loading

Canvey Island

Southend’s answer to Coney Island? Maybe not quite, but you will find all the fun of the fair close by in neighbouring Southend-on-Sea and its seaside theme park Adventure Island.

That’s not to say that Canvey doesn’t have its own magic to offer. There’s a sort of romance to the jumble of mudflats, nature reserves, creeks, Dutch houses, 30s modernism, and petrochemical plants. And it has the faded charm of somewhere that was once the fastest growing seaside resort in Britain in the early 20th century.

Where is Canvey Island?

Canvey Island is an island in the Thames Estuary in south Essex.

Canvey Island Coastline

The beach by the seawall

How do I get to Canvey Island with c2c?

Take the train from London Fenchurch Street to Benfleet (you can also hop on at Barking or West Ham) then take the 22 or 27 bus from Benfleet Station over to Canvey. 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 Benfleet are £10.95 return. Kids also travel for £2 on the weekends and during school holidays. You can also add a PLUSBUS ticket online for £3.30 to take you all the way to Canvey Island and cover all your bus travel in the area for the day.

Whether you’re travelling 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.

How far is Canvey Island from Southend?

Canvey Island is a 45 minute journey from Southend-on-Sea. To there from Southend, you can take a c2c train from Southend Central to Benfleet. From there, you can take the 22 or 27 to Canvey Island or walk there if you’re in the mood for a stroll!

 

What is the history and culture of Canvey Island?

Historically people have inhabited Canvey Island for a long old time. Recent excavations on the Island have unearthed a Roman road, Neolithic axes and even a bronze age bracelet. Its history and bleak marshland beauty has spawned folktales and ghost stories about wandering nuns, vanishing carriages and lost Vikings. Atmospheric it is. Dickens even used The Lobster Smack pub (which you can still go to today) in Great Expectations.

In the 70s Canvey became a bit of a hotbed for pub rockers such as Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Nick Lowe, and, of course, Dr. Feelgood. Today the island remains an estuary of inspiration for artists such as British Sea Power – check out the tune ‘Canvey Island’ on their 2008 album Do You Like Rock Music?

 

Lobster Smack pub, Canvey Island, in 1988

The Lobster Smack in 1988

 

Dr Feelgood, Canvey Island band

Canvey Island’s very own Dr Feelgood

 

Where to eat in Canvey Island?

As well as the Lobster Smack pub, which is well worth a visit, go to a modernist gem Labworth Cafe, which was built in 1932 – It’s THE beach bistro to hang out in when you’re in town. Or if you fancy taking a stroll down to the other end of the Eastern Esplanade, you should stop by at Windjammer. The perfect pub stop with a friendly local atmosphere.

Is there a beach on Canvey Island?

There are sandy beaches on the south coast of Canvey Island, with views of the Kent coast and restaurants along the seafront like the Concorde Café and the Bay Café. There is also a play park and rock paddling pools, ideal for kids.

Where can I find tide times for the beaches on Canvey Island?

We recommend checking tide times for Canvey Island when you plan your journey, so you know the best times to suit your beach day. You can find tide times here.

What is there to do on Canvey Island?

Cycle round the island taking in the Dutch cottages, marshes, country park, and the long, pastel-blue seawall. In the summer sunbathe on the beach, ride the fun park, or wander round the Heritage centre along Canvey Road which has an art and craft centre with a small folk museum. Ideal for a peaceful getaway from the bustling city with a loved one or the whole family.

 

Old dutch cottage, Canvey Island

Old Dutch cottage museum

 

Labworth cafe, Canvey Island

1930s Labworth Cafe

 

Canvey Island disused oil jetty

Disused oil jetties on the marshes

What hotels are there on Canvey Island?

The Oysterfleet hotel is a family run hotel in the heart of Canvey Island and is situated beside Canvey lake. For food and drink, the hotel has a family friendly bar and a restaurant.

The Endeavour hotel is a smaller hotel also located beside Canvey lake.


standard-tickets-white.svg Buy tickets