Explore Southend

Southend Pier: The beach with the wonderful pier

When it comes to great piers, Essex is home to the best of them all. At 1.26 miles in length, Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world. So much so that it even has its own trains to transport visitors from the pier head back to the beach. Having been extended to its current length in 1897, to cope with popularity, the pier instigated a popular tradition with the locals and something of a rite of passage, literally, for daytrippers — an invigorating stroll to the end, to enjoy the unrivalled 360˚ views.

Today, the pier is home to the invaluable RNLI station, which you can see, and The Royal Pavilion, which provides the great place for an afternoon tea in the in-house café.

Along the way, you’ll see the café used by the TV chef Jamie Oliver and his best mate, pig farmer Jimmy Doherty, for their show, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast.

During the summer the pier host to a fantastic schedule of events, from live music to visiting tall ships. Close by is Three Shells Beach, which from July will feature an incredible new lagoon.

Laced by palms, the artificial lagoon is set to be a popular place to go, allowing visitors to paddle and bath even when the tide is out.

Southend on Sea: With the fun park

The Essex coast’s biggest tourist draw is a lively blend of seven miles of coastline with first-class attractions within a short walking distance. For families with young children up to teenagers, Adventure Island is great. The park has more than 50 rides and attractions to go on, with thrills and spills ranging from its signature Rage and Green Scream roller coasters to the multi-million pound Adventure Inside indoor experience centre.

Thoughtfully designed to live up to the phrase ‘something for everyone’, Adventure Island’s large number of rides and games ensure that, no matter how your age, there’s a ride, game or experience for everyone.

Not only that, its sister attraction, Sea-Life Adventure, is a wonderful world of watery fun. Taking you on a journey through the underworld, Sea-Life is a fascinating and educational centre with more than 35 displays, featuring a ray bay, sea nursery and walk-through tank complete with black tip reef sharks.