As with many seaside towns, Southend-on-Sea became popular during the Victorian era and despite the decline of British seaside holidays in recent years, it still attracts over six million tourists every year. The Holiday Inn Southend is located within six miles of Southend beaches with allocated cycle paths; perfect for a sunny adventure.
There is a modern lift that links the main street in the town with the seafront and new pier, along with the older Southend Cliff Railway further down the promenade.
Southend Pier is the longest leisure pier in the world, stretching out 1.33 miles (2km) from the shore. It was built in 1830 during the Victorian heyday of the town. There has been a railway running the length of the pier since 1890, originally an electric service, but was replaced with a modern version in 1986. At the entrance to the pier is the amusement park Adventure Island with over 60 rides, as well as the Sea Life Adventure aquarium. The pier is also home to the Royal Pavilion which regularly hosts various events and exhibitions.
Thorpe Bay Beach
Thorpe Bay is a sandy beach located along the Thames estuary by the popular resort of Thorpe Bay. The beach is located slightly over a mile to the east of Southend Pier. Thorpe Bay has won both Blue Flag and Quality Coast awards guaranteeing not only clean water but that this is a safe family beach with a host of facilities.
Chalkwell Beach is backed by a promenade and there is a car park on Chalkwell Esplanade, accessed by turning right at the end of Chalkwell Avenue. The beach is sandy, and at low tide a wide area of mud, sand and shingle is revealed. In amongst the seaweed there is a good chance of finding crabs and other marine wildlife.
The sand and shingle beach of Shoeburyness is backed by a promenade and a large grassy area which is home to any number of beach huts. For those not lucky enough to have the use of one of these huts there is always Uncle Toms Cabin with its light refreshments, ice cream and all the buckets and spades you could wish for. Despite being within walking distance of Southend, Shoebury Common beach is a world apart and is a great escape if you fancy a somewhere a little more relaxed. A cycle path runs behind the seafront linking the East Beach to Shoebury Common Beach, and then on to Southend.