s sailing and boating scene and the base for the local commercial fishermen. There is a pay & display car park adjacent to the causeway.
There is a marked section of the causeway to the left hand side where crabbing is allowed. All you need is a crabbing line and a bucket plus some bait (we recommend bacon!) and you are ready to go! Our tip is to make your own crab line with a ball of string and a weight but if you prefer to buy the real thing, use the shops in the centre of West Mersea village to save yourself a few pennies! After crabbing, you can treat yourselves to an ice cream from the Blackwater Pearl, opposite the causeway.
RNLI Lifeboat Station
Along to the West of the causeway is the West Mersea Lifeboat Station. During School holidays, weekends and Bank Holidays, volunteers supporting the RNLI open the lifeboat station to visitors. You can learn about the history of the lifeboat station and the local people who make up it’s crew as well as seeing the Lifeboat itself up close and see how it is launched. There is also a souvenir shop with plenty of pocket money toys.
Lady Grace Boat Trips
The Lady Grace and her captain Stacey make regular trips around the harbour every day. Wait at the end of the causeway and you can take a leisurely 20 minute ride out into the Estuary & you may even see the local friendly seal who is often seen popping his head up to say hello! Stacey also takes bookings for pirates and mermaid birthday parties on board Lady Grace as well as bird watching trips and much more!!
Cudmore Grove Country Park, East Mersea
Cudmore Grove offers visitors a trip to the seaside with a difference. The large area of grassland leading to the beach is a great place to picnic, fly a kite or walk the dog. The small visitor centre gives information on the local wildlife and there is a bird hide looking over a large water inlet, popular with waterfowl. Talks take place some days in the Summer so it’s worth looking out for any special events. Please be aware that there is a pay and display car park at Cudmore Grove.
East Mersea– St Osyth– Brightlingsea Foot Ferry
In peak times during the summer, a regular foot ferry runs from East Mersea point, accessed on foot via Cudmore Grove Country Park. The ferry goes across to the local seaside towns of St Osyth
and Brightlingsea, both great days out in themselves!! Check their website for updates and for information on trips to and from local events, regattas and festivals.
Mersea Museum, West Mersea
Smart Art, Church Road, West Mersea
Farm Land Hacking, Langenhoe
Mersea Farm Shop, Bower Hall, West Mersea
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Layer De La Haye
Friday Woods, Bounstead Road, Colchester
SAFETY NOTE: Friday Woods is an MOD training ground. If you get there and you see the red flag flying DO NOT ENTER THE WOODS! There will be potentially armed soldiers about!