Today is Thursday, August 11, 2022

If you're looking to visit Brightlingsea, you'll find our Essex town is a great place to visit and a fantastic place to live.

Our attractive town centre retains much of its Victorian charm, and is recognised as one of East Anglia’s premier floral towns. Enjoy a leisurely picnic at one of the beautifully maintained green areas along Promenade Way. Family facilities include a paddling pool, skateboard park, the Brightlingsea Lido open air swimming pool and children’s playground.

Brightlingsea has a unique history as the only Cinque Port north of the Thames and you can find our Cinque Port emblem with three gold royal lions joined to three silver ships in our oldest building, All Saints’ Church, at the entrance to the town and at the Cinque Port Wreckhouse by the ancient Hard. All Saints' also contains a unique set of tiles detailing Brightlingsea fishermen and sailors who died at sea, many from the days when the town was a major oyster and sprat fishing centre.In the High Street, the Grade 1 listed Jacobs Hall was first recorded in 1315 and has a remarkable 15th century external staircase turret.

Living history can be enjoyed in the town’s pageantry, from the annual Choosing of a new Cinque Port Deputy at All Saints' to the historic oyster smacks and Thames barges that can be seen sailing in the River Colne. Many take part in the annual Blessing of the Waters ceremony - not to be missed when you visit Brightlingsea!

The town centre boast a wide variety of shops – there's not much you can't get when you visit Brightlingsea – along with a host of traditional pubs, cafés and takeaways for a full meal or a tasty snack.

The harbour is the heart of Brightlingsea’s sailing community with yachts, sailing dinghies and rowing gigs to be seen, along with ships visiting the town's wharf and vessels serving the offshore wind industry. There's plenty of on-water fun during the annual regatta, and the local clubs offer opportunities to learn to sail or row. In the summer months the Hard is the place to find the ferry that will carry you to Point Clear and East Mersea. It's also the place to go crabbing – popular with children of all ages!

Promenade Way leads to Brightlingsea’s seaside, centred around the Bateman’s Tower. Sunsets here are spectacular!  Swim in the sea or the Brightlingsea Lido – our community-run open-air pool – paddle at the paddling pool. It’s a great area with children’s playground, parks for picnics another for skate boards, plus boating lake, cafes and colourful beach-huts. Past Bateman's Tower you can walk beside the River Colne along the former railway line.

Our sheltered estuaries and gentle coastline are so rich in wildlife that Brightlingsea has extensive national and international coastal wildlife protection designations. You'll find saltmarsh with historic oyster pits, grazing marsh, estuary mudflats with abundant wintering waders and wildfowl including Brent geese. Don’t forget to look in on the Lozenge Nature Area and Springmead Gardens.

And when you visit Brightlingsea, you'll find we're a busy lot – local events include Open Gardens, the Christmas Tree Festival, a music festival, WinterFest and a whole lot more. We can't wait to see you!

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