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  • Essex Parks

Top 10 Family Friendly Beach and Riverside Playgrounds in Essex

Family Friendly Beach and Riverside Playground Guide

Essex has over 350 miles of beautiful coastline. In Essex you can find a mix of sandy and stoney beaches. There are fantastic family friendly beaches in Essex. Kids will love building sandcastles, swimming and collecting beach treasures (including Fossil hunting!). There are also great splashing opportunites at many riverside locations in Essex!

If you are looking to cool down this summer, without getting sandy, we have a guide to kid friendly splash pads in Essex. Here you will find fantastic splash pads across Essex including in Harlow, Brentwood and Southend-on-Sea. Our Guide to Essex Splash Parks .

This post features the following toddler friendly playgrounds in Essex (click to scroll to the playground):

📍 The Bath House Meadow Playground⁣

Walton on the Naze⁣

CO14 8PZ⁣

If you are visiting Walton-on-the-Naze I highly recommend a playground stop at The Bath House Meadow Playground. The best playground in Walton-on-the-Naze.

The playground has so much to offer; slides at different levels, swings, long swings, a trampoline, sand pit and sand digger and even a surf board! There is also winding musical equipment, mirrors and a musical ship wheel. ⁣This unique, beach/pirate themed playground is also accessible!⁣

📍Promenade Park

Park Drive



This popular river side park is situated on the river Blackwater. Promenade Park has something for everyone. The park hosts a sandpit, pirate themed playground, petting zoo, adventure golf, skateboard park, BMX track, model boating lake and an amazing seasonal splash park.

The Galleon - The climbing frame has lots of climbs and slides suitable for toddlers through to bigger kids. It also has stairs so easy for adults to go up and assist children too. There is also a smaller play area close by which is sand based. Bring buckets and spades! There is a much smaller boat climbing frame suitable for primary aged children. Read More...

📍St Georges Play Area

Heybridge Basin



This is not just a playground stop, you can easily spend a few hours here!

The small, enclosed playground has a climbing frame with slide, swings, climbing equipment, a roundabout, spinning equipment, climbing rope pyramid and ride on equipment. There are playing fields surrounding the play area and there are also more wooden climbing equipment.

Between the car park and playground there are plenty of places to stop for food and drink.

📍Victoria Esplanade

West Mersea



This quaint island is very family friendly. There are plenty of things to do on Mersea Island with kids. This lovely, bright coloured, playground overlooks the beautiful beach huts on Mersea Island.

The playground is small but well located. It is most suitable for smaller children, up to secondary age. There are climbing frames, a slide, climb on boat, ride on toys and a roundabout. The playground is enclosed. Read More...

📍Riverside Park




There are beautiful riverside walks along the River Crouch at Riverside Park. There is plenty for children to do including a beach themed playground and an orienteering course.

📍 Thorney Bay Beach

Canvey Island


Thorney Bay beach is a small, sandy beach cove area. There is a pathway surrounding the cove, making it accessible and buggy friendly. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables. The beach faces onto the Thames Estuary. Its a brilliant spot for ship spotting.

Next to the beach is a large flat grassy area with a playground. I love a beach playground, perfect for when everyone has had enough of the sand.

The playground has a loose ship theme. There are climbing frames for toddlers through to teens, baby swings, a small nest swing, a zipwire, seesaws and climbing boulder rocks. Read More...

📍Three Shells Beach

Western Esplanade



This beachside playground is located close to Southend's top attractions including Southend Pier (the longest Pier in Europe) and Adventure Island. The Three Shells Lagoon is very family friendly. The lagoon is always filled with water for splashing and the beach is sandy.

There is a small playground most suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. There are two pieces of play equipment - a climbing frame and sand chute equipment. There are toilets and showers close by. There are several beach front food stalls selling traditional seaside food. Read More...

📍Grays Beach Riverside Park

Thames Road


RM17 6HF

Grays beach park has a large playground with a sand pit in the middle. The park also has mini golf and a splash pad (seasonal).There is also a skate ramp, ball court and parkour area very close by. You can walk along the Thames Estuary and there

are also fields with lots of open space.

The large, pirate ship climbing structure is suitable for toddlers to teenagers. On the ground level there are lots of puddles, little seats and boxes to pour and collect sand. There are several different rope climbs, bridges and steps to get up to slide level. There are also several


📍Shoebury Common Playground



Shoebury Common Playground
Shoebury Common Playground

This playground is located close to the beach and Thorpe Bay's beautiful beach huts. The beach here is a mix of sand and pebbles. The playground has a nautical theme, there are boats, ship climbing frames and sea creature climb on equipment. There are a variety of swings, interesting sensory equipment and games. The playground is enclosed and there are plenty of picnic benches inside the playground. There is lots of open space around the playground and also outdoor gym equipment. Read More

📍Cudmore Grove Country Park

Broman's Lane

East Mersea

CO5 8UE 

This beautiful country park has so much to offer; nature walks, coastal exploration, a great adventure playground and trails. Children will love the imaginative playground and searching for shells and fossils on the beach. There are also a bird hides for keen wildlife spotters.

Don't forget to check the Park Directory for more park inspiration -


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