VISITSOUTHEND THE 2017 DESTINATION GUIDE
BROUGHT TO YOU BY SOUTHEND BID & SOUTHEND-ON-SEA BOROUGH COUNCIL
VISIT SOUTHEND .CO.UK
There’s so much more besides the seaside in Southend... you’ll need to stay a bit longer than you think
Welcome to SOUTHEND-on-sea Here you’ll find all the traditional seaside pleasures, like our fantastic beaches and lively seafront with its amusements. But look closer, and you’ll discover the fun park thrills at Adventure Island, top shopping in the town centre, a thriving events and culture scene, and a wealth of history in our historic houses. Top all that off with a bustling nightlife scene, and a feast of food options at more than 300 great places to eat. Credits: Published by Southend BID and Southend Borough Council. Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6ER. TEL: 01702 215000 Copy and Design: James Holmes. Photography: James Holmes, Insight Design, Paul Tait & Visit Essex. All information in this guide is correct at time of printing, for further information call the Southend Visitor Information Centre on 01702 215620.
5 ATTRACTIONS 7
9 HISTORY 11
PARKS & GARDENS
13 NIGHTLIFE 15 SHOPPING 17
19 CULTURE 21
SPORT & LEISURE
STAY THE NIGHT
THERE ARE ENOUGH BEACHES IN SOUTHEND TO VISIT ONE A DAY FOR OVER A WEEK! You’ll never be short of deckchair space in Southend. From Shoebury to the east, all the way along to Leigh-on-Sea to the west, our beautiful seven mile stretch of coastline has nine different beaches to choose from.
From secluded, picture-postcard beaches where you can while away the day with a good book, to fun family beaches with deckchair hire and boat trips there’s something for everyone, just choose your ideal beach from our handy guide on the next pages. There’s a whole host of great seaside attractions here too, like Southend Pier, Adventure Island, the UK’s number 1 free admission park. There’s also Sea-Life Adventure Aquarium, and the Kursaal.
Southend seafront has a variety of quirky kiosks and outlets that sell some of the finest fresh doughnuts, fudge, candy floss and treats in town. So definately check out places like Baskin Robbins, Maple Moose or Pebbles kiosks. A trip to Southend seaside isn’t complete without a tasty Rossi ice cream. Rossi has been making ice cream in Southend since 1932. It’s one of few UK producers still using milk, instead of milk powder, and they’ve won countless national awards throughout the years because of it.
THE BEACH GUIDE
#1 SHOEBURY EAST BEACH
#6 THREE SHELLS BEACH
A long sandy beach crowned by a grassy hinterland. Relax on the sand and watch the kitesurfers take to the water.
The perfect place for the kids to blow off steam on this gloriously sandy beach, with swimming Lagoon and a great play area.
#2 shoebury common beach
#7 WESTCLIFF BEACH
With facilities to launch boats and jet-skis, it’s the ideal place for those wanting to have fun on the waves.
Offers lovely walks at low tide, and is also superbly positioned for the world famous Rossi ice cream emporium.
#3 THORPE BAY BEACH
#8 chalkwell BEACH
Known for its picture-postcard beach huts, Thorpe Bay Beach is the ideal place to while away a sunny afternoon with a book.
Great for long refreshing walks, it offers a relaxing getaway, with a number of cafe’s and kiosks selling all the usual seaside treats and supplies.
#4 jubilee BEACH A busy beach, with lots going on, including boat trips. It’s also close to the seafront amusements, shops, cafes and attractions.
#5 CITY BEACH A bustling area of the seafront, with state-of-the-art lighting columns, fun water fountains, amusements and various cafes.
#9 BELL WHARF BEACH Nestled in Leigh-on-Sea’s old town, it’s a beautiful spot to watch the numerous fishing boats come in and out of the marina.
VISITOR INFORMATION No dogs (except guide dogs) are allowed on Southend’s beaches between 1st May and 30th September.
take only photographs, leave only footprints Please respect our beaches and dispose of your litter responsibly.
YOU’RE ON-SEA ADVENTURE ISLAND The UK’s number 1 free admission fun park where you only pay for the rides you want to try. They have over 40 rides and attractions and that’s not including the prize arcades, cafes, restaurants, sideshows and games. They don’t cover acres and acres of area, so you won’t spend all day walking from one ride to another. It’s off one ride and straight on to another. adventureisland.co.uk
SEA-LIFE ADVENTURE A world of watery wonder awaits you at Sea-Life Adventure on Southend Seafront, the south east’s premiere aquatic attraction.
Here you’ll come close to tropical sharks, stingrays, lionfish, morays and more in over forty unique displays. With the Three Shells Cafe and fascinating talks throughout the day, it’s a great day out for the whole family. sealifeadventure.co.uk
Adventure Inside at Adventure Island, is a fantastic family friendly indoor attraction. It boasts a great range of rides and games, as well as food outlets. It’s open all year round too!
THE LAGOON AT THREE SHELLS BEACH
The Lagoon, which is roughly the size of a football pitch, allows bathers to take a dip even when the tide is out making it the perfectly safe place to spend the day with the kids.
No trip to the seaside is complete without checking out the amusements on the seafront - there’s loads to choose from! From the classic penny falls, to state-ofthe-art video games and fruit machines.
AFTER SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
There’s loads of other great things to see and do in Southend, from art galleries and museums, to historic houses and not forgetting Southend pier. Find out more over the next few pages.
DISCOVER THE PIER
SOUTHEND PIER ISN’T JUST A HISTORICAL ICON, IT’S ALSO THE LONGEST PLEASURE PIER IN THE WORLD. If you walk along Southend High Street, towards the sea, your eye will be drawn in a straight line towards the longest pleasure pier in the world. Standing for over a century it extends 2.158 kilometres (1.341 miles) into the Thames Estuary, and is a well loved and recognised symbol of Southend.
With stunning views, the Pier is the perfect place to go for a taste of the invigorating fresh air, and experience the freedom of the sea. 7
THE ROYAL PAVILION The Royal Pavilion is a unique events venue that was opened in 2012. Throughout the year the Pavilion hosts a range of events, from exhbitions to concerts, plays and more.
salt cafe Why not stop for a drink and something to eat a mile out to sea at the Salt Cafe in the Royal Pavilion? Their covered terrace offers spectacular views of the Estuary and is the perfect spot to watch the world drift by.
RNLI LIFEBOAT STATION One of the busiest stations in the country, where you can book a tour to have a look around. Or stop by the gift shop and help support this life-saving charity.
southend pier museum The Museum offers a glimpse into the pier’s history, with an original c.1890 toastrack tram, three original c.1949 train carriages, a working signal box, pictorial displays, some original “just for fun” working penny slot machines, and more.
southend pier MINI GOLF A great new addition to the pier for 2016, Southend Pier Mini Golf boasts a 12 hole course that’s loads of fun! Do you have what it takes to beat Olga the Octopus?
royal mail post box Don’t forget to pick up a postcard from the Visitor Information Centre, get it stamped and then post it from our official post box! To find out more information on the pier, visit; facebook.com/SouthendPier instagram.com/southendpier
STEP BACK IN TIME
YOU’RE ON-SEA YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT WHAT YOU CAN DISCOVER AT ONE OF OUR fascinating HISTORY HOTSPOTS. THE CLIFF LIFT
The Cliff Lift is now one of only a few surviving funicular railways and it’s now Britain’s shortest railway and is a great way to gain access between the seafront and the Clifftown area.
Southchurch Hall is a moated medieval manor, which was built in the 14th century. The Great Hall is still in its 14th Century form, and at the end of the Hall is the cross-wing, housing the North and South Solars, which reflect changing fashions for intimate rooms during the Victorian era.
The land on which it stands was given to the monks of Canterbury in 823AD and the tenants of the hall subsequently inherited the family name “de Southchurch”.
The museum houses collections of local and natural history and archaeology and contains a planetarium constructed by astronomer Harry Ford in 1984. It also features a collection of original Ekco radios, manufactured by E.K. Cole & Co. Ltd. (or ‘Ekco’) formerly based in Southend. In the 1930s, this company was one of Britain’s largest radio manufacturers. They also host a number of events exhbitions throughout the year.
Prittlewell Priory is a medieval priory, built in the 12th century. It was one of the lesser monasteries housing not more than 18 monks. In 1536 much of the building was destroyed and what remained was altered during the 18th Century. In 2012, the priory was renovated to incorporate the UK’s first green visitor centre, which will take you back in time to learn about the history of the Priory and its inhabitants, and the objects that helped to shape the eras.
SOUTHEND PIER MUSEUM
Located beneath the pier train station, the Pier Museum will bring back fond memories for some and will be a brand new experience for younger generations Here you can explore the history behind Southend’s iconic landmark. They have an original c.1890 toastrack tram, three original c.1949 train carriages, a working signal box, pictorial displays, some original “just for fun” working penny slot machines, and more. southendpiermuseum.co.uk
come & EXPLORE tHE GREAT OUTDOORS AT ONE OF OUR STUNNING PARKS and gardens. THE Cliff Gardens
A blend of formal and informal gardens with beautiful views across the Thames Estuary. The Cliff Gardens are a short walk to Southend Town Centre, and seafront.
A hidden gem, making it a secluded and peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of town. With ornamental gardens with stream and waterfall.
BELFAIRS PARK and nature reserve
Home to a number of historic landscape features and a wide variety of flora and fauna, including several nationallythreatened species. The woods are enjoyed by visitors for walking, cycling, horse riding, golf and bowls. Belfairs Woodland Centre is a visitor, community and education centre which runs a range of conservation and educational events throughout the year.
Offers a wide range of sports facilities, with beautiful formal gardens, areas of recreation, and a childrenâ€™s playground.
A great park with a mixture of sports pitches, formal gardens, a childrenâ€™s play area and tranquil model boating lake.
Great facilities for sports and recreation, as well as ornamental gardens, courtyard style sun garden and rose garden.
The oldest surviving public park in Southend dating from 1855, with ornamental gardens, pond and fountain.
You can play football, tennis, basketball, and cricket. Or just spend the afternoon exploring the wildflower meadow.
A large coastal nature reserve, providing a habitat for wildlife. A great place for an afternoon stroll in the sunshine.
YOU’RE ON-SEA you’RE SURE TO have an amazing night out in southend now we have a purple FLAG. Purple Flag is a national accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night. It is the ‘gold standard’ for night time destinations and entertainment areas that achieve the standard will be those that offer a better night out to visitors.
fancy a quiet drink? There’s plenty of places to while away the evening over a glass of wine or a beer with friends. From slick national chains to quaint independent bars, it’s just a choice of where and when.
maybe a dance?
Southend has a vibrant nightclub scene, with five fantastic clubs to choose from. If the live music scene is more your thing, then head to Chinnerys on the seafront, for a packed schedule of bands.
how abouT a flfLutter? For one of the ultimate nights out in Southend visit Genting Club Casino. Offering all of your favourite casino games plus a fantastic restaurant and a wealth of events throughout the year. The new Grosvenor Casino at the Park Inn, is a stylish intimate venue, where you can enjoy the thrill of gaming and much more. Thereâ€™s also a superb restaurant and a late night sports bar.
family fun after dark Throughout the summer Adventure Island offers a great family orientated experience when the park stays open late, making it a fun, safe place to visit with the kids. Every Saturday in autumn the seafront comes alive with the free fireworks displays, the perfect opportunity to spend the evening in the arcades and stop for some fish and chips or fresh doughnuts.
YOU’RE ON-SEA SOUTHEND IS A UNIQUE SHOPPING DESTINATION,IF YOU LOVE TO SHOP, YOU’LL LOVE IT HERE. Southend High Street is home to a broad range of international retailers, as well as independent shops and boutiques. Visiting farmers and craft markets to the High Street provide an opportunity to purchase fresh, local produce and unique gifts.
SHOP SOUTHEND HIGH STREET ONLINE! YOOHOPP is an exciting new website, which will allow you to shop Southend high street in one place. No longer will you have to search a number of websites to find what you want. Instead, you can do it all on YOOHOPP! Just visit www.yoohopp.co.uk/southend
the royals shopping centre The Royals is the perfect place to plan a shopping spree, with an extensive range of independent and national retailers all under one roof Whether youâ€™re looking for the latest fashion trends, a perfect piece of jewellery, or a break in one of their cafes, The Royals Shopping Centre is the place to be! royalsshoppingcentre.co.uk
the victoria shopping centre Home to some of your favourite stores, The Victoria has over fifty stores and cafes, making it the perfect destination for all of your shopping needs. From family run businesses that have been going for generations to big name retailers thereâ€™s something for everyone! There is also a great food selection that includes well known names. victoriasc.co.uk
out of town shopping Leigh-on-Sea Broadway prides itself on an abundance of independent retailers. Shoppers are spoilt for choice! Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff has a variety of shops from bakeries, vintage shops, and a family run department store. Thorpe Bay Broadway is a pleasant row of shops, offering everything from a cup of coffee to a cruise around the world.
WINE & DINE
YOU’RE ON-SEA WITH OVER 300 FANTASTIC PLACES TO EAT AROUND SOUTHEND, YOU’LL BE SPOILT FOR CHOICE. seafront dining For panoramic views of the Thames Estuary head to one of the fantastic seafront restaurants. There’s Sands, The Roslin Beach Hotel, Fisherman’s Wharf and the newly renovated Royal Hotel with their award winning new chef to name but a few.
They’re all unique, but all offer the perfect place for a romantic meal, or a quiet drink, as you watch the sun set over the Estuary.
make a night of it
For a romantic dinner for two or that special evening with friends, there’s some great options in Southend. From Pipe of Port, a hidden gem off the High Street with their range of award winning pies, to East Coast Social with it’s bustling atmosphere and live music. Not forgetting Mangetout, a bistrostyle restaurant with an easygoing vibe, providing burgers, grills and more.
the archway cafes Whether you pop in for a relaxing breakfast or a leisurely lunch, the Archway cafés on the seafront are run by lifelong residents who are as passionate about Southend as they are about their food.
FAMILY FRIENDLY EATERIES
Southend has loads of places that cater for the young at heart, like Feelgoods at Adventure Island, or try one of the sweet treat hotspots like Maple Moose or Baskin Robbins for a sugar rush!
places you’ll know & love Southend is home to all the well-known restaurant chains you already know and love. With Nandos, ASK, Bella Italia and the family favourite fast food chains you can always stick with what you know!
food from around the world If you want to try something different, then there’s a number of places in Southend where you can sample food from around the world. From Chinese, and Mexican, to Thai, Italian and much more!
ART & CULTURE
SOUTHEND HAS A VIBRANT CULTURE SCENE, WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF GALLERIES, PERFORMANCE VENUES AND EVENTS ALL YEAR ROUND. cultural events and festivals
Don’t miss Leigh Folk Festival, the largest free folk festival in the UK. Or Village Green, which is a multi-cultural arts and music festival. For film lovers check out the Southend Film Festival, or get a taste of Italy at the fantastic Italian Festival. Throughout the summer the Priory Park Bandstand offers free open air concerts with top brass bands and orcestras too!
FOCAL POINT GALLERY Focal Point Gallery is south Essex’s gallery for contemporary visual art, promoting and commissioning major solo exhibitions, group and thematic shows, and a programme of events. Focal Point currently produces up to seven gallery exhibitions each year, in which artists and curators are given a platform to make new work in response to the gallery’s unique location on the ground floor of the town’s new library and learning facility, The Forum.
THE BEECROFT ART GALLERY Beecroft Art Gallery has a permanent collection of over 2000 works, ranging from 17th-century Dutch paintings to contemporary works. There is a year-round programme of temporary exhibitions including the prestigious Essex Open Exhibition, which runs July–September annually. There are also regular displays of historic costume from the museum collection.
Metal work to provide the catalyst that can transform the potential of people and places through great art and inspiring ideas. They support artists from the UK and overseas, working in all disciplines, at all career levels.
A night at the theatre?
There’s plenty of theatres to choose from in Southend, and all offer a year round schedule of plays, operas, comedy nights and concerts.
YOU’RE ON-SEA FOR SPORT LOVERS, THERE’S PLENTY TO DO IN SOUTHEND IF YOU WANT TO STAY ACTIVE DURING YOUR VISIT. southend united
Southend is of course home to Southend United Football Club, or The Shrimpers as they’re known. So if you’re a footie fan, then a visit to Roots Hall is a must. www.southendunited.co.uk
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Southend is well-known for its glorious promenades, and well designed off-road cycle routes lets you to take in the sights of the town at your leisure. For great cycling events and training in Southend visit www.cyclesouthend.co.uk
SOUTHEND LEISURE AND TENNIS CENTRE
This fantastic centre has everything you could need. With a state of the art gym, tennis and badminton courts, athletic track, football, basketball and trampolining. The 25m swimming pool with world class diving pool was used by Team GB in the run up to the 2012 Olympics and features a moveable floor to enable swimming lessons and exercise classes to take place.
Southend Pier is a great place to spend the day fishing, where you can take in the fresh sea air and get fantastic views.
Tee off at one of Southendâ€™s fantastic golf courses, or, head to Southend Pier, to try your hand at their mini golf course.
Head to Belfairs Park where people from all abiltiies can enjoy riding through the beautiful woodland.
STAY THE NIGHT
SOUTHEND HAS A FANTASTIC RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION TO SUIT EVERY BUDGET AND OCCASION. 23 VISITSOUTHEND.CO.UK
HOTELS Southend is home to a great range of hotel accommodation, including the Park Inn Palace, which boasts 137 rooms and the building itself has been standing on the seafront for over 100 years. For 4 star luxury, why not try the stunning Roslin Beach Hotel, a fantastic hotel directly on the seafront at Thorpe Bay, or why not try the new hotel at The Last Post, which boasts a range of slick and stylish rooms.
GUEST HOUSES If you’re after a more intimate, quieter stay then there’s a whole range of great guest houses and bed and breakfasts. Gleneagles on the seafront offers a peaceful retreat for guests looking to stay near the town centre, as well as a tea room providing sumptuous treats. Suenos Guest House is an intimate bed and breakfast that delivers a personal touch with five en-suite rooms, which are elegantly decorated.
self-catering Pier View stands on the Georgian Royal Terrace, and as the name suggests, not only offers fantastic self-catering accommodation, but also idyllic views of the Pier. There’s plenty more places to choose from, so for more information pick up a copy of Stay-on-Sea, our Accommodation Guide at the Visitor Information Centre or call them on 01702 215620.
On arrival in Southend, why not make the Visitor Information Centre your first stop? Conveniently located at Southend Pier, the team can help you make the most of your visit, whether itâ€™s what events are going on, the best attractions or maybe where to stay the night. VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE Western Esplanade Southend, Essex, SS1 1EE TEL: 01702 215620 EMAIL: email@example.com
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HERE visit us bY CAR From the north Southend is accessible via the A1, M11, M25 (Junction 29 - 20 miles) & A127. From the south, Southend can be reached via the M25 (Junction 30) or from the Dartford Tunnel & A13.
visit us bY train The C2C line runs from Fenchurch Street to Southend Central and the Abellio Greater Anglia from Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria. The journey time on both lines is approximately 1 hour.
visit us bY bus/coach There is an extensive bus network in Southend managed by Arriva and First Buses. National Express coaches run to and from Southend, journey time to London is approximately 2 hours.
visit us bY plane Southend has itâ€™s very own airport, which is a ten minute drive from the town centre.
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ATTRACTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Adventure Island Adventure Inside Cliffs Pavilion High Street Southend Pier Seafront Amusements Sea-Life Adventure The Kursaal Focal Point Gallery The Beecroft Gallery
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beaches 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Shoebury East Beach Shoebury Common Thorpe Bay Beach Jubilee Beach City Beach Three Shells Beach Westcliff Beach Chalkwell Beach Bell Wharf Beach
parks 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
Priory Park Southchurch Park Chalkwell Park Belfairs Park Prittlewell Square Shoebury Park Gunners Park The Cliff Gardens Churchill Gardens
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MAP MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR VISIT WITH THIS HANDY MAP. AFTER ALL, NOBODY LIKES GETTING LOST.
history hotspots 29 30 31 32 33
Prittlewell Priory Southchurch Hall Central Museum Southend Pier Museum The Cliff Lift
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VISIT SOUTHEND .CO.UK
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE Southend Pier Western Esplanade Southend-on-Sea Essex SS1 1EE
Telephone: 01702 215620 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org