things to do in southend

Last Updated on: 27th May 2024, 06:40 am

Welcome to Southend-on-Sea, a vibrant coastal town in England, known for its exciting activities and attractions. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Southend has something for everyone. From watersports to historic landmarks, here are some of the best things to do in Southend.

Things to Do in Southend

Explore Southend’s Seaside Attractions

Southend-on-Sea, an enchanting coastal town in England, is renowned for its captivating seaside attractions and vibrant entertainment scene. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures or cultural experiences, Southend has something for everyone.

1. The Iconic Southend Pier

One of the must-visit attractions in Southend is the world-famous Southend Pier. Stretching proudly into the estuary, it holds the title of being the longest pleasure pier globally, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline. Stroll along the pier, enjoy the invigorating sea breeze, and take in the stunning vistas that Southend has to offer.

southend attractions

2. Adventure Island: Thrilling Fun for All

No trip to Southend would be complete without a visit to Adventure Island, a beloved theme park brimming with exciting rides and attractions. From exhilarating roller coasters to gentle carousels, Adventure Island caters to all ages and guarantees a day filled with laughter, thrills, and endless entertainment.

3. Cliffs Pavilion: A Cultural Haven

For lovers of the performing arts, Cliffs Pavilion is a must-visit destination. This impressive venue hosts a variety of concerts, shows, and performances, showcasing both local talent and international stars. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Southend and enjoy an unforgettable evening of entertainment at Cliffs Pavilion.

4. Enchanting Beaches and Southend Cliff Railway

Southend’s pristine beaches are a haven for beachgoers and sun-seekers. Soak up the sun, build sandcastles with your little ones, or take a refreshing dip in the sea. For a unique perspective of the town, hop on the Southend Cliff Railway and marvel at the breathtaking coastal views as it climbs the dramatic cliffs.

5. Historic Old Leigh and Waterfront Delights

Explore the picturesque streets of Old Leigh, a charming historic area teeming with character. Stroll along the cobblestone lanes, admire the traditional fishing cottages, and indulge in a delectable meal at one of the waterfront restaurants. Immerse yourself in Southend’s rich maritime heritage and experience the authentic charm of Old Leigh.

Southend’s seaside attractions and entertainment options are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors. Whether you’re seeking thrilling rides, cultural experiences, or simply want to relax on the beach, Southend offers an unforgettable escape by the sea. Plan your visit to this enchanting coastal town and discover the wonders of Southend-on-Sea.

Discover Southend’s Outdoor Activities and Parks

For outdoor enthusiasts, Southend offers a range of exciting activities and beautiful parks to explore. Whether you enjoy the beach, hiking, or leisurely strolls in the park, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant coastal town.

1. Scenic Landscapes at Shoebury East Beach

If you love the beach, Shoebury East Beach is the perfect place to soak up the sun and take in the stunning coastal views. With its golden sand and clear blue waters, it’s an idyllic spot for a relaxing day by the sea. Build sandcastles, go for a dip, or simply unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature.

2. Hiking and Panoramic Views at Hadleigh Castle

For breathtaking views and a dose of history, head to Hadleigh Castle. Take a hike through the scenic trails that surround the castle ruins and discover stunning panoramic views of the Estuary and the surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

3. Leisurely Strolls in Priory Park

Priory Park is a green oasis in the heart of Southend, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined paths, admire the beautifully manicured gardens, or enjoy a picnic on the grass. The park also features tennis courts, a playground for children, and a fishing lake for those who enjoy angling.

4. Sports and Festivals at Chalkwell Park

Chalkwell Park is another popular outdoor space in Southend, offering a wide range of sports facilities and recreational activities. Play a game of football or cricket, explore the vibrant flower gardens, or relax on the lush green lawns. Don’t miss the annual Village Green festival held in Chalkwell Park, featuring live music, art installations, and delicious food.

southend activities

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Southend and experience the diverse outdoor activities and parks it has to offer. Whether you prefer scenic beaches, stunning views, or serene parks, Southend has something to satisfy every outdoor enthusiast.

Immerse Yourself in Southend’s History and Culture

Southend-on-Sea is not only a vibrant and exciting tourist destination, but it also boasts a fascinating history and a rich cultural scene. While exploring this charming coastal town, visitors have the opportunity to discover its historical sites and immerse themselves in its vibrant culture.

1. Visit Prittlewell Priory

One of the must-visit historical sites in Southend is the Prittlewell Priory. This 12th-century monastery provides a captivating glimpse into the town’s past. Explore the priory’s beautifully preserved rooms and gardens, containing stunning medieval architecture and tranquil surroundings. Don’t miss the fascinating exhibition on local wildlife and art, which adds an extra dimension to your visit.

2. Explore Old Leigh

For a taste of Southend’s maritime heritage, a visit to the historic port area of Old Leigh is a must. Wander along the quaint streets lined with traditional fishing cottages, and soak up the charming atmosphere of this picturesque location. Enjoy freshly caught seafood in one of the waterfront restaurants, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and watch the boats bobbing in the harbor.

explore southend

3. Experience Cliffs Pavilion

Southend’s Cliffs Pavilion is a cultural gem that should not be missed. This popular venue hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including theater shows, concerts, comedy acts, and more. Whether you’re a theater enthusiast or simply looking for an entertaining night out, Cliffs Pavilion offers an exciting array of performances to suit all tastes.

By exploring Southend’s historical sites and cultural venues, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the town’s past and present. From ancient monasteries to charming fishing villages, Southend offers a delightful blend of history and culture that will leave a lasting impression.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun in Southend

Southend is a fantastic destination for couples and families alike, offering a wide range of fun activities to suit all ages. Whether you’re looking for a day out with your loved one or a memorable experience with your children, Southend has something to offer everyone.

1. Visit Sealife Adventure

Explore the fascinating underwater world at Sealife Adventure, the most visited aquarium in Southeast England. Get up close with a variety of sea creatures, including sharks, turtles, and penguins. It’s an educational and exciting experience that will leave you in awe of the wonders of the ocean.

2. Adventure Island

If you’re seeking thrills and excitement, head to Adventure Island, a thrilling theme park with rides and attractions for all ages. Enjoy adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, classic fairground games, and delicious treats. It’s the perfect place to create lasting memories with your loved ones.

3. Southend Pier

Take a leisurely train ride on the iconic Southend Pier, the longest pleasure pier in the world. Enjoy panoramic views of the coast and the sea as you soak in the peaceful atmosphere. It’s a romantic experience that couples will cherish.

4. Marine Activities Centre

For those who enjoy water sports and adventures, the Marine Activities Centre is the place to be. Try your hand at paddleboarding, kayaking, or windsurfing while enjoying the beauty of the Southend coastline. It’s a fun and thrilling way to make your visit to Southend memorable.

Activity Highlights
Sealife Adventure
  • Wide variety of sea creatures
  • Educational and exciting experience
Adventure Island
  • Thrilling rides for all ages
  • Classic fairground games
Southend Pier
  • Longest pleasure pier in the world
  • Breathtaking coastal views
Marine Activities Centre
  • Exciting water sports options
  • Beautiful Southend coastline

Experience Southend’s Vibrant Nightlife and Events

When the sun sets, Southend comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene and a calendar packed full of exciting events. Whether you’re a music lover, a comedy enthusiast, or simply seeking live entertainment, Southend has something to offer.

For a night filled with laughter, head over to Cliffs Pavilion and indulge in the local comedy scene. Enjoy hilarious performances by talented comedians that will leave you in stitches. Or, if you prefer music, Cliffs Pavilion also hosts a variety of live music events featuring both local artists and internationally renowned bands.

Another fantastic venue for entertainment is the Palace Theatre. This historic theater showcases a wide range of performances, from dramatic plays to captivating musicals. Immerse yourself in the world of theater and experience the magic of live performances.

Southend also offers a diverse selection of events catering to different interests. Movie screenings under the stars provide a unique cinema experience, combining the beauty of the night sky with the joy of watching a film. Cultural figures and sports personalities also grace Southend with their presence, hosting talks and sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Don’t miss out on the exciting events happening in Southend, from festivals to concerts and more. Experience the lively atmosphere and make lasting memories as you immerse yourself in Southend’s vibrant nightlife.

Upcoming Events in Southend

Date Event Venue
12th August Southend Comedy Night Cliffs Pavilion
20th August Open Air Cinema: “Mamma Mia!” Southend Seafront
4th September Live Music: Southend Band Showcase Cliffs Pavilion
10th September Talk: “Exploring the Universe” by Professor Emily Wright Southend Central Library

Join in on the excitement and discover what’s on in Southend. Check the local event calendars and make sure you don’t miss any of the fantastic experiences waiting for you.

Experience Southend’s vibrant nightlife and immerse yourself in the thrilling events happening throughout the town. Whether you’re seeking laughter, music, or cultural enrichment, Southend offers something for everyone to enjoy.


Whether you’re planning a family day out, a romantic escape, or a cultural adventure, Southend has something for everyone. With its breathtaking seaside attractions, fascinating historical landmarks, and vibrant events, this charming coastal town is a must-visit destination for tourists.

From the iconic Southend Pier – the longest pleasure pier in the world – to Adventure Island, a thrilling theme park, there are plenty of attractions to enjoy. The Cliffs Pavilion offers a diverse range of performances, and the beautiful beaches provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation.

Southend’s rich history and culture can be explored through the Prittlewell Priory and Old Leigh, where you can immerse yourself in the town’s maritime heritage. And for families, Sealife Adventure and the Marine Activities Centre offer unforgettable experiences.

Don’t miss out on Southend’s vibrant nightlife, with live music, comedy shows, and a variety of events throughout the year. With its blend of natural beauty, entertainment, and cultural offerings, Southend is an ideal destination for tourism and a vibrant hub of exciting events.


What are some popular activities in Southend?

Southend offers a wide range of exciting activities, including visiting the Southend Pier, enjoying thrilling rides at Adventure Island, exploring historic landmarks, and enjoying water sports at the Marine Activities Centre.

What are the must-visit attractions in Southend?

Some must-visit attractions in Southend include the Southend Pier, Adventure Island, Cliffs Pavilion, and the beautiful beaches.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Southend?

Southend has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as visiting Shoebury East Beach, hiking to Hadleigh Castle for panoramic views, and taking leisurely strolls in Priory Park and Chalkwell Park.

What historical and cultural sites are worth exploring in Southend?

Some historical and cultural sites worth exploring in Southend include Prittlewell Priory, Old Leigh with its traditional fishing cottages, and Cliffs Pavilion for theater performances.

Is Southend a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Southend is a great destination for families with attractions like Sealife Adventure, Adventure Island, Southend Pier, and various water sports activities.

What is the nightlife like in Southend?

Southend has a vibrant nightlife scene with venues like Cliffs Pavilion and the Palace Theatre offering live music, comedy shows, and other entertainment events.