We spent the Easter long weekend in Walton on the Naze, making good use of all the available duvets in the Gyford family caravan to build nests to keep the cold at bay.
Catching the train out from Liverpool Street, we reached WONZ just before 10pm, and managed to nip into the Coop to stock up on food staples, and the essential copy of the Frinton and Walton Gazette. The store was closed for refurbishment last autumn. To be honest, I’d be hard pressed to tell you what the differences are between then and now. Settling into the caravan we didn’t bother to switch the fridge on, but focused on hot water bottles and extra layers of duvet instead.
Friday was surprisingly bright. Having walked along the sea wall into town, we checked for any other changes (none that we noticed. It’s surprising how some of the ‘vanity’ shops seem to have survived to see a second season) and bought essential cake supplies at Lilley’s Bakery. Back at the ‘van, having spotted a few hardy individuals making the most of sheltered sundecks, I ventured outside with deckchair and current read, Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies. Very pleasant, so long as I was out of the wind. The evening saw us start Spiral season 4, with a spring greens’ variation on Angela Hartnett’s tagliatelle with pine nuts, capers and kale recipe …
On Saturday morning we woke to snow flurries but once we’d surfaced the skies seemed clearer along the coast, and so we headed of along the prom towards Frinton, and …. continued on to Clacton! Inspired by the knowledge (gleaned from the Gazette) that it’s 7 miles between the piers, and also because we’ve talked about going to Clacton for as long as I’ve been coming to this part of the world, and never been. A lovely walk, full of surprises including back to front beach huts overlooking Frinton Golf Course (one for sale at £32,000 – blimey), the imposing church at Great Holland which dominated the skyline under ominous black clouds, and Clacton itself. After a late but very tasty lunch at The Pier fish and chip restaurant, we caught the No 7 bus back to Walton. Saturday evening turned out pretty much identical to Friday night’s, except dinner was quiche and greens.
On Sunday we walked, via fields flooded by the high spring tide, over to Hipkins Beach to check out the beach hut and the Naze, but spent most of the day in the caravan reading and eating our chocolate Easter Egg from dad and Jean, until heading out for a pint at The Victory and ever tasty thai with the lovely folk at the Pearl of Samui. Very heartening to hear they’d had a busy Easter weekend.
Monday, April Fools Day, we strolled over to the Art Exhibition in the Walton Maritime Museum, which was a rather cramped location for the large number and scale works on show. It did remind us that it was about time we revisited the museum proper though. Then on along the beach to Walton Pier, and then up past the beach hut building site next to Clifton Court (shoring up for more huts or private development, we couldn’t tell) and along the cliff top as far as the path down to Frinton Esplanade (Walton has a Promenade). A lovely sunny day, albeit accompanied by a biting cold wind. Mid afternoon train to take afternoon tea with John, then back to the smoke.