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FEATURE ❘ ESSEX


A journey through TOWIE country on two wheels


Scot Whitlock sets out to banish any mis-conceptions.


right out of the entrance to the park onto the B1441 in the direction of Little Clacton. I had initially planned to pedal down to St Osyth Beach. The roads were typically rural and because of the early hour, deserted. I took another right turn and followed the road westwards through Aingers Green, negotiating some lovely wooded areas and eventually arriving in the small village of St Osyth’s. The place had a quaint, well preserved centre, there is a lovely Abbey dating from the 12th century which I had read was open daily between Easter and September. I steered through the desolate roads with ease and ten minutes later I caught my first glimpse of the sea. I negotiated myself through Seawick Holiday Park, acres of caravans, chalets and bungalows covered the whole landscape. The place was deserted; my senses were drawn to a familiar aroma, bacon, the staple of any good English breakfast. It eventually started to rain as I reached the sea wall, not heavy but a constant, annoying drizzle. The sea was in an angry mood, an impromptu


dip was definitely out of the question. I pedalled along the sea wall north towards the delights of Clacton. The panorama was so seductive, and after a short distance I encountered my first Martello Tower. They were originally built to defy Napoleons invasion threats in the early 19th Century and still provide an imposing and mysterious presence, overlooking the sea defences, but unfortunately they now just appeared tired and slightly dilapidated. As I continued on towards the resort I became aware of the wind turbines of Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind farm. The large white structures sit protruding proudly out of the water approximately four miles off the coast and provide clean, renewable electricity to approximately 125,000 households and there is the capacity to accommodate more than 20% of households in the County in the future. Enthusiastic ‘Thumbs Up’ for green, renewable energy!


The glorious empty white beaches I assumed are one of the main attractions of


March 2015 l Cycling World 63


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