Beautiful weather for a bank holiday Monday definitely warranted a trip to the seaside!
Knowing that we’ll be living in different locations around the UK every 5-7 years, and that next time it might be a 4 hour drive to the sea, it was a necessity.
We decided that we would drive out towards Leigh-on-sea and stop where we found a nice spot. Leigh-on-sea itself was mostly wet sand with a few yachts scattered across, so we kept driving along the coast to westcliff-on-sea which is a traditional seaside town with tiny shops selling candyfloss, doughnuts and chips, a mini-theme park, deck chairs for hire (£3) … the usual.
It’s classed as a sandy beach, but its more like 60% sand, 40% pebble, not great for sandcastle enthusiasts, but good enough to build a basic sand-boat and a castle complete with escape tunnel!
It boasts a ‘playpark’ (One slide and a pulley to carry sand to the top) and a ‘paddling pool’ (A concrete ridge to hold some of the tide back, enough for about 10 kids to splash around in).
The car parking was immense, over 1000 spaces along the sea front for £1 an hour, can’t argue with that!
Absolutely no litter to be seen, everything was very well maintained.
We didn’t make it as far as the pier, both Mrs and Mini Malik were getting tired, but the train running along the long length looked like fun, and possibly worth a second visit!
Very pram/toddler friendly as there is a wide path running alongside the beach, so easy to get to the car and back with tired feet. Plenty of places to purchase overpriced ice cream (I saved my calories for the day especially for it) and public toilets (we didn’t visit).
We had set up our tent on the sand next to the yachting pier, with two more tents next to us belonging to a large group from Burma/Phillipines (I really should have asked them!) when we realised that the place that we had previously set up was now under water. A while later the tent nearest the water moved inland … then moved inland again, at which point the second tent moved inland also. We sat tight and thought ‘It cant come up much further, right?’ 10 minutes later we moved inland … we each moved our tents further and further up the beach until we realised that if we needed to move our tent again there would have been nowhere to put it, as the beach was beginning to resemble a tin of sardines! So we packed up (and just in time!) and trundled back to the car to dump our things. On the way back to buy ice cream we realised that where our tent was 10 mins ago was now under a foot of water!
Opposite the pier entrance was a viewing platform with a lift, which I demanded we go up. Worth a quick visit for a photo opportunity as the views were lovely.
Micro Malik enjoyed a long nap and a long peaceful breastfeed in his own personal tent away from all that nasty sand, and was carried in a FWCC out of the wind.
Mini Malik really enjoyed the company of other children to build sandcastles with and his strawberry mini milk.
Mrs Malik enjoyed some quality time playing with Mini Malik (and building him a boat!) and some cuddle time breastfeeding Micro Malik listening to the sound of the waves.
Mr Malik enjoyed his cuddle time with Micro Malik, and teaching Mini Malik how to build a sand tunnel.
The beach tent (A must! We desperately needed shade for Micro Malik and the relief from the wind was very welcome)
Towels, sandals/beach shoes, suncream, sun hats, swim stuff, dry clothes
Buckets and spades – enough for everyone
Snacks and drinks
Spare change for parking and ice cream
The Girasol wrap (I wanted to bring a shortie to do a ruck for the hot weather, but I was glad of the extra length to keep the wind off him)
Count of the day: 38 cars with the roof down