What To See And Do In Southend On The Essex Coast


The Essex city has a great range of attractions, so there are always plenty of options to keep you busy by the seaside this summer

Granted city status in 2022, Southend-on-Sea certainly comes up with the goods when looking at a day trip – or longer. Southend Pier & Railway is one of the top-rated historical attractions in the UK and the longest pleasure pier in the world at 1.34 miles long. In April 2023, it was voted Pier of the Year by The National Pier Society.  Southend Pier is the perfect destination to cool down on a hot summer’s day and soak up the stunning estuary views with ice cream or a cheeky bag of chips.  

Adventure Island
Southend’s Adventure Island

Southend Pier is not the only historical attraction to discover – don’t miss a trip to Southend Museums historic houses Prittlewell Priory and Southchurch Hall. Learn more about the history of Southend with a visit to Southend Central Museum, which houses the world famous Prittlewell Prince burial collection.  

There is lots on offer in Southend for nature lovers to enjoy with the Sea-Life Adventure Zooquarium, and for thrill-seekers there is Adventure Island, the UK’s number one free admission theme park. Alongside the traditional seafront arcades, Southend is home to the new generation of interactive ten pin bowling, Kingpins. For even more family fun visit Caddies, the craziest crazy golf located in the high street. 

Fancy heading to the beach? Southend has seven miles of coastline to explore, so there’s plenty to choose from Leigh-on-sea to Shoeburyness. Think Southend is just beaches? Well, there’s a plethora of parks and green spaces, perfect for that family picnic.
Why not get your culture fix from one of the city’s top galleries, including Focal Point Gallery and Beecroft Art Gallery. Are you looking to immerse yourself in new art experiences? Some fantastic art-inspired events are landing in Southend this summer.

Southend City Jam is returning 1-3 September 2023 after the overwhelming success of last year’s debut festival. The free celebration of street art is being organised by Southend-on-Sea City Council and Southend Tourism Partnership, alongside local artists Karl Sims and Steve Hart, who have championed street art in Southend for decades.


Herd in the City will be stomping into Southend for over seven weeks from 14 July-4 September 2023. Havens Hospices and Wild in Art will bring the free fabulous large-scale public art elephant sculpture trail to Southend. The beautifully decorated herd will be located from Shoeburyness and Leigh-on-Sea.

Leigh Folk Festival returns to the picturesque Leigh Library Gardens and surrounding venues in the heart of Leigh-on-Sea, from 22–25 June 2023 for the 31st time. expect four fantastic days celebrating music, culture, and community.

Nothing beats the Southend sunsets. The city boasts a wide range of seafront, family friendly and date night dining favourites. Whether it’s classic seafood cockles from picturesque Old Leigh, or world famous Rossi ice cream from the seafront, Southend has a wide range of culinary delights to be enjoyed.   

Family Southend Seafront

We may be talking about summer here, but there’s never a bad time to visit Southend. With so much to see and do, you’ll need to stay longer than a day. Enjoy one of the stunning seafront stays and wake up to some of the best views around. For a truly luxurious stay, check out the five-star rated Roslin Beach Hotel. 

Southend also has plenty of self-catering accommodation, budget friendly hotel chains or guest houses to choose from. With a variety of options, accommodation in Southend ensures that back to base doesn’t mean back to basics.
For more, head to visitessex.com or visitsouthend.co.uk

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