Visitors to Jubilee Beach in Southend-on-Sea have slammed it as the "worst place on Earth", with "dirty" sea that smells "so bad".
Holidaymakers took to TripAdvisor to warn others about their experience after finding the beach full of raw sewage, drug addicts and rubbish including condoms, lighters and plastic bags.
The Essex beach has recently been issued a sewage pollution alert from environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage after heavy rain led to sewage being pumped into the sea and washing up on the sand. The charity is now advising the public to stay away from it.
One user said they visited the beach in August last year only to find the beach with “rubbish everywhere” including glass bottles, cigarettes, and plastic bags.
They wrote on TripAdvisor: “The sea was so murky and grey you couldn’t see anything that was beneath the water. I ended up stepping on objects on the seabed that I couldn’t see and I got a few cuts. In addition it stank horribly- it smelt so bad.”
The visitor said there is a children’s lagoon area which is separated from the sea by rocks to stop tides affecting it.
The user wrote: “You can imagine how dirty this would be - so many people would swim there (including young children) and it would never be cleaned. It was the same water as when we went in 2019 but now it was literally black and smelt even worse than the rest of the beach.”
The visitor said the beach had some positives including small fountains for children to play, fish and chip shops, and an attraction park - but “the negatives outweigh the positives”.
‘An absolutely abysmal place’
Another TripAdvisor user said the beach had “drug dealers, drug takers and tramps” and was “an absolutely abysmal place”. They added: “The worst place on Earth. Avoid the beach, avoid the city, avoid the people.”
Last year a visitor said the beach is “appalling and full of litter” and “not suitable for families”, while another commented on the amount of rubbish they found during their visit to the beach in September 2021.
They said: “Everywhere you walk is just rubbish that people cannot be bothered to pick up. I’m not talking about the odd lolly stick or cup, there were cups, cans of alcohol, plastic Tesco bags, lighters, left tents, condoms, bottle caps, and god knows anything else that’s been covered by the sand.”
"I wouldn’t recommend this beach for anyone to be honest but especially for people travelling with young children. I travelled with a young family member and kept having to watch her to make sure she didn’t pick up anything from the sand where she was trying to play."
However, others have defended the beach, with one calling it "clean and tidy". One person wrote: "Amazing sunrises and sunsets. Beautiful views and ambience. Safe and sandy."
Other popular tourist destinations that have been affected by the warnings issued by SAS include Brighton, Scarborough, Blackpool and Whitstable.
Izzy Ross, Campaigns Manager at SAS, said: “We know all too well that the current sewage infrastructure can’t cope with rainfall after decades of underinvestment.
“It will continue as long as profiteering water companies, lax regulators and a blundering government let it happen.”
In just one year, England and Wales’ waterways had sewage pumped into them for at least 3.4million hours, according to recent figures analysed by Top of the Poops.
The River Severn was the most polluted river and saw 28,741 hours of sewage pumped into it on 2,656 occasions by Severn Trent Water.
NationalWorld has contacted Southend-on-Sea for comment.