It was a royal visit that began Southend-on-Seas's transformation from a fishing village to the seaside resort. Princess Caroline - the wife of King George IV - came in the early 1800s, so she was too early to see Southend Pier, the landmark that would come to define the town. Built-in 1889, it's longest pleasure pier in the world, and the poet John Betjeman said of it, 'The Pier is Southend, Southend is the Pier'.
Why visit Southend-on-Sea? The clue is in the name. Six million visitors a year head to Southend-on-Sea, most attracted by the fresh air, the beach, and the traditional attractions of an English seaside resort. Beyond the famous pier, Southend is also home to the Adventure Island amusement park, the Sea-Life Adventure aquarium and the Southend Cliff Gardens, complete with funicular railway from the seafront up to Clifftown Parade.
From Southend Pier, the mostly pedestrianised High Street runs north towards Southend Victoria railway station. On the way, you'll pass The Royal Shopping Centre, Southend Central station, The Victoria Shopping Centre, and many other shops, restaurants, and bars. Other food, drink and nightlife options can be found on the seafront itself, especially along Marine Parade to the east of the pier.
Alongside its classic seaside attractions, Southend also offers a number of cultural ones, including the Beecroft Art Gallery with its permanent and temporary exhibitions; the Southend Central Museum which tells the story of the history of the town; and the Southchurch Hall Museum, housed in a medieval manor house. The Cliffs Pavilion is a major entertainment complex, which regularly hosts live concerts, West End shows, comedy and dance.
The main train station in Southend-on-sea is Southend Central station, located . Depending on where you’re travelling from, you’re likely to arrive into Southend Central station or Southend Victoria or Southend East – the other stations in the city.
The main train company that runs services to and from Southend station is c2c.
It’s easy to grab yourself cheap train tickets to Southend-on-sea. We’d recommend using a Railcard, buying your ticket in advance or travelling during Off-Peak hours if you can.
turn right onto Clifftown Road, then right onto the High Street. You'll see Adventure Island at the end of the road. Turn left onto Western Esplanade and keep walking until you see the entrance to the beach.
Trains run frequently almost every day to Scotland, although there may be less services during the weekends and bank holidays. Check our live train times for up-to-date information on trains to Scotland.
Yes, there are several types of Railcards you can use to save up to 1/3 on your trip to Southend-on-sea, these include:
Having a Railcard means you can use it whenever you want outside of Peak times for a whole year too.