What’s going for it? The Naze, since you’re asking, is the promontory or “ness” of land, colonised by seals and barely above sea level, curled come-hither into the North Sea like a finger beckoning the waves. The waves, I should add, do not need encouragement. The soft marshy sludge and crumbly fudge of the land round here is fast disappearing, with bungalows lined up like King Canutes before the sea with nought but a strip of green, promenade shelters and beach huts as the first line of defence. Not that the town itself seems overly concerned, yet, and on the plus side, you can find fantastic fossils fallen from the cliffs. It’s a lovely, jovial spot, with the air of a seafaring community that has seen off the sea for centuries. It’s the unpretentious twin to hoity Frinton next door, all bric-a-brac shops, caffs and purveyors of buckets and spades, oddities like the Naze Tower, glossed over with a becoming 1950s sheen, as if Telstar were still high in the hit parade, and the climate emergency was a worry decades into the future.
The case against The original town of Walton is miles out at sea. You have been warned.
Well connected? Trains: hourly to Colchester (40 mins), from whence the rest of the galaxy, or at least the mainline to London, Ipswich and Norwich. Driving: 40 mins to Colchester, 30 mins to the A12, 20 mins to Clacton.
Hang out at… Hipkins tea room, nursing a steaming cuppa, gazing wistfully over the beach huts. Had a lovely fry-up in the Round Table family restaurant.
Where to buy The streetscape is all very random, with 20s semis beside 19th-century fishermen’s terraces, bungalows or weatherboarded cottages cheek-by-jowl with Regency townhouses and grand modern villas. The small old town between the High Street, the Parade and the sea front is densely full of older properties. The actual Naze itself is poshest around Hall Lane, Cliff Parade and Old Hall Lane for detacheds and bungalows and the odd stretch of Victorian terraces, and towards town, a handsome strip of Regency townhouses at East Terrace. Or west out of town on Kirby Road and Walton Road. Large detacheds and townhouses, £400,000-£600,000. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £250,000-£400,000. Semis, £210,000-£350,000. Terraces and cottages, £150,000-£300,000. Flats, £115,000-£250,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £450-£550pcm; a three-bedroom house, £850-£1,150pcm.
Bargain of the week Five-bedroom Victorian townhouse in the old heart, with sea views; could do with an update. £250,000, with bairstoweves.co.uk.
From the streets
Anna de Pass “You can’t get artisan bread or a proper coffee. But that is its charm.”
Thea Roper “Amazing beaches; you may even see a seal or two.”
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