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Clacton and the Gunfleet Sands

The seaside resorts of the East Coast of England had their heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Small leisure boats as well as fishing boats would sail from the beaches and holidaymakers enjoyed a promenade along the pier, where a steamer may stop to collect passengers or goods bound for France. Today, as well as the tides and shallows near the coast, the sailor making passage past Clacton also has the turbines of the Gunfleet Sands to negotiate.

Clacton Pier opened to the public on 27 July, 1871, just over 150 years ago. Originally built as a landing platform with jetty for movement of manufactured goods carried by the Woolwich Steam Packet Company, it was a wooden structure just 160 yards long. Soon, the Victorians were flocking to Clacton for a new type of day out on the pier and promenade. By 1893 the pier was lengthened to 1180 feet and a theatre was built at the sea end. Between the wars, Ernest Kingsman purchased the pier and developed it into an entertainment centre resulting in Clacton becoming a leading seaside resort in England.

Looking 7km. out to sea towards the Gunfleet Sands there’s the 50 turbines of the Offshore Wind Farm, where Ørsted are generating enough clean energy for over 150,000 homes.
Ørsted Information booklet.