On Sea at Southend

By | Category: Travel destinations

Traditionally one of the areas that Londoners headed to on bank holiday weekends was Southend. It never seemed to be called by its proper name, Southend-on-Sea. It was just Southend, that place with the longest pier and near the end of the Fenchurch Street railway line. Today, I think of it as one of those seaside resorts that has seen better days. Which could be very unfair because I haven’t been there for over twenty years.

What brought it to mind was a new campaign that the local council has just launched to get us to go there. Calling it the “on Sea” campaign they are using the towns proper name to draw attention to all the attractions in and near the town. You will come across advertising such as “Dine on Sea” to draw attention to the restaurants and the fresh local seafood and “Smiles on Sea” emphasising the fun and pleasure that you can have there.

So what is there to see in Southend?

The pier I mentioned earlier is the longest pleasure pier in the world and available to enjoy unlike one of the Brighton piers that is a sadly rusting hunk of metal after the fire of a few years ago. There aren’t many places you can go to in the south of England and find seven miles of beaches to enjoy. But Southend is just a town, quite a big town though because it has four museums, two art galleries a couple of casinos a sealife centre and over 80 parks not to mention all the attractions on the pier and the shops.

It also has one other great attraction for me. Come the last bank holiday weekend in May, it hosts a large free air show with 40 aircraft displays over that weekend. And you can just sit on the beach, ice cream in hand and watch it all for nothing. This year the Festival of the Air celebrates its silver jubilee so it will probably be bigger than ever. And maybe that ought to be part of the promotion by the town. “Free on Sea”

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