Mersea Island is an area full of unique character welcoming thousands of tourists and locals every year. 

It is also a firm favourite with celebrities and has been used as the backdrop for advert campaigns. 

Denise van Outen, for example, once shared her staycation on the island. 

The TV presenter took to Instagram to share a series of photos of her visit, capturing West Mersea's colourful beach huts. 

Read more >> Mersea beach huts used as backdrop for clothing brand's new advert

But some visitors haven’t quite enjoyed their trip to the coast as much as the rest of us.

Some have even taken to Tripadvisor to express their distaste and leave some pretty harsh - but hilarious - reviews.

So here are five of West Mersea beach's toughest critics and why they weren’t quite so keen:

'I wouldn't have liked to swim' 

This reviewer didn't have the best trip...

They said: "It may be that I didn’t find the right bit of coast, but the beach was incredibly muddy, as was the water – I wouldn’t have liked to swim in it.

"And the only place I could find to eat was at the holiday park."

'Don't waste your time, nothing there' 

This reviewer also an issue with the beach and how muddy it was. 

They said: "Mostly mud!- don't waste your time nothing there. Drove round in circles due to the lack of road signs. Will not recommend or return."

'Never again'

One review said: "I don't know where the lovely sandy beaches are at Mersea, all we found was thick mud and sinking sand? Never again!!!"

'We found it very disappointing'

This reviewer said Mersea was no match for other seaside resorts in north Essex. 

They said: "People rave about Mersea but we found it very disappointing, prefer Dovercourt, Brightlingsea and Frinton, for an afternoon out.

"Toilet facilities very disappointing and dogs allowed to roam off lead going to toilet in the sand with no owners in sight. Saw lots of dog poo on the greens ward too."

'Minimal parking and wardens out in force' 

This reviewer wasn't quite sure what people see in the area. 

They said: "Very minimal parking but plenty of wardens to issue tickets on a Sunday. There are great food outlets but little else in this run down port with lots of tiny dingies."

Read more >> Denise van Outen enjoys staycation trip on the north Essex coast

Thankfully, harsh reviews of Mersea beach are few and far between and there are plenty of positive ones out there.

On Tripadvisor alone, there are dozens of flattering and nice comments which prove people's experience is on the whole, a good one. 

One person said: "Had a few walks here recently. It's a great place to take dogs, and also if you are a keen photographer."

Another said: "Lovely spot to sit and relax easy parking great cafe and shop nearby. Nice and peaceful tidal we wore beach shoes as stones."

This review was also full of praise. 

It said: "Mersea must be one of the most beautiful islands I have been to, It is so clean and there is some thing to interest every one of all ages.

"There are plenty of places to stay, from self catering holiday lets to caravan holiday parks, with plenty to entertain the kids if you have them or if you don't there are lots of quite lets available."