Tendring is named after a small village at its centre which earlier gave its name to Tendring Hundred. Also referred to as the Tendring Peninsula, it is bounded to the north by the River Stour and its estuary, to the south-west by the River Colne and its estuary, and to the south and east by the North Sea. In addition to the large estuaries, its key features are Hamford Water, a National Nature Reserve, and The Naze, the only significant stretch of cliffs on the Essex coast. Most of its important wildlife sites are on the coast or on the estuaries, but inland it also has a few fine old woods and a former gravel pit.