Holland on Sea, Essex

This quiet spot on the Tendring Peninsular offers some really nice coastal windsurfing and is a good spot for an introduction to the sea. Sheltered from South-west swells, it does not get too intimidating until it is really windy. If you intend to sail here a lot then there is a friendly sailing club right on the beach that is worth joining.

Beach Faces:

West/South-west.

Best Wind Direction:

South-west, South, North-east.

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

South-west or North-west storms.

Not Good:

North-west, North.

Tide:

It is not advisable to windsurf at high tide as the sea comes right up to the sea wall. Low tide on the way is best and wind against tide is even better. On spring tides this area has a strong current channelling in and out of the Thames estuary. In these conditions take a bigger fin and sail than normal.

What’s On The Bottom:

Clay and sand hence the brown colour of the sea, honest!

Any Hazards:

You can accidently sail into the groynes at mid tide and there is a rocky point but you would have to try real hard to get caught on it!

Other Water Users:

The sailing club holds regular races and there are a few swimmers in the summer.

Suitability / Levels:

Intermediates upwards. However, in lightwinds and at low tide it is fine for beginners.

Wipeout Factor:

Pretty low unless you decide to come in at high tide. It can then be quite tricky as you battle with the wind shadow and shoredump onto the sailing club launch ramp!

Instruction:

No

Kit Hire:

No

Friendly Factor:

The sailing club are a friendly bunch. They used to all be windsurfers but are now into high performance dinghies.

No Wind Alternatives:

The sailing club are a friendly bunch. They used to all be windsurfers but are now into high performance dinghies.

Facilities:

Toilets

No

Shower

No

Windsurfing Shop

Skisurf in Colchester is 25 minutes away. Tel. 01206 502000
Nucleus Water Sports is 5mins away but is more geared to kayaking & water sking. Tel. 01255 812146

Food

In the summer there are a few seaside cafes open.

Parking

Park on the road at the top.

Pub

The nearest is the Kingscliff just opposite the beach.

Accommodation:

Go to www.essex-sunshine-coast.org.ukEnter the site and click on Where to Stay.

Local Hotshots:

There are not so many around these days but Simon Pearce, Jono and Gregg Dunnett, Clyde Waite, Tim Davies and Saul Lindsell all learnt their skills here in the good old days!

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

There is a seabreeze that is windiest at Holland on Sea in the summer. I reckon it is because of the local accelerating factor (the cliff) combined with the large, flat land mass of the peninsular! It can get up to 5.0 metre weather and will always be sunny. If the conditions are right it will come in from the North-east during spring and summer. If you do get what is locally called a ‘Roger’ then you will have to wobble out the first hundred yards to the windline!

Extra:

Clacton is just down the road as an alternative venue and for more social windsurfing.

How To Get There:

From the M25 take the A12 to Colchester. If you are coming from the North, then travel on the A14 to Ipswich then take the A12 to Colchester. At Colchester take the A120 then A133 to Clacton on Sea. Before entering Clacton you will find a large roundabout with the options Clacton and Holland on Sea. Follow the signs to Holland on Sea. You will pass a B&Q and a Ford dealership and Happy Valley golf. At the end of this road take a left to Holland on Sea. Take the second right into Kings Avenue. The beach is at the end of this road!

Report By:

Clyde Waite

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