Why go to Southend-on-Sea?
With award-winning beaches, the longest pleasure pier in the world, and colourful beach huts, Southend-on-Sea is well worth a day trip. Less than one hour by train from the centre of London to the centre of Southend, you're not far away from one of the best seaside spots in the country.
Where to go in Southend?
There's more to Southend than seaside nostalgia, although there's plenty of fun to be had doing that! Stroll the long, wooden 1.34 mile long pier (or take the shuttle train) and be rewarded with stunning views at the end; ride the roller-coasters at Adventure Island; rent bikes and cycle along the seafront, go bowling at the art-deco Kursaal, eat top notch fish and chips on the beach; or check out the latest cutting edge art at Focal Point gallery. There are also many beautiful bars overlooking the water to go for a refreshing drink, and top notch grub to rival London.
History and culture of Southend
As traditionally one of the warmest and driest spots in the UK, the south end of the Essex Estuary has been a popular holiday destination since wealthy Tudors would take their boats up the river to get fresh air and sunshine. But it wasn't until the railways arrived in the 19th Century, coupled with the introduction of bank holidays, that it took off as a seaside resort for normal folk to escape to and enjoy the beach for a couple of days. Seaside traditions like ice cream fish and chips and donkey rides all started - some of which are still going strong today!
How to get to Southend with c2c
Take the train from London Fenchurch Street to Southend (you can also hop on at Limehouse, West Ham or Barking) then alight at Southend Central where you're a 10 minute walk away from the main seafront attractions. Or go a couple of stops up the line to Thorpe Bay (for the beach huts) and Shoeburyness if you're looking for some quieter spots. Journey time from London is between 45 mins - 1hr. There are 4 trains per hour on weekdays and train tickets bought online three days in advance from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central are £11.75 return. Kids also travel for £2 off-peak weekdays.
Whether you're traveling in a group or have the kids with you explore our great value ticket offers to make sure to get the best deal for you.
Get special offers and discounts in Southend
Get more from your day out with our exclusive vouchers on top attractions, restaurants, galleries and cafes in Southend, only when you take the train. From 25% off at Adventure Island to cheaper admission to Sealife, and more. Browse our offers or check out these favourites below:
Where to eat in Southend?
From classic fish and chip shops to high end restaurants, Southend has become surprisingly foodie in recent years. Recently, Billy Hundreds Fish n Tapas made The Guardian’s top ten list of seaside cafés and restaurants in the UK. Down under the arches by the seafront you'll find lots of places to grab some grub, or in town you'll get slap up nosh at places like quirky San Fairie Ann, unbelievable pasta at Pasta pia, excellent atmosphere at The Pipe or Port or gourmet sandwiches at Legend-Deli. All tried and trusted local favourites.