Essex Destinations to Visit and Explore

Essex is the land of endless green, scenic views, and quiet villages and towns that hold a great history on their shoulders. Parish sets, winding streets lined with wood-framed buildings, olde worlde towns, early British and Roman settlements, unspoiled riverside towns, mellow plaster cottages steeped in history, traditional market towns, as well as bustling town centres offering first-class shopping are some of the things you will come across while exploring the beauties of the land of Saxons.

Visit and Explore Southend – Home to the World’s Longest Pleasure Pier

Southend on Sea is a seaside resort town in Essex and home to Southend Pier, the world's longest leisure pier, stretching 1.34 miles from shore. Although it has been beset by several fires that damaged parts of it, the pier stands proudly still and is also home to the pop-up cafe featured in Channel 4's "Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast" starring Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty. At the shore end of the famous pier you will find the Pier Museum, where you can check out its eventful history.

Places with Fun Activities

If you have children thirsty for some fun, you can take them beneath the waves and let them come face-to-face with marine creatures, like stingrays and sharks at the Sea Life Adventure Aquarium. Don't forget also to visit the enormous tropical section with an incredible abundance of exotic waters animals, such as Clownfish, Porcupine Puffer Fish, Lionfish, and tropical sharks.

You may also treat your kids or the child inside you with a visit to the fantastic Adventure Island, an amusement park formerly known as Peter Pan's Playground with more than 50 rides, located at the pier's entrance, as well as the Sea Life Adventure Aquarium.

Events & Festivals

Fans of classic cars, scooters, and motorbikes have annual events to keep their adrenaline pumping, such as the London to Southend Classic Car run and the Southend Shakedown, alongside other scooter runs (see the Great London Rideout) throughout the year.

Other than that, Chalkwell Park has become a loving home to The Village Green Art & Music Festival held every July.

For some more music to please your soul, the annual summer Leigh Folk Festival featuring live music by the sea is another not-to-miss event! For some port action, you are free to participate in the Sea Fishing Festival held in Old Leigh, where local fishermen provide their catch for you to taste and appreciate!

Another annual event worth joining is the Southend Carnival that has quickly become one of the largest events in the community of South East Essex and includes a dog show, a fun fair, a fancy dress competition for kids, and, of course, a crazy carnival procession along the entire Southend Seafront!

Open Spaces, Parks & Gardens

The Belton Hills Reserve is a fabulous place to be refreshed as you walk among wildflowers and be enchanted by the heady scents of the roses at Chalkwell Park and the incredible floral displays at Priory Park and Southchurch Park. You can also choose to cycle and discover the richness of nature.

The Cliff Gardens is an exquisite vantage point where you can breathe in the fresh sea air and gaze out to sea, allowing your mind to let go of your worries, even for a while. Additionally, the train to Leigh on Sea gives you an excellent opportunity to walk or bike along the amazingly beautiful 6 miles of seafront, or even explore the 640 acre Two Tree Island Nature Reserve.

As for the Belfairs Park, it can comprise a splendid backdrop for a golf round or a lovely horseback ride. Discover ancient woodland and feel as if time has stopped sometime long ago.

Unquestionably, the estuaries and countryside of unparalleled beauty surrounding Essex make Southend on Sea an ideal base for even more exploration.


Southend on Sea is not only all about the great outdoors. It also has a vibrant nightlife, full of evening shows and live music at the cinema or theatre, and entertainment facilities, such as the casino, nightclubs, and wine bars to meet with friends and enjoy a dazzling night out. Besides its Green Flags for parks, Southend on Sea has also been awarded a Purple Flag for Night Time Economy, the golden standard for entertainment areas and night time destinations! Can you afford to leave without having a taste?

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