There can be fewer things as bracing as a winter beach walk.

Many prefer the beach at this time of year than in summer.

So before all our Essex sandy spots are jam packed with day trippers, make the most of the serene landscapes and vast open natural spaces out of 350 miles of Essex coastline.

1. Frinton-on-Sea Beach.

Much mocked for its tight regulations, Frinton is actually a gorgeous family-friendly resort with a lovely beach that’s hard to beat - although watch out the sea does come in quite close at high tides. Behind the beach is an extensive promenade, lined with colourful, old-fashioned beach huts and there’s also the lovely grassy area, the Greensward, which should the weather allow is a great place for a wintery blanket picnic.

2. Whitehouse Beach, Wivenhoe.

Ok, not exactly a beach in the conventional sense, and I’m not sure I would want to go for a swim there, but then this is a list of places to go for Wintery walks, and this place is perfect for that. Located between Wivenhoe and Alresford, it’s serenity itself with the sharp shrills of the waders out on the mud flats and the gentle lapping of the water on the shingle. Definitely my happy place.

3. The Naze, Walton.

Although the super tower won’t be open until March 30, the Naze is still worth a stroll at this time of year. There’s fossil hunting.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Don’t climb the cliffs, they’re very dangerous, and there’s plenty of ‘finds’ to be had on the beach. And don’t forget to go right round the coast to catch the plethora of sea birds hanging out on Hamford Water.

4. Bradwell on Sea

The landscape of Bradwell is breathtaking, mainly because as you stand on the beach, behind you will be the 7th century Chapel of St Peter on the Wall, the oldest church in England. The ancient chapel was built in 674 using the brick of the ruined Roman fort, hence ‘on the wall’ and is a must for any Essex walker.

5. Dovercourt Beach

If you’re looking for views, those “headless giraffes” over the way at Felixstowe docks are hard to beat, not to mention the huge ships that sail into Harwich.