Today we put on our tourist hat and took a trip an hour and a half down the road to Essex’s illuminated attraction, Clacton Pavilion! A hive of fun and frolics all rolled up in one mega sandwich of seaside lights and laughter whereby the kiddos got to experience a great British day out with all the quick kisses of the rides, ice cream, sand, sea and a little less sunshine in the sky than we’d have liked (a Great British day out doesn’t spell sunny after all) but just as much sunshine in our hearts as we could have hoped for! And hey, by the afternoon the sun did actually appear and wow was it a beautiful afternoon!
The Pavilion in Clacton is home to the rides which are most suited to under tens. There are a few thrill seeking numbers but on the whole the attractions here are for a younger (or more scaredy cat like Florence) audience and it was absolutely perfect for Raffie. Jimmy loved it too and we did find a couple of biggies for him (he’s the dare devil of the family) so as a family day out with lots of different ages it worked for us. Even Posie could come on a couple of rides with me. Famous for flashing lights, rides, ice cream and a golden sandy beach Clacton is also the place to ride the Pavilion’s 150th anniversary wheel (a must do as we can now authoritatively tell you). Celebrating a century and a half of Clacton-On-Sea fun the wheel will give you panoramic views of the whole resort and if that’s not enough for you then take a splash in their brand new Water Park! We did all of this today and it was all FAB!
I’m always seeking water fun and this new feature of aqua fun is brilliant. Totally awesome and we didn’t want to leave as we hit it at just the right point of the day. The sun had come out and yet it wasn’t too busy despite being incredibly reasonably priced. £6.99 per child peak (off peak is £3.99 with that being term time week days) and one accompanying adult per child goes for free (as do babies). There were changing room, very clean seating areas and the most glorious swim/splash fun with slides, fountains and more. It was a genuinely pleasant place to sit and watch the kiddos as well as having fun in the water with them. Couldn’t fault this and absolutely loved our 2 hour slot! It IS weather dependent so we had been a little anxious that we might not get to try it out and I’m so glad we managed to in the end. Being typical Brits we were as prepared to get our swimming costumes on in the rain as we usually are to BBQ, sit on the beach or trudge around tourist spots sight seeing – what a treat that the sun shone for us instead, despite the forecast. You might not be able to rely on the weather in the UK but you can count on fun in Clacton!
The rides were fun and can be used unlimitedly with wristbands which either cost £8.99 (all ages) without a ride on the wheel or £11.99 (all ages) including a whirl on the beautiful, celebratory eye of Clacton. This makes a saving of £1 from the regular wheel price of £4 per person if this is all you are wanting to go on.
Such a lovely day was had by all of us, we thoroughly enjoyed it all but especially the wheel and the splash zone. Rides I could take or leave if I’m honest though the kids love them of course so I’ll always go for them and being the right level for us was perfect. They did provide my only niggle of the day in that not ALL of them are included in the price of the wrist band and that’s just annoying as all parents know. I much prefer a venue where there are no hidden costs and there was rather a lot of machines begging for pennies (pounds) and then this fantastic looking car on water ride that OF COURSE the littles didn’t want to miss. Its a slight grumble but one I think all parents have when it comes to these things and one to note in order to pre manage expectations.
We had a tremendous day all in and with the gorgeous beach (Clacton sand and sea really is fantastic, I never knew) it made for super fun. Though we live but two counties away in Norfolk we rarely stop in Essex bypassing it on the way to London often but never finding that we have a reason to make the detour. We’ve met pals on Frinton beach (a place I used to go as a child when my dad lived in Colchester and the best place for cricket) and we’ve visited Walton on the Naze as my grandmother had a house there at one point but Clacton hasn’t been on our radar until now. We now have that reason as we are thoroughly in the know about this little gem which can be lots of things depending on what you’re after and next time we are Essex bound it will almost certainly need to incorporate a visit to the famous Clacton Pavilion. Just for that splash area alone!
We had lots of laughs and loads of fun on all the rides, water, wheel and the beach. There’s also lots we didn’t do like bowling, arcade games, soft play and more, not to mention the food. Next time we need to sink into the wonderful looking cocktails and restaurants. I think I always assume the catering at these sort of places is going to be a bit miss in the sense that it has a captive audience and doesn’t have to be particularly good but from what we saw (we brought a picnic today – next time will be different) it all looked immense. Lush smelling food with lots of choices and tons of instagrammable pics popping up on my phone as I looked at their feed making me wish we’d made a different meal choice for the day. Oh well, next time!
I think what’s evident from our visit today is that though Clacton Pavilion may be an oldie celebrating its 150th anniversary, it is far from tired these days. Spring chicken like in attitude and face is more like it and the delight on the children’s faces (and our own) was evident all day long. We feel like we’ve had a mini holiday, a little break away all in just one day, a DAY-CAYTION if you will! For some good old-fashioned family fun by the seaside then this is your place to be!
With thanks to the brilliant team at Clacton Pavilion, we had an ace Day-Cation indeed!
We were gifted our day out at Clacton Pavilion.