Escape to the Seaside: Making the Most of the Coast – three-night break

We know what it’s like. You come away for a short break, and regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the area, sometimes it can feel a chore, or too much pressure, to come up with a winning holiday itinerary when you’re supposed to be relaxing. Never fear, we’ve taken the hard work out of planning.

Seagulls and deckchairs on a beachWe’ve pulled together a round-up of all the best things to do during your trip to Stoke by Nayland Resort. In this series you’ll find an Art Lover’s Paradise Itinerary, a Heritage & History Itinerary, an Outdoors & Active Itinerary, and of course, Escapes to the Seaside.

We know we’re a little biased, but Stoke by Nayland Resort really is the perfect spot for exploring the coast. We’re just one hour and 40 minutes from Central London and nestled deep in the lush countryside, the perfect springboard to visit the neighbouring coastline of Suffolk and Essex.

There’s a wide variety of award-winning beaches to choose from and below outlines the choice you have at your fingertips – most of which are less than an hour away. Regardless of the season, folks always enjoy spending time at the beach, whether that’s to experience sea swimming during the hotter months or to wrap up warm and enjoy fresh seafood or a traditional fish-and-chip lunch by the crashing waves in the blustery, atmospheric winter.

DAY 1 – Explore one of Essex’s Coastal gems

MORNING – Mersea Island

Mersea IslandJust a forty-five-minute drive from the Resort, breathe in the fresh sea air on an estuary island of two halves.

Spend a morning walking along the white sandy beach at West Mersea, taking in the colourful beach huts and shallow waters, ideal for a paddle or kayaking. Hire a beach hut for the day through The Little Beach Hut Company and sit back and enjoy the view.

LUNCH – The Company Shed enjoying a fresh fish platter or traditional fish and chips with seafront views.

AFTERNOON – East Mersea

Travel across the island to East Mersea for rural, natural beaches, grassland and meadows.

Check out the unspoilt nature reserve at Cudmore Grove for its stunning coastal landscape and historical sites on the coast, featured in Apple TV’s The Essex Serpent.

Find out more about Mersea Island here.


ScampiAfter all that fresh sea air and sandy toes, retire back to the Resort for a lite bite to eat in the Sports Bar.

Tuck into scampi and fries to complete your seaside adventure.


DAY 2 – Explore more of Essex’s coastline

MORNING – Discover Brightlingsea

Enjoy a hearty breakfast with us before setting off for the day. Just 40 minutes from Stoke by Nayland and between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea, Brightlingsea has an inviting sandy beach with a promenade of pastel-coloured beach huts. It’s also a popular spot for yachting. Take advantage of some Insta-moments here, and pop to one of the many cafes for a coffee:

You might even like to head off on a Brightlingsea Boat trip. During the summer and until the end of September, Brightlingsea Harbour runs a daily foot ferry service to Mersea Island and Point Clear.

AFTERNOON – Seafood Pub Lunch

Head to this popular spot in Brightlingsea for some fresh seafood and a cold glass of white wine or a beer in the Rosebud Pub. Then pop back to the beach for a spot of beachcombing and to walk off lunch before heading back to Stoke by Nayland Resort.




CocktailsIf the water was a bit cold today, head to our pool for a quick swim before dinner. Water is the theme of the day, after all!

Then after a busy day out by the coast, and extending the ‘water’ theme even further into your night, dive into one of our cocktails and enjoy dinner in our Lakes Restaurant. (Don’t forget to pre-book.)

Check out our wide range of cocktails from the old favourites with Margaritas, Martinis or Pina Colada to get you in the holiday mood!




MORNING – Aldeburgh

AldeburghAfter a lazy breakfast in bed (just speak to reception to arrange this the day before), head to Aldeburgh in Suffolk for the day. Just 1 hour from Stoke by Nayland, Aldeburgh is an up-market and pristine seaside town. A really artsy place with many excellent cafes and restaurants – we love the Two Magpie Bakery. Stock up on takeaway coffees and head to the beach.

Insta-Moment: Visit Maggi Hambling’s ‘Scallop’, the iconic scallop shell statue on the beach between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.

AFTERNOON – Southwold & Walberswick

SouthwoldJump in the car and head to neighbouring Southwold’s estuary, 30 minutes from Aldeburgh. Enjoy lunch at Southwold’s finest chippie, Sole Bay Fish Co, and dig in to seafood, traditional fish and chips, and a wide selection of wine and beer.

After a hearty lunch, head to Walberswick via the Rowing Boat Ferry from Southwold (just a stone’s throw from Sole Bay Fish Co). This shortcut over the water will save you an 8-mile trip by car. When there, mooch around the shops, head to one of the pubs or simply enjoy the architecture and daydream about buying a house here.

Hop onto the Rowing Boat Ferry to head back to Southwold. If you’d like to explore more of the town’s delights, enjoy a fun visit to the Under the Pier Show, a rather unique and eccentric collection of interactive arcade machines. Take a tour of Adnams Brewery if you fancy a tipple, before meandering to the historical Southwold Lighthouse, built in 1890.

DINNER – Fish Supper at Lakes Restaurant

Enjoy locally-caught fish at our Lakes Restaurant (don’t forget to pre-book, it can get busy during peak seasons).

Or if you’ve had enough seafood for one day, opt for something a bit meatier from our menu – not forgetting the delicious veggie and vegan options we have too.



Experience excellent facilities, spacious bedrooms and exceptional service in our contemporary hotel, the ideal place to relax, rest and recharge. We have a great range of special offers and packages available so that you can really make the most of your stay. Take a look at our latest hotel offers here.


If you’d like to experience these fantastic days out by the sea with loved ones, you might also consider booking a stay at our Apple Tree Lodges. Based within the stunning grounds of Stoke by Nayland Resort, our eco-friendly self-catering lodges offer 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms, which can collectively accommodate up to 32 adults in our 16 ensuite double/twin bedrooms.

With airy open-plan interiors and secluded wrap-around terraces overlooking the Essex/Suffolk countryside, the lodges are a stunning spot for short or longer getaways – and just a short stroll from the fantastic golf, spa, and dining facilities we offer here at the Resort.


• You may also like to explore Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, under an hour from Stoke by Nayland, which has a Blue Flag sandy beach. It’s a quiet location, perfect for families
• Want something livelier? Try neighbouring Clacton-on-Sea or Walton-on-the-Naze
• Holland-on-Sea, Essex, 35 minutes from Stoke by Nayland, is great for walks and bird watching. There are promenades that run alongside the beach
• How about Mersea Island, Essex, just 40 minutes from Stoke by Nayland? A little gem famous for its native oysters and nature reserves – oh and excellent for sailing
• Or journey up to Norfolk for a further 90 miles of coastline!

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