Out And About

Throughout the year, particularly the summer months, Brightlingsea offers a variety of activities and events. Now a major sailing centre, there are events taking place throughout the summer season, not to forget the annual Colne Smack and Barge Race held each September.   If water sports are not your thing, there is the Town Regatta and Boat Show, Open Gardens, Winterfest and the annual three-day music festival, Food and Drink Festival, Classic Car Show and Christmas Tree Festival.

For a more unusual adventure, a seasonal foot ferry runs a routes from Brightlingsea to Point Clear and East Mersea Stone and Brightlingsea Museum offers an insight into the history of this Cinque Port and town.  Throughout the summer months, the ferry also offers lunch trips to The Black Buoy, Wivenhoe.

Brightlingsea really is a ‘hidden gem’ for those seeking simplicity.  Families return each year to enjoy the simple pastime of crabbing, a swim in the art deco lido followed by refreshments at Batemans, the beachside cafe which is open 364 days a year!  The Blue Flag beach, although relatively small, is safe for children wishing only to paddle, find crabs hiding under rocks or simply build sandcastles. Close by is a skateboard park and boating lake.

Even the reluctant walker will not be disappointed when witnessing flocks of migrating birds when walking the disused railway path from Batemans Café towards Arlesford or watching the sailing boats navigate the salt marsh and sheltered waters.  Inland the countryside walks are beautiful as are the magnificent summer floral displays around town and marina.

There are a number of good restaurants in town, three excellent fish and chip shops, coffee shops, bistros and more than an ample supply of pubs offering real ales and good food. There is a wider choice of restaurants just a short drive away in neighbouring villages and a little further in Colchester.

A few suggestions:

  • Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market: home of Beth Chatto, OBE, award winning plantswoman who developed an overgrown wasteland of brambles, patched gravel and boggy ditches, transforming it using plants adapted by nature to thrive in different conditions. Website
  • Clacton and Walton on the Naze: Both busy and great for children with good beaches and amusements. The excellent Clacton Air Show is held annually each August, usually Bank Holiday weekend. Clacton Website Walton Website
  • Colchester town: vibrant shopping centre, Holly Trees Museum, Mercury Theatre, Roller World, Ten Pin Bowling, Colchester Leisure World, Go Bananas Soft Play Centre. Town Website
  • Colchester Castle and Castle Park Gardens: many events in the park throughout the summer season. Castle Website 
  • Colchester Zoo: large site with 260+ animal species. Zoo Website
  • Dedham: set by the River Stour on the Essex/Suffolk border and in the heart of Constable Country. Why not hire a rowing boat and view Flatford Mill from along the River Stour (boats available for hire from March to October)? To be recommended is a visit to Alfred Munnings Art Museum. Dedham Website
  • Essex Wildlife Trust Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre. Website
  • Frinton-on-Sea: Beautiful beaches, especially when the tide is out. Pretty beach huts and uncommercialised town.  Lovely walking the promenade or along the high paths.  The four-day music festival takes places usually at the beginning of June. Frinton Website
  • Harwich: UK’s second busiest passenger ferry port is rich in maritime history with numerous museums, lighthouses and Electric Palace Cinema. Guided walking tours offered throughout the season.  The Harwich Arts Festival is celebrated annually each summer. Harwich Website
  • Manningtree and Mistley: These riverside villages are full of history with Mistley the home of the infamous Witchfinder General. Website
  • Mercury Theatre, Colchester Website
  • Mersea Island: UK’s most easterly inhabited island. For walkers and cyclists, we recommend taking the water taxi from Brightlingsea to explore and maybe lunching at The Company Shed or Oyster Bar. Website
  • Springmead Garden, Spring Road, Brightlingsea: beautiful garden located on the site of what was originally a Roman villa. Free to visitors, open all year round.

Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to contact us either by telephoning 07792 844104 or via email on the form below:

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Contact us

E: belvedereatbrightlingsea@gmail.com

T: 07792 844104