A record number of school groups visited Southend on summer school trips using c2c this year.

The number of visitors broke the 20,000 barrier for the first time, as 260 school parties travelled on c2c in the last six weeks of the summer term – up 16% on the same period last year. Visiting the beach was clearly the main attraction, with Chalkwell station the number one destination, followed closely by Southend Central and Shoeburyness. Groups from across London travelled down to the coast by c2c, from schools as far afield as Hendon, Holloway and Tulse Hill.

All school parties received discounts for travelling by rail, with reduced rates for teachers and adults and a flat £2 fare for pupils, while c2c operated a number of special private trains for the largest groups. c2c Commercial Director Clare McCaffrey said: “Southend is clearly more popular than ever among school parties, with the great attractions and hot weather combining for a record number of visitors. Not only is this great news for Southend’s economy, but by bringing all these children by train we have helped to reduce traffic on local roads too. “We hope this sets the tone for the summer holidays, with so many great value, offers available for families looking for a day out.

Now that the children know that Southend is such a great place to visit, we know they’ll be urging Mum and Dad to bring them back again.” Donna Messenger from Fenstanton Primary School in Tulse Hill, London said: “We’d like to pass on our enormous thanks to all the c2c staff involved in our journey on the day. They were absolutely outstanding. Friendly, helpful and overall amazing, they really helped to make it a fantastic day out for our children.” c2c’s “Make Moments You’ll Remember” summer campaign is promoting days out in London and Southend. Full details including ideas and special offers are available online here.