There are plenty of beaches across Essex you can visit with the family, whether you're after a walk along the coast, fun in the sea, or a relaxing afternoon on the sand.

And with restrictions now easing, meaning you can now meet with up to six people outside, you may be planning a day out with your loved ones.

To help you pick out the ideal beach you might like to visit, we've compiled a list of the top ten best beaches in Essex.

The following options have each made to the top spot after being ranked by the tourist information group Visit Essex.

Shoebury East Beach

Halstead Gazette:

Photo - Al Underwood

Commonly described as a hidden gem, Shoebury East Beach is typically popular with families - boasting a children’s paddling pool for when the tide is out. 

Uncle Tom's Cabin is also just a stones throw away from the sand and shingle beach, with a number of beach huts nearby.

Canvey Beach

Halstead Gazette:

Based on Eastern Esplanade, Canvey is known for it's iconic beach.

Sun-seekers can head down for a splash in the water, fun on the sand, or even enjoy the number of amusements along the seafront.

If you're planning on staying for a drink or bite to eat you could always head down to Concorde Cafe or Jimmy Mac's, while Movie Starr is set to open from May 21.

Jaywick Beach

Taking a trip to Jaywick Beach means not only enjoying the sand, but also a spot of history.

The attraction - based between Clacton-on-Sea and Colne Point - features a number of Martello Towers along its coastline, dating back to the 19th century.

Westcliff Beach

Halstead Gazette:

With the sandy shoreline, you can guarantee families love a day out down at Westcliff. 

Nearby amusement arcades, as well as Rossi’s famous ice-cream parlour, gives you plenty to keep you and your young ones entertained.

If you're feeling peckish you can head down to restaurants like the Oyster Creek Kitchen who are more than ready to take your order.

Thorpe Bay Beach

Halstead Gazette:

Picture- Hunt Roche

As a Blue Flag and Quality Coast awards winner, Thorpe Bay Beach is known for it's prestine waters and sand.

Water sports such as kayaking, sailing and windsurfing particularly prove popular at the hotspot off Thorpe Esplanade, while there are also plenty of places for refreshments you can stop throughout the day along the seafront.

To name just one, further along on Eastern Esplanade is Pebbles One Cafe.

Chalkwell Beach

Perfect for commuters, Chalkwell Beach is only a walk from Chalkwell Station.

The pebbly waters edge is accompanied by a lively promenade, with the beach known to draw crowds particularly during the hot weather.

Should you fancy a snack, the Saltwater Beach Cafe is based nearby on Chalkwell Esplanade.

The Naze Beach

Halstead Gazette:

For those looking for a more relaxed trip out, the Walton-on-the-Naze beach is a tranquil sandy destination ideal for getting slightly more peace and quiet.

The Naze Tower, an eight-storey tower built in the 18th century, can be found on the cliffs.

While the beach is also ideal for fossil hunters.