8 great things to do in Southend

Feb 9, 2018

From sandy beaches to thrilling roller coasters, there are plenty of things to do in Southend.

Got a free weekend? Why not head to one of these attractions?

Take a stroll on the world’s longest pleasure pier

It’s the most recognisable landmark in Southend. The longest pleasure pier on the planet, at 1.34 miles, Southend’s iron walkway is something of an Essex institution.

First built in the early 1830’s, the Pier remains the town’s standout attraction, drawing visitors from across the country with its cultural charm and impressive views.

Reaching out into the Thames Estuary, the ever-popular pier is the capital of Southend’s cultural scene and boasts its own theatre, museum and tramrail service.

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Beside the seaside

Of course, no trip to Southend would be complete without getting down to the beach.

Southend has been a seaside holiday destination for centuries, and even now the town remains a favourite for those looking for a weekend escape from the City.

With some of the best beaches on the East Coast, there isn’t a better way to spend a summer day than relaxing on the sand.

Be sure to grab some proper fish and chips from one of the beachside cafes for the ultimate British summer seaside experience.

Get your thrills on a seaside rollercoaster

Looking for things to do in Southend? Adventure Island is the UK’s best free admission theme park.

Perfect for families and thrillseekers alike, there are over 30 rides and attractions to jump aboard.

From the 75ft drop of Rage to the twisting helix of Mighty Mini Mega, Southend’s very own park is perfect for those looking to inject a little adrenaline to their standard beach holiday.

Explore an underwater world at Sea-Life Adventure

Ask any local for things to do in Southend, and you can bet Sea-Life Adventure will be near the top of their list. Fun for the whole family, you can meet sharks, otters, penguins and more at this marvellous underwater world.

With over 40 exhibits, this great aquarium allows you to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most vibrant aquatic life.

Explore life around the British coastline or dive into the colourful world of tropical reefs.

Marvel as sharks glide over your head in the underwater tunnel and come face to face with the aquarium’s resident penguins, meerkats and otters.

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Treat yourself to the theatre

Stuck for things to do in Southend? Catch a performance at one of Southend’s theatres. From comedy to pantomime, ballet to the latest showstoppers, this seaside resort has plenty to keep any budding drama enthusiast happy.

The town attracts some of the biggest names on the circuit, as well as promoting upcoming local talents.

Catch the culture bug in a museum or gallery

Take a journey through the history of south-east Essex and discover the area as you never knew before.

Southend’s Central Museum is home to many artefacts and exhibits showcasing life in the town through the ages.

Or drop in at the Focal Point Gallery for the best in contemporary visual arts.

Southend’s premier art space, the Gallery exhibits the best in local talent and up-and-coming creatives and gives you a chance to get in touch with that inner critic.

Arts & Culture

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Pack a picnic at Southchurch Park

If you’ve had your fill of sand, head inland to Southchurch Park and pack a picnic to enjoy lakeside.

The 30-acre green space is perfect for stretching those legs and catching a quiet escape from the bustling seafront. 

Wander through the woods at Belfairs

Take a woodland stroll and embrace the nature of Belfairs Wood. The onsite Nature Reserve centre gives you a chance to swat up on your knowledge of Essex-based wildlife.

There are plenty of walking routes through the woods, suitable for all levels of fitness and if you’re lucky you may spot one of the resident Dormice, this being one of the only places in the country where that is still possible.

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