Visit Southend-on-Sea by train this summer and soak up the sunshine. Seven miles of glorious seafront, the longest pier in the world, three prestigious Blue Flag beaches, and a feast of exciting festivals and events throughout the year make Southend a must-go destination.
Most people come to Southend-on-Sea for the sun, sea and sand. With three Blue Flags, seven Quality Coast Awards and safe swimming, it's the perfect family resort where parents can relax and catch some rays while the kids splash about happily in the water. But the seafront is just the beginning of the town's attractions.
Scream the loudest on rollercoaster RAGE at Adventure Island, one of the UK's favourite theme parks. Plunge to earth on SkyDrop, brave the Pharaoh's Fury or take your little pirates on the Jumping Jolly Rogers.
Ride the railway to the end of Southend's famous pier then check out its eventful history at Pier Museum. Treat the kids to a trip beneath the waves to come face to face with a shark or a stingray at Sea Life Adventure centre.
The town centre shops range from high street favourites to independent jewellers and gift emporia. There's plenty of local history and heritage to explore. And for some quiet time, you can relax in one of the lovely parks and gardens.
Events for all
There are things going on in Southend-on-Sea all year round. But with the school holidays being the town's busiest time, the summer events programme is packed with everything from brass band concerts and jazz gigs to puppet shows and firework displays.
Whether you're looking for brilliant beach life or sizzling nightlife, fun for the kids or great things to do for grown-ups, Southend-on-Sea is where it's all at.
Hit the beach
With seven miles of sands there's plenty of choice, from the lively City and Jubilee Beaches in the resort centre to the quiet seclusion of Bell Wharf Beach at nearby 'Old Leigh'.
Try your hand at watersports
The Southend Marine Activities Centre offers a range of exciting water-borne activities, including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, jetskis and powerboating.
Seek out some thrills at Adventure Island
The UK's No 1 free admission fun park has over 40 rides and attractions, including the super-scary Rage rollercoaster with its 75-foot drop and 360 degree barrel roll. Located either side of the pier, this free admission fun park has an array of amazing rides that roll, spin, twist, drop, loop and splash. There's fun for all ages, including special Red Band rides for younger children.
Enjoy the view from the pier
Southend-on-Sea's amazing pier is over a mile long and offers fantastic panoramic vistas of the Thames Estuary. The new Royal Pavilion has a café and features events, concerts and exhibitions.
Sea Life Adventure Aquarium
Get close to some of the world's most amazing sea creatures at the South East's top aquatic attraction. 40 unique displays feature all kinds of global marine life, from sharks to seahorses.
Have a picnic in the park
Chalkwell Park is a delightful green space with gorgeous ornamental beds, colourful floral displays and a fragrant rose garden. It's a great place for a picnic or simply relaxing.
Alongside the traditional seaside entertainment, there's a flourishing arts scene to discover and a feast of festivals throughout the year.
Central Museum and Planetarium
The museum's superb collections chart life in the town across the ages and the adjacent Planetarium shows you the glory of the cosmos.
Leigh Heritage Centre
Explore the history of Leigh-on-Sea through photographic displays and a fisherman's cottage that's kitted out just as it would have been in around 1850.
Prittlewell Priory Museum
Find out about the fascinating world of the mysterious monks of Prittlewell. Guided tours are available on Saturdays throughout the summer.
Southend Pier Museum
This great little museum brings to life the absorbing history of the longest pleasure pier in the world. It's open on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer.
Southchurch Hall Museum
Just a short walk from the seafront, this elegant Tudor mansion shows you a slice of life in the reign of King Henry VIII.
You'll find the town centre has all you could wish for with all the top retail names plus independently-owned shops to choose from. There are covered shopping centres at each end of the high street making your visit ideal whatever the weather.
Illuminations and laser lights set the scene for a dazzling night out.
Bright lights of the Kursaal dome signal more top entertainment and all the family will enjoy ten pin bowling in the state-of-the-art bowling alley. Adults can try their luck here at Rendezvous Casino or at Maxim's Casino nearby, or simply meet friends in one of the wine bars.
For unlimited bus travel around Southend-on-Sea to get to all the attractions, buy a PLUSBUS ticket with your train ticket (at station or online). For details about Southend-on-Sea PLUSBUS click here.