“ Ever needed to just get away, but you can't go for too long? Please tell us about your short breaks away (e.g. day trips, road trips or weekend breaks), whether it be for ultimate relaxation, or to be active and practice hobbies you may have (fishing, „
Contrary to popular belief, Southend, or ‘Saaarfend’ as many prefer to pronounce it, has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the South-East of England, not least due to it’s many appearances on EastEnders. Many tourist attractions are currently available to the public, with more and more attractions opening all the time. The most popular of which, the Southend High Street is the most popular of which, very popular with those who are tired of large shopping centers such as Lakeside or Bluewater, and allows shopping in the open air, in a car-free environment. Another popular attraction, Southend’s ‘Golden Mile’ allows visitors to stroll up and down the seafront to admire the beach and passing boats, whilst also relaxing on the traditional English deckchairs, eating ice creams from the seafront café’s. Also popular are the amusements, which stretch throughout the seafront, as are the nightclubs, such as Storm, Tots and Chameleon, which are also extremely popular most nights. The Cliff’s Pavilion also proves popular, which, situated in Westcliff, puts on daily shows, from traditional west-end productions to stand up comedy from both the famous, and relative newcomers. Nearby are the famous arches, where a cluster of approximately 10 seaside café’s are situated, providing great value meals, and a fantastic view over the Thames Estuary, especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset. Possibly the most famous of all, Southend Pier, famous for it’s many, many fires and boat collisions which have been experienced throughout it’s century in the Estuary. Either stroll up the 1 ¼ mile pier by foot to admire the view, or you can even catch a train to the pier head, where you can admire both the views and facilities, provided by the longest pleasure pier in the world. Finally, Southend’s Adventure Island (formally Peter Pan’
;s Playground) has seen millions of pounds of investment in recent years, and this is shown in the vast amount of very scary amusement rides offered! From traditional rollercoasters, to log flumes, Adventure Island has them all, whilst situated nearby is a local Sea Life centre and crazy golf course where both the older and younger generations can relax. To conclude, Southend offers both the traditional values which you would expect from a seaside town, whilst offers all modern day facilities for the younger generations, which blend together to create a great day out for the whole family.
Me and my family decided to go to Southend just after the Easter period, because we went with the majorettes and we did a carnival there which was a night one. We got there early in the day and spent the day looking around and going on the fun fair. It was brilliant and so was the canival. We did the canival at about 6pm and half way we had a firework display. We were really excited and enjoyed ourselves even though it was a long day and we returned home at 2am. So this was the basic reason for a short stay at Southend. The train jouney to Southend Victoria was ok the services were running on time and was not late, they wasn't even busy, which was good for my dad who is in a wheelchair. We arrived at Southend Victoria at about 12pm and decided to walk into the town. We walked to the seafront and went into clarkes restruant which was dry and disgusting, after that we went to look for a hotel because we had forgot to book a room before we leaved. We went to 2 hotels who where put off because my dad was in a wheelchair. We looked around for a hotel for about 4 hours before we finally went to the tourist information cantre which was not signed well.but we found it. they were really helpfully and they phoned a hotel in westcliff and they let us have a room. The hotel was ok and a good walk to the seafront. The hotel was the best and the food was ok. Southend was ok but not very helpful for wheelchirs which was diapointting, but there was 2 cafes which were really helpful one near the entrance off the pier and one at and one at the end. It was really good and i want to go back i would recomment it to anyone who is able to walk.
Is it Southend on Sea OR Southend on Mud? That really depends! Southend on sea certainly has a beach, and when the sun shines its sort of pebbly/sandy. But when the tide is out, it turns into mud, and quite ugly to look at! But that’s just one thing, what about the rest? Trains Arriving at one of the three train stations in Southend (Victoria, Central, or East) - Victoria, it was sun shining (Don’t worry it didn’t last too long). However, we began our walk to the well sign-posted sea front. It was a simple and almost straight walk to the sea front, which lasted around 15 minutes, or so. Around seven trains an hour arrive in Southend on sea, mainly from London Fenchurch Street or London Liverpool Street. Of course from the station you can get a taxi from the station, or take a stroll. We opted for the latter. Southend accommodation Southend is Essex’s largest town, and as being a seaside town – you’d automatically assume they’d have plenty of accommodation! Wrong! Yes they do some several guesthouses and a few hotels scattered over the place, but not nearly enough. We arrived on a Wednesday only to traipse around streets to search for a suitable abode for a few days. We had no success for our (what seemed) hours of walking. Every place we visited was full, or a couple could only offer one room! Eventually, desperate and tired - we visited the tourist information centre. They rang around and eventually found us a suitable hotel, in Westcliff. They kindly ordered us a taxi, which soon came and took us to our home for the nest few days. The hotel was lovely, clean, and the breakfasts were fabulous. And as we got our bearings, the walk into Southend main seafront really wasn’t that long (probably about 15 minutes). Southend fun But what did Southend have to offer? Well, quite a bit really. To start with, there is the world famous pier, which spans
a massive 1.3 miles into the sea. You can take a train, or for around £1.50 per (1/2 price available for normal cases) you can walk along the pier, and ride the train back. However, the end of the pier is less than entertaining. There is a small amusement arcade, a small shop, and a few cafés. If it wasn’t for the fact of saying ‘I’ve been on the worlds longest pier’ the effort is hardly worth it. The town also has a fun fair, named ‘Peter Pan’s playground’. This is quite expensive at £15 for an all day wristband (compared to Great Yarmouth’s £7 last year). But the kids had fun, and probably got their wristband value in rides. Peter Pans has the usual fruit machines, and amusements, as well as a selection of rides for the younger child. Cheaper tickets are available after 6pm (when I visited). Walking along the sea front there is a wide range of amusement arcades, varying in size. The famous Kursaal is still in place. It contained a range of ‘amusements’, and games. Southend refreshments Along the front are the obligatory fish and chips shops, and pubs, which make for the normal seaside town. We found a very nice little restaurant (owned by a Greek man). He was very helpful, and the food to a very high standard. I didn’t notice the name, but it sits under the arches near the entrance to Peter Pans. A couple of places we found unacceptable for food were Clarke’s and Pebbles (Both on the sea front). Both the meals were and dry (though edible). The service was also poor in these two establishments. Southend shopping I guess Southend on sea must be a shoppers dream. It has masses of shops, from local ones to high street ones. Littlewoods, Boots, Iceland, Electronic boutique, all make up the hundreds of stores available. There is also an excellent £1 shop! There is also an indoor undercover shopping arcade, called ‘the Royals
217;. Which is one of the best for cleanliness I have ever seen. It is bright and friendly. General It took less than an hour from London Liverpool Street to get into Southend Victoria Station. If the weather had been brighter, (we had just about everything you can imagine), and the accommodation easier to find, our trip would have been more pleasant. But as it was, we still enjoyed ourselves greatly. But I don’t honestly think I could of spent more than a few days there. Attractions are limited (like accommodation). Some of the people were extremely helpful and polite, while others were the opposite. If you can I would advising trying it for a day trip maybe, otherwise an over night stay, but make sure you book your hotel first!