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Coordinates: 51°50′53″N 1°16′05″E / 51.848°N 1.268°E / 51.848; 1.268
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Walton-on-the-Naze is located in Essex
Location within Essex
OS grid referenceTM246214
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCO14
Dialling code01255
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°50′53″N 1°16′05″E / 51.848°N 1.268°E / 51.848; 1.268

Walton-on-the-Naze is a seaside town on the North Sea coast. It is part of the parish of Frinton and Walton, in the Tendring district in Essex, England. The town is located north of Clacton and south of the port of Harwich; Frinton-on-Sea lies to the south of the town. The town has a population of 12,054, according to the 2011 census;[2] in 1931, the parish had a population of 3,071.[3] The town attracts many visitors; The Naze and the pier are the main attractions.

The parish was earlier known as Eadolfenaesse and then as Walton-le-Soken.[4] The name Walton is a common one meaning a 'farmstead or village of the Britons',[5] while 'Soken' denotes the soke (an area of special jurisdiction) that included Thorpe, Kirby and Walton, which were not under the see of London but under the chapter of St Paul's Cathedral.

Walton had a HM Coastguard team and was home to the Thames MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), organising rescues from Southwold to Herne Bay. It closed in June 2015,[6] as part of a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) modernisation programme, transferring its operations to a national centre in Fareham on the south coast. Walton-on-the-Naze railway station is on a branch of the Sunshine Coast Line. Along the coast there are many fossils to be found, some have been found to be up to 50 million years old. Rocks include red crag and London clay.

The Naze


"Naze" derives from Old English næss "ness, promontory, headland". In 1722 Daniel Defoe mentions the town calling it "Walton, under the Nase".[7]

The Naze is a peninsula north of the town. It is important for migrating birds and has a small nature reserve. The marshes of Hamford Water behind the town are also of ornithological interest, with wintering ducks and Brent geese. Many bird watchers visit at migration times.

The Hanoverian tower (more commonly known as the Naze Tower) at the start of the open area of the Naze was a sea mark to assist ships on this otherwise fairly featureless coast. It is now privately owned and open to visitors.

During the Second World War the Naze was home to a radar station, with some of its aerials mounted on the tower.

Cliff erosion, the overlying Red Crag deposit has eroded faster than the London clay base

Originally, Walton was a farming village situated miles inland. Over the centuries a large extent of land has been lost to the sea due to coastal erosion. The site of the medieval village of Walton now lies nine miles out to sea; its old church finally succumbed[clarification needed] in July 1798.[8] Its last service was held on 22 July 1798. This loss of land to the sea is recorded on a Canon's stall in St Paul's Cathedral with the inscription Consumpta per Mare.

The Naze continues to erode rapidly (at about 2 metres per year),[9] threatening the tower and wildlife. The Naze Protection Society was formed to campaign for erosion controls. The Naze has become popular for school fieldwork to investigate erosion and ways to protect the coast. Protection includes a sea wall, a riprap, groynes and a permeable groyne as well as drainage. Millions of tons of sand have been added to the beach to replenish it and stop the cliff eroding. However, the cliff near Naze Tower is greatly eroded. It is receding fast, and within 50 years Naze Tower may tumble into the sea like the pill boxes that can be seen on the beach.

The cliffs themselves are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the base of which is London Clay (54 million years old) which is overlaid with a 2-million-year-old sandy deposit of Red Crag. This sandy deposit contains many fossils including bivalve and gastropod shells, sharks' teeth and whale bones. The clay base is considered one of the best sites for pyritised fossils (mainly wood), and for bird bones (which are very rare);[10] in 1998, David Attenborough estimated that over 600 specimens of bird fossil had been found at the site.[11]



Like the rest of the British Isles, Walton-on-the-Naze has an oceanic climate, with slightly more marine influence than nearby inland areas due to its position on the North Sea coast.

Climate data for Walton-on-Naze (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 7.0
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 2.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 48.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 61.9 89.2 128.7 201.9 231.1 232.2 228.7 222.7 167.7 123.2 77.0 59.8 1,824
Source: Met Office[12]

Walton Pier

Walton pier, 2009

The original 150 ft pier was built in 1830, one of the earliest in the country. It was built for landing goods and passengers on steamers to Walton, and was lengthened to 330 ft in 1848.[13] The pier was badly damaged in a storm in January 1871.[14] A second pier opened in 1880, which also did not last.[14] In 1895, the Walton Pier & Hotel Company Ltd opened a replacement pier 500 ft longer than the original.[citation needed] in 1898, The Coast Development Company extended the pier to 2610 ft, becoming the third longest pier in the country.[13] When the new pier opened in 1895, an electric tramway was installed to take passengers from the steamers to the front of the pier. This was in use until 1935 when it was upgraded to a battery-powered carriage. In 1945 fire damaged the pier, and the carriage was replaced by a diesel locomotive train. This was removed during the 1970s.[13] In February 2021, part of the pier collapsed into the sea during Storm Darcy.[15]

In 1937, the pier was bought by Charles Goss, who formed the New Walton Pier Company. At the time, the pier featured a pavilion at the seaward end, an amusement arcade, a tent that served as a theatre, and the Seaspray Lounge.[13] In October 2011, the pier was put up for sale for £2.5 million, and was taken off the market in February 2012.[16][17] In July 2016, the pier was bought by Russell Bolesworth for an unspecified amount.[18] In 2022, the pier underwent a major revamp with a large arcade area, and was reopened to the public on July 16, 2022.[19]

The Walton and Frinton lifeboat has been moored afloat near the end of the pier since 1900.[13]

War memorial


The unusual war memorial commemorates a Halifax crew who all died when they crashed on the Naze. It also has a tribute to Herbert George Columbine, who was awarded the VC and after whom the local leisure centre is named, and a tribute to those lost from HMS Conquest during World War I.[citation needed]

Lifeboat house


The old lifeboat house on East Terrace dates from 1884: it now houses the Walton Maritime Museum. It was designed by C H Cooke and is a grade II listed building.[20]

Notable residents

  • Frank Paton, artist, moved to Walton-on-the-Naze shortly before his death in 1909.
  • Ben Raemers, professional skateboarder, lived in Walton-on-the-Naze and grew up there, where he first started skateboarding at the age of 10.



Although the civil parish is now shown under Frinton and Walton, an electoral ward in the name of Walton still exists. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 4,372.[21] On 1 April 1934 the parish was abolished to form "Frinton and Walton".[22]

Cultural references


Hamford Water and the town of Walton-on-the-Naze are the location of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series book, Secret Water.[23]

The town is referred to in the episode 'General Hospital' of the Blackadder Goes Forth series. When Lieutenant George is injured and sent to the military infirmary, Captain Blackadder visits him with the ulterior motive of getting his hands on the food sent to George by his family, whom Blackadder refers to as a "collection of inbred mutants". When George retorts that his family are not inbred, Blackadder replies, "Come on, somewhere outside Saffron Walden there's an uncle who's seven feet tall with no chin and an Adam's apple that makes him look as though he's constantly trying to swallow a ballcock!", to which George replies, "I have not got any uncles like that! Anyway, he lives in Walton-on-the-Naze".

Walton features as a turning point in the song "Tracy Jacks" from the album Parklife by Blur. The song's character, Tracy Jacks, takes "the first train to Walton" and stands "on the seafront". (Three of the band's members grew up in Colchester, from where one can take a train to Walton-on-the-Naze.)

The first iteration of "The Stig", an anonymous, petrol-guzzling racing car driver, created for and featuring in the 'Top Gear' television series, was killed off in 2003 when he accidentally drove[24] "The 'Top Gear' Jag" off the deck of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier. In February 2009, it is revealed he survived the accident when a group of men playing frisbee on Walton-on-the-Naze's Central beach witnessed "The Stig", wearing his iconic black overalls and helmet, emerge from the waves,[25] initially mistake their frisbee for a steering wheel, before turning and running down the beach and disappearing under the Pier.

Walton was the inspiration for the fictional Balford-le-Nez in Elizabeth George's detective story Deception on His Mind.

The seaside and pier of Walton were referred to briefly in an episode of EastEnders on 3 April 2017. During a scene between Martin and Stacey Fowler, Martin says that his sister Michelle and her friend Rachel took him and his other sister Vicki "down to the seaside, you know. Walton-on-the-Naze." Martin continues to talk about what they did on their trip to Walton. "Paddling, took us up the pier, bit of ice cream, building the sandcastles. The lot." Martin also references that they booked a caravan during their Walton trip, though the specific caravan site is not mentioned.

The band Bas Jan have a song named Walton On The Naze, which tells of the protagonist's experience in the town, on their 2018 album Yes I Jan.[26]

"Port Walton" is also featured in Assassin's Creed Valhalla as a military base in Essexe, garrisoned by West Saxon troops. The protagonist Eivor attacks the base to free a number of Rollo's warriors, who had earlier been captured in an ambush on their camp by Saxon soldiers.


  1. ^ The post town name is unhyphenated by Royal Mail. Because only the first 10 characters are given in Mailsort post town lookup tables, the lack of hyphens has the accidental benefit of helping to distinguish unpostmarked mail for WALTON ON THE NAZE from mail addressed to WALTON-ON-THAMES (which is officially hyphenated and has a lookup entry at "WALTON-ON-", though there is no entry for either town at "WALTON ON "). Royal Mail Mailsort Technical website
  2. ^ "Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex, East of England, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map, Location, Weather and Web Information". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Population statistics Walton le Soken CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  4. ^ "History of Walton on the Naze, in Tendring and Essex | Map and description". Visionofbritain.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  5. ^ Mills 1998
  6. ^ "End of an era as Thames Coastguard station in Walton closes down today". East Anglian Daily Times. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  7. ^ Defoe 1927
  8. ^ "Essex - Coast - Walton Town / Naze Park". BBC. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex)". Discovering Fossils. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  11. ^ The Life of Birds, by David Attenborough; p. 23; published 1998 by BBC Books; ISBN 0563 387920
  12. ^ "Walton-on-Naze (Codet2) (Essex) UK climate averages - Met Office". Met Office. Retrieved 6 July 2024.
  13. ^ a b c d e "The History Of Walton Pier at Walton on The Naze". Walton Pier. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  14. ^ a b Foote Wood, Chris (2008). Walking over the waves: quintessential British Seaside piers. Caithness: Whittles Publishing. ISBN 978-1904445-67-8.
  15. ^ "Part of historic pier structure collapses into sea". Clacton and Frinton Gazette. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Walton Pier put on the market for £2.5million". Gazette. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Walton-on-the-Naze pier no longer up for sale". BBC News. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  18. ^ "New owner buys pier and vows to bring back the glory days for top attraction". Clacton and Frinton Gazette. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Walton Pier set to complete final stages of relaunch". Clacton and Frinton Gazette. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  20. ^ "23 remarkable places listed in 2018". Historic England.
  21. ^ "Walton ward population 2011". Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Relationships and changes Walton le Soken CP/AP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  23. ^ David., Fairhall (2013). East Anglian shores. London: Adlard Coles Nautical. ISBN 9781472903426. OCLC 859162120.
  24. ^ "The End of The Stig? | Jaguar vs Jet | Top Gear". YouTube. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Black Stig Returns from the Dead". YouTube. 5 February 2009. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  26. ^ "Yes I Jan". Bandcamp. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2021.

Further reading


Media related to Walton-on-the-Naze at Wikimedia Commons