Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Beach Bear

Last weekend we borrowed some extra children (because, you know, we don't have enough) and headed off to Old Leigh about five miles away. Old Leigh is part of the bigger town of Leigh-on-Sea, and it's a fishing port. It's somewhere I used to go often as a child, so I wanted my children to enjoy it as much as I had.

Leigh is on the Thames Estuary, so the "sea" is actually the mouth of the River Thames. The tide goes all the way out leaving mud you can walk on. When we arrived, the tide was out, as you can see from this picture.

There are lots of fun things to see in Leigh. The children liked these anchors.

You can buy lots of lovely fresh fish which has just been caught, and the shellfish is especially good. Here's Tag wondering what he would like for lunch. (The crayfish was yummy.)

Hubby Dearest and I, with a little bear.

There is a short street leading up to the beach - it took us five minutes to amble along it. Despite being tiny, these homes are really expensive. This one is worth about £280,000, or $470,000.

Also on the street to the beach are lots of gift shops and a museum. Tag enjoyed looking at all the beach-themed goodies in the shops we passed. Can you see the reflection of the boat in the window?

There are several pubs too. Peter found one with his name on it!

Clara, Peter, Gregory, Ceri and Tag pose with a doughnut outside the Mayflower pub (which also serves ice-cream and doughnuts, and sells buckets and spades). It's thought that the original Mayflower, the ship which brought the pilgrims to America, was outfitted at Leigh. Can you see where Tag is hiding?

Just past the Mayflower pub is the beach! It's only about 800 yards wide and 50 yards deep, but it's sandy and the sea shelves very gently so it's safe for children. Ceri started by digging a hole for Tag to sit in, out of the wind.

Ceri turned Gregory into a mer-man!

After about an hour a big black cloud appeared and it started raining, so we decided to head back to the car. Ceri was already wet so she barely noticed the rain. And those dots you can see swimming in the sea with all their clothes on? Those are the other four children.

On the way back we took another photo near where we'd stood when we arrived. This time the tide was in, and the boats are floating again.

Old Leigh is a lovely place to visit, and we're really hoping to get another warm day this summer so that we can go there again.


  1. Audrey and I love that town already, because we share the middle name of “Leigh.” We’ll make you a deal: you send us your giant donut, and we’ll send you our giant ice cream! LOL!

    It looks like a great little town, and the beach looks like fun too. Hopefully you’ll have a day warm enough for swimsuits- I can’t imagine my kids getting all wet and sandy while fully clothed like that! Yikes!

    Thanks for all the great and interesting info. :-)

    1. Yeah, they weren't *supposed* to swim - just paddle - but one by one they "fell over" in the sea. We had only taken one towel! Silly children!