Clacton Pier: UK’s Largest Pleasure Pier
Clacton Pier, covering an incredible 6 1/2 acres, holds the title as the largest pleasure pier in the UK. Originally built in July 1871 as a landing stage for goods, it was the first construction in the newly developed town of Clacton-on-Sea. At that time, the town was created as a holiday destination for Londoners, with limited road access and no railway, making the pier the primary gateway for goods, holidaymakers, and locals alike.
In 1922, the pier fell into receivership and was bought by Ernest Kingsman, a businessman who recognized its potential as an amusement destination. Kingsman was responsible for numerous extensions and additions to the pier, including the construction of the swimming pool, three theatres, the original steel Stella roller coaster, and the blue lagoon dance hall. However, since the Kingsman family sold the pier in 1971, it has gone through a series of owners and experienced a decline in its condition.
Fortunately, in March 2009, the pier was purchased by the newly formed Clacton Pier company, which has invested heavily in its revitalization. Today, the pier offers a range of new and refurbished family fun rides, the Seaquarium sealife center, 10-pin bowling, the Boardwalk bar, an American diner, various dining options, fantastic fish and chips, an activity zone, and a function room called The Kingsman Room. The Clacton Pier company promises even more exciting developments and invites visitors to like their Facebook page and check their website for updates.
Princes Theatre: Impressive Performing Arts Venue
Constructed in 1931, the Princes Theatre is an impressive purpose-built theatre with an auditorium that can seat up to 820 people. Featuring modern retractable tiered seating and a large proscenium arched stage, this venue offers limitless possibilities for performances and events. The Princes Theatre regularly hosts shows by celebrity acts, providing Clacton-on-Sea residents and visitors with top-notch entertainment.
West Cliff Theatre: Clacton’s Only Purpose-Built Theatre
Established in 1899, the West Cliff Theatre is the only surviving purpose-built theatre in Clacton-on-Sea and is run independently by the West Cliff Trust. The theatre hosts a wide range of professional touring shows, as well as performances by local amateur dramatic and operatic groups, dance schools, and other youth groups. With a compact auditorium that boasts nearly 600 seats, the West Cliff Theatre offers a unique atmosphere and is a favorite choice for artistes and audiences alike. Visitors can also enjoy the Stage Door Bar, which is open before, during intervals, and after each show. The lounge is available for private functions with or without bar and catering services.
The Pavilion: Fun for the Whole Family
Clacton Pavilion Fun Park is the perfect destination for a day out with family and friends in Essex. The park is home to a wide variety of rides and amusements that cater to all ages. It proudly boasts the UK’s first outdoor waterpark of its kind, along with numerous rides for children of all ages, a high rope adventure, and plenty of inflatable fun. In addition to the classic favorites, Clacton Pavilion Fun Park offers something to test the nerve of every visitor and keep them entertained all day long.
Greensward Adventure Golf: Mini Golf for the Whole Family
The whole family can put their skills to the test at Greensward Adventure Golf, a nine-hole adventure golf course. Located adjacent to the cafe, this course is open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, with extended hours during school holidays. Greensward Adventure Golf is challenging enough to maintain the interest of serious players while being forgiving enough for beginners. This leisure experience provides a welcome break from the beach and funfair activities. Best of all, it is affordably priced at £4.50 for adults and £3.50 for children (under 16) and seniors. Additionally, visitors with a loyalty card can enjoy a free game after paying for five players.
Century Cinema: A Classic Film Experience
Originally opened in 1936, the Century Cinema was known for its impressive 1,743 seats. However, in 1967, the cinema was converted into a bingo hall and two auditoriums. The Century Cinema, located on the corner of Pier Avenue and Old Road, welcomed audiences on July 25, 1936, with the film “When Knights Were Bold” starring Jack Buchanan and Fay Wray. Designed in a stunning Art Deco style by local architect G.H.B. Gould, the cinema had a seating capacity of 1,743 (1,428 in the stalls and 486 in the circle).
Accommodations in Clacton-on-Sea
For visitors who wish to extend their stay in Clacton-on-Sea, there are several holiday parks offering lodge and static home rentals. These parks provide comfortable accommodations for a relaxing vacation by the sea.
Clacton-on-Sea offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Whether it’s enjoying the thrills of Clacton Pier, watching a show at the Princes Theatre and West Cliff Theatre, having a blast at Clacton Pavilion Fun Park, testing golf skills at Greensward Adventure Golf, or catching a movie at Century Cinema, there is something to suit every taste. Plan your visit and enjoy all that Clacton-on-Sea has to offer.
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