Southend-on-Sea has long been a favourite place for people who live in the Thames valley area to come and let their hair down. With a seven mile stretch of coastline along the north bank of the Thames estuary and the longest Pier in the world, most people think of Southend as a mecca for water-sports, beaches and views.A blend of great attractions, relaxing leisure pursuits and spectacular events all combine to make Southend a town bursting with fun,excitement and entertainment.
Southend is 35 miles east of London has two mainline railways to Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street, as well as good road connections.It is a busy shopping destination,with two main shopping centres containing major High Street stores and lots of unique independent shops. By night Southend has over 300 restaurants and cafes, and two major live entertainment venues - the Cliffs Pavilion and The Palace Theatre which offer varied entertainment throughout the year. You can also dine at the Cliffs Pavilion in their new Foyer Bar and Terrace and enjoy traditional seaside fare. The Cliffs Pavilion is set in one of Southend's other major attractions, the beautiful Cliffs Gardens.
Photos by Jeannette Briggs
The Adventure Island is a wonderful centre for adults and children who love an action packed venue with thrilling rides and gut wrenching twists and turns on the roller coasters. You can also enjoy the delights of The Kursaal, filled with slot machines of all kinds, or visit the seafront Aquarium, one of the best in the UK.If gambling is your scene, visit the Casino on the seafront, or if you have an interest in history then Southend also has an excellent Museum.You can also visit the pretty centre of Prittlewell with its ancient Priory, and Old Leigh, a quaint village whose life revolves around the fishing boats that go daily out into the Thames estuary to search for the freshest fish you can eat.
The Pier is world famous, with its little trains that run to the end of the jetty, 1 1/4 miles long out into the estuary of the River Thames. Southend hosts many events throughout the year. You can hear music from the Southend Bandstand in Priory Park most Saturday evenings, and visit the Robin Hood Country Show held in Garon Park in July. Also in June/July Southend hosts a spectacular Festival of the Arts which features work and performances by final year students at Southend colleges for further education, with concerts, film and play presentations, performances like Fuzion and King Ubu Roi, and a Book Fair.
Written by Jeannette Briggs
Pick of the town-not a scientific study just our opinion
Leigh-on-Sea - Cockle Sheds
Festival of the Arts
Robin Hood Country Show
The Hope Hotel
The Foresters Arms
The Last Post