A little about Southend

Southend is one of England’s true crowning jewels. Offering up sun, sea, sand and a sensational community spirit, it’s the perfect location for any family holiday or day out – especially as it hosts our very own Adventure Island!

It’s no wonder, then, that Southend welcomes up to 300,000 visitors per day during the summer season, making it the undisputed hospitality hotspot of Essex.

Read on for more information about Southend and get a feel for what makes this dazzling coastal town so unique.

Fun facts about the local area

Southend is home to the longest pleasure pier in the world
That’s right! Southend Pier reaches 1.33 miles (2.14km) into the sea, making it the longest structure of its kind anywhere on the planet. It even has its own train!
Our pier has been rebuilt many times
The original timber incarnation was replaced by an iron pier way back in 1889, but the mega jetty has been revamped and rebuilt twice since, due to fire damage.
Southend is officially the warmest and driest part of the UK
Sure, we get the odd drizzly day – but despite our shoreside location, Southend’s weather usually holds out for holidaymakers!
TV and movie producers have shot many scenes in and around the town
Parts of Southend have been featured in a huge range of films and TV programmes, including Essex Boys, EasEnders, and the James Bond thriller Goldfinger.
Southend was a prominent military base during the Second World War
Throughout WWII, Southend was renamed HMS Westcliff – yes, really! – and was completely out of bounds to everyone other than the military and a few surviving residents.
We have our own airport!
Having undergone something of a revamp in 2011, London Southend Airport now flies to dozens of global destinations and is just 45 minutes from the capital by train.
Vera Lynn started her career in a Southend ballroom
The Forces’ Sweetheart’s early performances took place at Southend’s Kursaal, one of the world’s first amusement parks established over 100 years ago, in 1901.
Southend is a city!
Tuesday 1st March 2022 marked the day that Southend became a city. This was following the sad passing of Sir David Amess, who was pushing for Southend to gain the city status. We celebrated with a royal visit from their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall - who visited Sands by the Sea!

Things to do in Southend on Sea

Nothing beats a stroll along Southend’s seven miles of seafront. The coast is blessed with beautiful views and, of course, the iconic skyscape of our spectacular theme park. Visitors can enjoy a walk along our impressive pleasure pier, a short ride on the UK’s shortest cliff lift, and a stunning interactive introduction to marine life in the amazing Sealife Adventure aquarium. For the culture vultures amongst you, there are some beautiful historical sites that are worth a visit, including Southchurch Hall and Prittlewell Priory.

As you’d expect from such a long-standing seaside resort, there are also plenty of places to stay, dine and unwind. Southend boasts over 300 restaurants, countless shops (including the great selection of retailers at the Victoria Shopping Centre). If you’re planning a longer stay, check out the luxurious Park Inn Palace, opposite the park, or browse other accommodation options here

All in all, you’ll never be stuck for things to do in Southend. We can’t wait to welcome you to our town and give you a hefty dose of good old Essex hospitality!