Hot summer days in London can have locals and tourists alike searching for the perfect dayscape. Well, Southend-on-Sea is far from perfect but offers a budget getaway for family travel or frugal solo travelers to enjoy the sun.
Southend is a short 50 minute journey from London’s Fenchurch Street Station but be prepared for honky tonk to the max. It’s a waterfront glossed over with miles and miles of cheap penny arcades and bad fish and chips.
The beach is a mix of mostly rocky bits and some sandy stretches but the kids will enjoy the shooting water fountains and as much beachy camp as a mum or dad can buy…everything from ice cream to the futile machines to spend 10 bob for a 50-cent fuzzy toy.
The centerpiece of the waterfront is said to be the world’s longest pier at a mile plus in length. For £2 (approx. $3.20) you can walk both ways…or for a bit more, you can walk out and take a train back. To be honest, I don’t scare easily but turned around half way back because of some shaky boards on the long walk. Risk it if you dare, hundreds do each day!
For New Jersey shore fans…Southend-on-Sea takes the tackiest beach front arcades to a whole new level!
TOURIST TIP: I would hop off the train two stops earlier at Leigh-on-Sea. It’s still a muddy estuary beach but with a bit less honky tonk than Southend.
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