It’s another one of those big beach hut debates that can divide both owners and those who hire beach huts. Yep, it’s the Southcliff vs Eastcliff, which is the best debate. While we can agree that we all love Walton-the-Naze, how on earth do you decide which location to hire a beach hut in?
- Beach Hut Hire: What is a Beach Hut?
- Looking for a Beach Hut Hire in Walton-on-the-Naze?
- Where to stay in and around Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex)
- Where can I find a Beach Hut for Hire?
The good news is that there are just a few minutes walk between these two beaches in Walton and when visiting either, you can easily explore between the two. However, let’s help you decide which beach is the one for you to have as a base for that family day out.
Southcliff vs Eastcliff: Which is Best?
Ok, first things first. If you aren’t familiar with the names of each beach, then you may not be aware that Walton has two distinct areas of beach named Southcliff and Eastcliff. You may even find reference to Eastcliff Jubilee Beach.
The easiest way to describe the split is in reference to the Pier. so imagine you are standing in front of the Pier facing out to the sea. If you turn right this is Southcliff. But if you turn left, you will get to Eastcliff beach as you head towards the part of Walton with the 86ft historical Naze Tower.
If you are anything like me, you’ll prefer a photo or image to help visualise where each is. So here’s one I prepared earlier (as they say!). I may even have spent waaaaaay too long choosing little icons for each of our beach huts. Yes. The geek in me returned!
Southcliff Beach: Walton-on-the-Naze
The most well known of the two beaches, many tourists and holidaymakers tend to spend their time around Southcliff Beach.
The number of Beach Huts for Hire: Four rows of beach huts ranging in number from 1 up to the 200 and then an additional private development of around 120 beach huts. Yep Southcliff wins the size war with circa 500-600 beach huts (at least!). 6 of our own 8 beach huts for hire in Walton are based in Southcliff.
Availability: As the more well-known part of Walton-on-the-Naze, our Southcliff beach huts are understandably the more popular in terms of our current bookings. The three beach huts we had for hire last year, are popular for returning guests and most ar 50% sold out for the summer season. You may find greater availability in our more recently launched beach huts.
Group Numbers Allowed: Isla, Harley and Sunnysands can cater for up to 8 guests, while The Glasshouse, Skye and Millie allow up to 6 guests. Skye and Millie are next door to each other with a small gate between so can be hired together for a larger group. Note The Glasshouse is particularly styled for adult only groups while Millie is a proud 2016 Top Ten Beach Hut of the Year!
Transport and Parking: While there is some residential street parking, there are two car parks available close by. One in the train station car park and the second just a few seconds away on Church Road. Parking for hte day will cost you around £6.00. You will have noticed that I said train station though and thus Southcliff beach huts are located very conveniently right next to the train station. Great news if you wish to avoid the busy summer traffic!
Nearby facilities: Each beach hut is spread across the length of the beach with varying distances to toilets and nearby facilities. While there are toilets half way along the promenade, these are only open from the Easter holidays to end of October. However, unlike Eastcliff (below), there are year round toilets available directly opposite the pier.
There are also more options for food with two cafes/beachfront stalls serving hot food and ice cream. You will also find further toilets and food options in the Pier and the town is just a few minutes walk
The Beach: Fine, golden sand. It really is stunning and we are so lucky to have such a gorgeous beach. In comparison to Eastcliff when the tide is in, you will find the majority of the beach cannot be accessed and you’ll even find some sea spray onto the promenade too!
Dog-Friendly? One of the main reasons I bought my first beach hut in Walton. Yep – dog-friendly all year round with no restriction! YAY!!!!! There is a section on the left-hand side of the pier near the lifeguards that is restricted but the main stretch of Southcliff is a dog-friendly zone.
Children’s Entertainment/Activity: Well if the kids do get bored, then you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Pier. All day wristbands, rides, amusements and a walk on the 2nd longest pier in the world should keep them occupied for a while ;0). The new Pier owner has been making some great changes over the last few months and you’ll spot a newly refurbished bowling alley too!
Eastcliff Beach: Walton-on-the-Naze
The number of Beach Huts for Hire: This section of beach in Walton-on-the-Naze mainly consists of just one row of beach huts and small section where there are a row of two huts. As such the number of beach huts available for hire (and for sale) is drastically lower than Southcliff. Out of the 8 beach huts we currently have for hire in Walton-on-the-Naze, 2 of these are on Eastcliff beach.
Group Numbers Allowed: Both Mickey and Minnie currently allow 6 guests per beach hut. However, they are located side by side and can be hired together for up to 12 guests (including babies and children).
Transport and Parking: Situated towards the Naze, you can park in the neighbouring streets free of charge. Summer and weekend dates will be busy, however, this is a less busy stretch of beach in comparison to Southcliff.
Nearby facilities: There are toilet facilities which are open from Easter holidays to end of October. Outside of this time, the closest toilets will be around a 500m walk away and worth bearing in mind if using out of season. Hipkins Tea Room also opens during the peak season and you will find a shop and fish and chip shop a 5-7 minute walk in the residential streets behind. The Last Fisherman Cafe can also be found at the pier end of Eastcliff Beach open during the peak season.
Note that water taps are available from Easter holidays to end of October too.
The Beach: One of the fab aspects of Eastcliff is that at high tide you will still have part of the beach to play on. When the tide is fully out, you’ll also discover some rocks out in this part of the beach. These are great for searching for those infamous shark teeth. This part of the beach and up towards the Naze Tower generates lots of excitement with some of the largest sharks’ teeth in the UK (including the rare Carcharocles megalodon) being found here!
It’s a sandy beach but do expect a few more stones on the beach in this area.
Dog-Friendly? While our own beach huts are dog-friendly year around, there is a small part of the each at Eastcliff which does have dog restrictions between 1st May to 30th May. While a fairly small area, do pay attention to the signs which clearly indicate the part of the beach this applies to.
Children’s Entertainment/Activity: While a 10-15 minute walk away the Pier is still within walking distance, with its bowling alley, amusements and rides. However, there is a fully equipped play park on a large green area at Eastcliff, which is very popular with the younger members of the family. Eastcliff beach is really about having all the benefits of Walton beach but
Having spent very little time on Eastcliff beach prior to this year, I was surprised to fall in love with the beach so quickly. I spent a week painting furniture and kitting our new huts and really came to love how peaceful and quieter this section of the beach was. Even when I had to venture a little further for the toilet per the Easter holiday openings! However, I am someone who when at the beach is looking for some downtime and even when using one of the Southcliff beach huts, I tend not to venture onto the Pier.
But I also know that my idea of a great day out at the beach isn’t the same as everyone else’s and having written the above, I can still see both sides of the Southcliff vs Eastcliff debate.
BUT I will also say, that whatever choice you make, I don’t think either location for a beach hut hire will be wrong for you.
Just like the front row versus second, third or even fourth-row debate, it really comes down to what you make of the day and who you spend your time with. It feels at times we get so hung up on our choices being 100% perfect that we don’t always open ourselves up to options.
To me, a beach hut is a beach hut and while I have my own little preferences, I always know that a day in one will make me happy. I have a funny feeling that no matter which location or beach hut you choose, it will do the same for you.