As well as the following information
there is much more to be found at the town's own website www.brightlingsea-town.co.uk
This unique and ancient maritime heritage
town at the mouth of the river Colne in north-east Essex has much to
offer our visitors. Once an island, Brightlingsea still retains
a close and embracing community spirit, and you can be sure of a warm
and friendly welcome.
Retaining much of its Victorian charm
together with a number of listed timber-framed houses, the attractive
and green town centre is bedecked each year from May to December with
award-winning floral displays, all created by the community.
A variety of independent shops stock
a wide selection of goods and the pubs, coffee shops and cafés are
on hand to feed the inner man and woman.
The harbour and promenade bustle with
activity and are both a must to visit and while away a few hours. Why
not enjoy a leisurely picnic at one of the beautifully maintained green
area at Promenade Way, where there is more fun to be had at the swimming
pool, the boating lake, the paddling pool (with its own little beach)
and the nearby cafés.
A number of walks around Brightlingsea
offer ramblers and walkers the opportunity to enjoy the diverse flora,
fauna and scenery which abound around this unique part of the Essex
Departing regularly from the town Hard,
a ferry will take you (and your bicycle) to the shores of Point Clear
and East Mersea where there is yet more on offer to visitors.
Nestling on a sheltered creek on the
Colne estuary Brightlingsea has some of the safest sailing waters in
Brightlingsea Sailing Club is well-known
for its ability to host world, European and national championships as
well as a variety of race meetings open to sailors from other clubs.
Racing takes place on most weekends from March to September.
Traditional smacks and bawleys can be
found at the harbour throughout the year. Brigaff, the annual
smack race and barge match, is held each September - a magnificent sight.
With moorings for nearly 400 vessels
up to 12m (40 feet), the leisure use of the harbour is central to its
activity. Visitors are made most welcome by the harbour staff
and coupled with the excellent service provided by the water taxi and
the facilities provided onshore by the Colne Yacht Club, Brightlingsea
has become a very popular port of call for yachtsmen and women from
home and abroad. 2005 saw the conversion of the causeway at the
Town Hard from a solid concrete structure to a floating jetty complete
with hammerhead. This now facilitates the mooring of much larger
craft than before, at all states of the tide.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Every winter the Essex coast and its
estuaries support more than a quarter of a million wading birds, ducks
and geese. Brightlingsea's sheltered Colne estuary provides a
rich larder for both resident and migrant birds.
The Colne Estuary is designated as a
Ramsar Site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
and a Special Protection Area under the EU Birds Directive.
If you like walking, bird-watching, or
just strolling, a visit to Brightlingsea's National Nature Reserve is
a must. Managed by English Nature this rich grazing marsh is home
to an abundance of wildlife including barn owls, kestrels, lapwings,
hen harriers, skylarks, green woodpeckers, sedge and reed warblers etc.
A circular nature trail leads you round this rich and diverse nature reserve. Trail leaflets are available from local retailers, the Harbourmaster, Brightlingsea Town Council and the Promenade Café.