The second-longest pier in the country and the golden sands beneath Southcliff are about three minutes' walk from Walton-on-the-Naze station, the terminus of the Walton branch of the Sunshine Coast Line. Rail first reached this Essex coastal town back in 1867, speeding its transformation from an old farming village into a popular seaside resort - a process that began with the building of the pier some thirty years before. Today the branch line links Walton-on-the-Naze with Colchester and onward services to London Liverpool Street.
Most of the town's shops and restaurants are on High Street and nearby Old Pier Street, just a short walk from the station. Follow the coast north of the town and you'll come to The Naze itself, a peninsula that - along with neighbouring Hamford Water marshes - is popular with birds and birdwatchers alike. The Naze Tower offers stunning views along the coast and over the surrounding countryside.