Heading for a sunny day at the beach? Trains to Southend-on-Sea take around an hour from London, so you’ll be strolling along the longest pleasure pier in the world in no time.
Whether you’re visiting for a day or for the weekend, we’re here to be your one-stop-shop for cheap train tickets, times and info about how to get to Southend-on-Sea (and the beach) by train. If you want to get straight to booking, start a search for times and tickets above, or keep reading to find out more about trains to Southend-on-Sea.
There are a few ways you can save money on train travel this summer. Some of our top tips for booking cheap train tickets to Southend-on-Sea include:
Tickets are usually cheaper to Southend-on-Sea if you travel during Off-Peak hours. This is normally outside of rush hours during Monday to Friday, and anytime during the weekend. We’ll highlight whether a journey is during Off-Peak train times as your search for tickets.
Train tickets to Southend-on-Sea normally go on sale around 12 weeks in advance, usually at their cheapest price. If Advance train tickets aren’t on sale yet, why not sign up to our Ticket Alert tool, and we’ll email you as soon as you can buy tickets for your chosen date.
Railcards can save you to 1/3 on the price of eligible train tickets to Southend-on-Sea. Costing just £30 for one year, it doesn’t take long to make your money back either. Find out if you qualify for one and buy a Railcard online with us today.
If you’re heading to Southend-on-Sea with three to nine of your favourite pals, we’ll let you know if you qualify for GroupSave when you search. This discount allows groups that are travelling together to save up to 34% on rail fares.
Splitting your journey into several sections and buying tickets for each part can sometimes be cheaper than buying a single ticket on longer journeys. Our ticket-splitting app feature, SplitSave, does the hard part for you.
Why not check out our train deals and discounts guide to discover the latest offers from train companies you can book with us.
There are two ways to travel direct from London to Southend-on-Sea:
The service to Southend Victoria takes around an hour, while the service to Southend Central is slightly faster at 55 minutes. Both Greater Anglia and c2c services have free WiFi on board and limited space for bikes during non-Peak hours.
Southend Central is slightly closer to the sea-side - it takes just 10 minutes to walk to the Pier compared to 15 minutes from Southend Victoria - but they're both very convenient. All told, both routes are fast and easy.
To view train times and book tickets, simply use our Journey Planner above to search for tickets. If you enter 'London' and 'Southend', we'll show you all the available tickets for both routes. Don't bother changing at Southend Victoria to reach Central; they're just a 5-minute walk apart!
Travelling by train is the fastest, easiest and greenest way to get to Southend-on-Sea from the other UK destinations. c2c and Greater Anglia services frequently run to Southend-on-Sea throughout the day. Have a look at our table below for more information about the most popular routes to Southend-on-Sea, or start your search for a different station in our Journey Planner at the top of the page.
|Route||Fastest journey||Train operator|
|Barking to Southend-on-Sea||33m||c2c|
|Stratford to Southend-on-Sea||48m||c2c, Greater Anglia|
|Standard Airport to Southend-on-Sea||1h 54m||c2c, Greater Anglia|
|Luton to Southend-on-Sea||2h 6m||Thameslink, c2c|
|Cambridge to Southend-on-Sea||2h 7m||c2c, Greater Anglia|
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. It was a royal visit that began Southend-on-Sea'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 the longest pleasure pier in the world, and the poet John Betjeman said of it, 'The Pier is Southend, Southend is the Pier'.
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 the 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. 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 Southend-on-Sea, 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 Southend-on-Sea.
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.