Southend on Sea in Essex is possibly most famous for its “pier”:https://www.southendpier.co.uk/ – the longest pleasure pier in the world. On my first trip to Southend, or Sarf End as they would say in Eastenders, a visit was a must.
The pier juts out 1.33 miles into the Thames Estuary and there are two options for getting to the end: an 8-minute train journey or 25-minute walk. As the September weather was mild and it wasn’t windy, we walked both ways for £1. The return train trips costs £5.60 but for over 60s, it’s half price. The helpful ticket man told us that if we decided to get the train back, we could pay on arrival.
It was a pleasant, easy walk with the wooden planked pedestrian walkway running alongside the train tracks. There were plenty of black metal benches with decorative features and shelters with seats. Markers told us when we’d reached one-third and two-thirds of the way.
At the end of the pier, the Salt Café was closed but the Tea with the Tide tearoom suggested ‘Stop for tea, a mile out to sea’.
Southend has two of the busiest lifeboat stations in the country – the inshore boathouse and offshore boathouse, both at the end of the pier. In the gift shop, were all the usual RNLI memorabilia and we could also peer into the Pier Head boathouse to see two of the four Southend lifeboats.
At the very end of the pier was a large bell, but I’ve been unable to find out much about it.
If you’re visiting Southend, the pier, either by foot or train, is a must do.