Southend on Sea is the largest resort in Essex and Londoners’ favourite seaside resort. The town is well known for its pier, at 1.34 miles the longest in the world, which boasts a railway, gift shops and museum. Southend’s seven glorious miles of seafront provide a host of attractions, including the famous ‘Golden Mile’ of amusement arcades, Adventure Island theme park, Sea Life Centre and Palace Theatre, which often stages big-name shows.
Alongside the traditional seaside entertainment, there is also a flourishing arts scene to discover and a myriad of festivals throughout the year, including the colourful summer carnival and the autumn fireworks extravaganza. Southend also boasts an enviable array of shops, bars, restaurants and cafés.
Southend is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding Essex countryside, which harbours such hidden gems as the villages of Coggleshall, famous for its lace-making and Tiptree, renowned for its scones and delicious cream teas.
Accommodation is based at the Park Inn Palace, which is located a short stroll away from Southend’s excellent shopping centre with access to the seafront via a free promenade lift.
Southend town centre is a unique shopping area with a number of unusual independent traders amongst some of the better known hight street stores. There are two large shopping centres, one at each end of the high street and it is just a short stroll down Pier Hill to the seafront. A recently restored cliff lift operates between the Clifftown area and the seafront.
Beach and Gardens
Three of Southend’s beaches are Blue Flag standard and the town has also won seven Quality Coast awards; this is one of the cleanest stretches of coastline in the UK. The main beaches are Jubilee and Three Shells, however, the quieter Chalkwell beach is also well worth a visit. Southend boasts a number of attractive parks and gardens. Admire the delightful rose gardens at Chalkwell Park, or the dazzling floral displays at both Southchurch Park and Priory Park.