Days Out with the Family in Essex
One of the best things about having a family is spending time together. Whether it’s filling up the time when the kids are off school or squeezing a bit of fun into a weekend, coming up with affordable ideas that please everyone can be tricky. Luckily we’re experts on our route and there are some amazing places to visit in South Essex. Check out our checklist of recommendations below and remember that you can save money on travel with some of our great train fare offers.
Made by You pottery painting studio
Specialising in hand fired personalised pottery pieces, why not let the kids show off their creative side by painting their own pottery after a day walking along Leigh-on-Sea beach. For quality time suitable for all ages, create something to savour at Made by You Pottery. Who knows, you might end up with a complete and utterly unique dinner set!
When: Year round
Nearest c2c station: 15 min walk from Chalkwell
Wat Tyler Country Park
One of the best kept secrets on the route you can take the train to Pitsea and visit the Wat Tyler park for a go on the miniature train. It’s a fab free entry day out with top notch children's park, bouncy castles, 125 acres to blow off steam and lots of activities, fun and educational things to do. There’s also incredible wildlife to spot, if the weather allows it, and a cosy café if you’re greeted with some traditional British rain. What a great all rounder.
Nearest c2c station: 15 min walk away from Pitsea
Open over half-term no visit to Southend is complete without a trip to the UK’s number one free admission fun park: Adventure Island. With a brand new indoor play area (perfect for rainy days), go-karting, mini-golf as well as roller-coasters to suit all ages, Adventure Island is a flexible and exciting theme park that fully lives up to its name! Plus, it’s so close to Southend beach, and the world’s longest pleasure pier.
Nearest c2c station: 15 min walk from Southend Central
Festival Leisure Park
Basildon’s state of the art leisure park is home to a host of amazing family activities that work in both the blazing sunshine and blustering rain. The park itself has loads of cool places to try, including the breath-taking 360 Play – a huge indoor centre for imagination with a five-storey play frame, toddler zone, fairground rides, café, and themed rooms filled with props and costumes for creative games. There’s also a bowling alley, a cinema and 14 mouth-watering restaurants. Of course, if you’d rather focus on your family’s thrill-seeking side, then you’ll be pleased to know that Basildon’s lauded wakeboarding complex is just a stone’s throw from the park!
Nearest c2c station: Festival Leisure Park is a 7 min taxi journey from Basildon
Both Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre are brilliant places to check out if you’re looking for some family time inspiration. There’s something friendly for all ages at any time of the year – whether it’s a sing-a-long musical enjoyed after a summery day by the seaside, or a festive pantomime after some Christmas shopping in Southend’s bustling high street. With plays starring celebrities and big names from the west end, you’re guaranteed a good night at a fraction of the price. Plus, even if it’s a late showing, taking the train will take off the strain of the long drive home. Of course, your nearest c2c station is just a short walk away.
Nearest c2c station: 5 min walk from Westcliff
Southend has five museums. Five! Each one is filled with wonders to behold for adults and children alike, but the best thing is that the setting makes them perfect for days out, all year round. If it’s cold and drizzling outside you can hole up in the cosy rooms at Southchurch Hall, and maybe even get the chance to dress up in some period costumes. Of course, if you’re blessed with good weather, then follow a tour around Prittlewell Priory with a picnic in the surrounding park. Educational, fun and flexible and most importantly – free! Now that’s what we call a good day out.