Situated in the east of England, Southend-on-Sea is a traditional seaside resort in the borough of Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The town became popular as a resort during the Victorian era, but from the 1960s onwards it suffered something of a decline as commerce moved into the area. Today, while not quite the proud tourist center of its heyday, Southend-on-Sea still attracts holidaymakers and day-trippers looking for an old fashioned seaside environment.
Visitors hoping to learn something of the area’s history can take a trip to Central Museum on Victoria Avenue. The museum is based in the original library building that was built in 1906 and features displays of wildlife, archaeology and human history. At the nearby Southend Planetarium, visitors are offered the chance to view the stars in the night sky with the help of a trained guide. The center runs three programs a day, which last on average 40 minutes each.
More educational entertainment can be enjoyed at the Discovery Center, an attraction for the young and old alike that offers a range of interactive activities aimed at providing information about the area’s past and present. Alternatively, visitors looking for a spot of nature should visit the Belfairs Park & Nature Reserve; this 304-acre facility offers a range of activities including a children’s play area, lawn bowling, tennis, football, golf, pitch & putt, and a woodland nature reserve. The town has many more open spaces worth visiting including Shoebury and Eastwood parks, and Southchurch Hall and Churchill Gardens.
Southend is well equipped to receive visitors and has a fairly solid tourist infrastructure. Visitors will find ample accommodation options, with a large number of guesthouses and B&Bs to choose from. Likewise, for dining there’s no shortage of restaurants available, with options covering everything from fish and chips to high-class dinner establishments. Nightlife options are plentiful; the town has a plethora of pubs and bars as well as a reasonable selection of nightclubs. Alternatively, there are cinema and theater venues as well as places offering live music.