Staring at the sea...
Round up of the ones we’ve seen so far.
Swannage pier: rating 8/10
Style: Victorian/Edwardian(recently restored)
Cost: Entrance fee at some times of the day.
Attractions: pier, recently restored paid in part by hundreds of plagues to locals in the piers planks, nice display of old gaming machines you can play, people scuba diving & fishing, nice multi-height bit at the end, plenty of seats, some shade. Sadly no café at the end of the pier but you could carry a tea from the museum/shop I suppose.
Ideal for: trysts, moody introspection and sullen fishing.
Style:1950’s (?)with modern bits.
Cost:10 bob entrance fee.
Attractions: Small kid’s rides at the end. The amusements in front of the entrance where ok although there was only 2p’s and no tat in the penny falls!
Has a café/restaurant in modern dark wood cream walls latte friendly style but no shaded seating for drinking outdoors but does have free wi-fi. The views along the coast are excellent.
Ideal for: sun worshipping retired types perhaps with grandchildren to entertain.
Clacton (formerly clapton!): 9/10
Style: Edwardian Moorishly domed frontage with corrugated sheds and cafes behind the facade.
Cost : Free
Attractions: Excellent undercover amusements and rides. Plenty of tat in the penny falls and supposedly a “sooty and sweep” animatronics display.Outdoor rides for teenagers to scream on. Excellent pier end café that sold chips and little packet of biscuits etc with panoramic steamed up views of the endless briny nothingness that is the North Sea.
Ideal for: loud parties of teenagers, nice strolling couples in rain hoods and car coats, close to tears couples having “a moment”, daft types like me who like peeling corrugated iron anyone really except people who get excited about new ranges of food at M&S or anyone who knows the model number of their pressure washer .