Travelling around Southend-on-Sea
As the name suggests, Southend-on-Sea is a coastal town, although its name is generally shortened to ‘Southend’. It is located in the south-east of Essex, England, on the north of the Thames Estuary. Its position just 40 miles east of London has helped to turn it into a leading holiday destination for thousands of people wanting to escape the noise of the big city for some fresh air and seaside fun.
The growth of Southend as a holiday resort took place after a visit by Princess Caroline of Brunswick, which prompted the building of Southend Pier. At one and a third miles long, this is still the longest pier in the world, which might explain why it has its own pier train to take visitors out to the far end.
Southend can easily be accessed by road from the M25 and it has two railways stations linking it to central London. Arriva bus services cover the local area and travel as far as Shoeburyness, Thorpe Bay and Rayleigh.
Southend is packed with the kind of activities that make up a traditional English seaside holiday. These include lounging on the beach itself, of course, which is seven miles long and made up of shingle with some stretches of imported sand.
Along the seafront, you’ll find a selection of amusement arcades packed with slot machines, ranging from the latest computer technology to traditional one-armed bandits.
For a unique view of Southend, take a boat excursion from the pierhead and travel up the Thames and back. This is particularly appealing in the summer months as the day begins to turn to dusk.
If you’re looking for a change from the beach, head for Hockley Woods, the largest wooded area in Essex.