Southend on Sea Beach is located in Essex, on the northern side of the Thames estuary. It consists of 8 beaches in total. It’s not just popular for its beaches but also for its longest pleasure Southend pier.
The beach has other tourist attractions like the adventure island and the aquarium. My family and I love visiting this beach; it just takes 40 minutes to drive there. Our last visit to the beach was two years ago.
It was the end of August, my daughter had summer holidays, and she wanted to play at the beach, so we thought, let’s make a day out of it and invite some other family members.
Southend on Sea: Route
It’s best to use google maps when you are going to Southend-on-sea. It shows you the fastest route to the beach and helps you avoid traffic. You can take the A12 or A13 to Southend. We usually take the A12 as it is the fastest one for us.
Southend on Sea: Our Experience
Let’s start our day with planning and much more we have done to prepare ourselves for a day trip to Southend on Sea.
It is always better to go to the beach in a group. Inviting other people comes with advantages. We can all divide the expense of food and travel, and we adults can have other adults to have fun with.
My husband and I decided to invite my mother, my brother, and my husband’s sister to join us on the trip. Because we had to make an early departure, we asked our family members to stay over at our place.
The next day, all 7 of us (5 adults and two kids) left for the beach. We used google maps to help us take the fastest route there.
Soon we arrived at our destination. My daughter saw the pier and screamed in excitement, “Let’s win some tickets at the arcade.”
The Attractive Pier: Our First Stop
At my daughter’s insistence, we first chose to go inside the pier and later sit at the beach. Southend pier is full of arcade games. You have so many options that you don’t know where to start.
We entered the first place that we saw. The arcade is not just for the kids but for adults as well. At the same time, my daughter was busy playing air hockey with my husband. My sister-in-law and I sneaked out and went towards the jackpot machine.
This machine lets you win tickets. And if you hit the jackpot, you can win a hundred thousand tickets.
Well, it’s true. There is a kid inside every adult. We wanted to win the jackpot or as many tickets as possible so that we could win a toy. We had a change of 50 pounds.
We were ready to waste it all on this machine. After collecting uncountable tickets and running out of cash, we realized we should get back to our family. We assumed that our family members would be worried about us. But they were busy arcading that they didn’t even realise we were gone.
I decided to go towards the ticket eater and get my tickets counted. Luckily, we had won enough tickets to win a giant teddy bear, just like the one we always dreamt of having in our rooms when we were kids. But the tickets weren’t just mine. I was supposed to divide the price equally between my sister-in-law and me.
So, I let go of the idea of getting the teddy bear and got two pretty mugs—one for me and the other for her. No one realised they had spent half the day at the arcade until we smelt some fresh doughnuts. It was when our hunger pangs kicked in.
While leaving the arcade, we all agreed to get the first thing we could find to eat. Fortunately, a pizza place called “PIZZA EXPRESS” beside us offered a seating area too. Everyone was hungry, so no one objected to having pizza for lunch.
We seated ourselves, and after precisely two minutes, a waiter came to attend to us. The menu had other Italian options as well. I wasn’t craving pizza, so I ordered pasta instead. Food arrived quickly, and we all indulged ourselves in it.
The moment our sole purpose was to fill our tummies, that’s why no one complained. But kids can’t lie or stop themselves from expressing their emotions. My daughter, a huge fan of margarita pizza, grunted in disgust and told me that she wasn’t enjoying the food.
We don’t like wasting food, so I told her to clean her plate. She knew she had to abide by the rule of not wasting food. That’s why she finished it all with a sad face. Fresh doughnuts are Southend’s Beaches specialty. We didn’t want to go home without having doughnuts.
As we didn’t have more space for food in our stomachs, we decided to buy the doughnuts but save them for later.
Southend on Sea: Beach
The tide at the beach stays low from 10 am to 4 pm. It gets high at 4 pm and stays high till 11 pm. We got to the beach at 2 pm. The tide was relatively low at the time. You can check the tide times from here.
Although Southend on Sea has eight beaches, we usually go to the beach closest to Adventure Island. This beach is known as jubilee beach. It’s closest to everything, the pier, aquarium, adventure island, etc.
Meanwhile, we were busy arranging the beach huts, mats and umbrellas. My daughter changed her swimming costume, took out her bucket and shovel, and ran towards the sand to build a sand castle. Everyone was in the mood for a hot coffee, as the wind made the atmosphere chilly.
I always like to travel with a big thermos of creamy cappuccino, so how can I forget to do so today. I happily took my thermos out and shared the delightful coffee with the lot. The coffee made us all warm.
When I was busy putting the cups and the thermos away, my husband came running toward me, held my hand, and threw me on the sand to make sand angels. Both of us were soon joined by other family members, and we all made sand angels just like we did in childhood.
Since we were running out of time and there were other things left to do, we decided to get off the city beach and go towards the adventure island. (It left us no doubt that Southend on Sea comes under the list of Award Winning Beaches).
As we were running out of time, we couldn’t get a chance to discover other things like water sports activities, the nearest museums, gardens, cliffs pavilion near the Southend’s Beaches.
Adventure Island Vs. The Aquarium
We didn’t have much time on our hands as half the day & 10 plus hour was gone, and we still had two more things we wanted to do. Moreover, the home was seven miles from the location. So we need to pack up early.
That’s why my husband decided to take everyone’s vote on deciding which option to pick.
We primarily visited Adventure Island and have only seen the aquarium once. That is why everyone voted for the aquarium. This aquarium is called “Sealife Adventures.”
It’s not just an aquarium. It’s also a zoo. It’s home to over 40 sea and land creatures. We started with the zoo first. We saw monkeys, abysses, tortoises, meerkats, and otters in the zoo.
We next moved towards the aquarium to have a look at the amphibians. Here, at the aquarium, we stepped into a new world. We first went on a walk through a tunnel tank with sharks all around us.
This experience was breathtaking. My older one is very fond of sharks. Looking at them live made her ecstatic, and she couldn’t stop herself from keeping a smile on her face. Sharks weren’t just the only attractive creature there. We also say sting rays, turtles, and clown fishes.
After thoroughly enjoying the aquarium, we thought of giving the aquarium shop a visit. The shop was full of colorful stuffed toys and other accessories. I liked a big smiling turtle for my toddler. When I showed it to her, she hugged it so tight that I bought it.
No one else wanted to buy anything else. That’s why we left the shop and walked towards the car park.
After all the fun, we got exhausted and wanted to head home. But we still haven’t tried our doughnuts yet.
So, my mother suggested that we sit near the bench on the beach and savor the doughnuts while watching the sunset.
Although The doughnuts weren’t warm anymore, we still enjoyed every bit. This beautiful view refreshed our minds, but our bodies were still tired, so we called it a day and sat in our car, making our way to our sweet home where we could rest in our cosy beds.
That’s all for a day out on one of the best beaches in Essex. I surely recommend Southend on Sea any day.