Things to do in Southend

With all of us counting our pennies, having a fun family day out is something that can be deemed a little too expensive. The good news is, if you live in Southend or nearby, you have a whole host of fun and purse-friendly things you can do right on your doorstep!

The traditional pursuits of building sandcastles or snoozing away your afternoon in a deckchair are certainly still available – but there is a considerably wider choice of activities too.

So what things are there to do in Southend these days?

  • you might want to get the maximum adrenaline rush, for example, by taking the RAGE rollercoaster ride at the town’s Adventure Island;
  • when your heart has started beating normally again, you can ratchet up the excitement all over again as you plunge down to earth on the SkyDrop;
  • younger visitors to the same Adventure Island are certain to get a thrill playing the role of pirates on the Jumping Jolly Rodgers;
  • down to earth but just a little at sea, you can take a relaxing stroll along the longest pier in the world, with a museum at the end of your promenade relating the fascinating history of the structure;
  • still on the trail of the more sedate pleasures that Southend has to offer, you might want to visit the Central Museum and Planetarium. It is easy enough to find – not unsurprisingly in the centre of town, on Victoria Avenue – where you can enjoy a hands on experience of local natural history. The Planetarium, of course, lets you see the skies above the town at night;
  • the Beecroft Art Gallery, in Station Road, displays around 2,000 works of art – including those by East Anglia’s favourite son, Constable, the Dutch master Molenaer, the English painter and illustrator, Edward Lear, and the Norfolk painter Edward Seago;
  • history also comes alive in the tranquil setting of Southchurch Hall – just a stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the main seafront. In the different settings of the Hall’s various rooms, you can travel in time from a late Middle Age great hall, to a Tudor kitchen, and a wing of the main house devoted to the Tudor and Stuart periods;
  • the sea is never far away and if you can resist its call no longer, how about spending the day at the Southend Marine Activities Centre. What an appropriate name that is! Think of a water sport, any water sport, and you can almost certainly get a taste of it here – from sailing to paddle sports, windsurfing to jet skiing and power boating, with specially designed multi-activities for kids, too;
  • when the day is done the lights come on around a town coming to life yet again, with entertainment at the Cliffs Pavilion or the Palace Theatre and more bars, restaurants and night clubs than you could imagine.

These are just a few ideas of what you can enjoy on your doorstep – for more, visit