Things to do in Southend-on-Sea

THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Southend-on-Sea

Things to Do in Southend-on-Sea


Book these experiences for a closer look at the region.

Top Attractions in Southend-on-Sea

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.

Amusement destination with a blend of gentle and exhilarating rides, catering to all age groups, highlighted by a water ride roller coaster and minimal wait times.
This attraction description was created by AI, using information and phrases commonly found in reviews users submitted to Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor did not create and is not responsible for this description. Please read full traveller reviews for more details and information. If you believe something in this AI-generated description is inaccurate, please share your feedback.

Historic coastal town with scenic seafront walks, quaint beach, and rich fishing heritage. Features leisurely dining, boat trips, and charming high street for a relaxed day out.
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Long wooden pier showcasing a leisurely walk with scenic views, a variety of kiosks, and a historic lifeboat station with themed merchandise and tours.
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Aquatic adventure with diverse marine life, interactive butterfly house, and additional wildlife exhibits, including playful penguins and nimble monkeys, set in a family-friendly environment.
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Woodland retreat with serene trails, nature reserve, and a golf course. Includes a visitor center, family and dog-friendly spaces, and a café with scenic views.
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Historical priory amidst serene parkland with interactive exhibits and engaging narratives, surrounded by scenic walking trails and picnic spots.
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Intimate venue with comfortable seating and clear sightlines, hosting a range of performances amidst a historic setting. Enjoy diverse theatrical productions in a cozy ambiance.
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*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travellers are saying

  • Sameerah A
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The theme park was great i went with my family and i love rides , its the closest theme park to me and its cheap not like other theme parks such as alton towers like don’t get me wrong i love alton towers but it costs alot and i have to drive 3 - 4 HOURS TO GO like adventure island is just 10 minutes away and my fav rides are rage and axis since there the most thrilling rides there the only thing is i wish there was more roller coasters there since i go every week day because its so clise
    Written April 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • hilary d
    London, UK764 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Another trip to our favourite place!this time we chose a sunny Sunday in May!
    We drive and park and either get fish and chips from the Mayflower or go to Sara's tea garden.

    Then we walk off our lunch and then sit in the sun and get afrenoon tea or an icecream.
    Written June 9, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • JosBa
    Rochford, UK38 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great walk down the pier we did it as part of a charity walk and honestly it is a really nice way to spend a sunny Sunday morning. Only thing is everything at the end of the pier is very expensive and if you don’t take anything with you then you have no choice but to pay for it
    Written June 4, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Tammy R
    Hereford, UK95 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Better than expected ,a nice welcome but then that was it we only saw one member of staff in the butterfly house and then no one to be seen so couldn’t ask questions or get more information other than what was written near table etc
    A wide range of things to see not just fish ,the monkeys looked happy as did the meerkats and the whole place was pretty clean.
    The cafe made me gag with the overwhelming smell of dirty cooking oil it clung to hair and clothes it was truly vile better extraction or a closed kitchen is needed.
    Didn’t enter shop so can’t comment on prices but everything else was good value ,would definitely visit again but bypass cafe
    Written January 5, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • PCzns
    Penang Island, Malaysia75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I haven't been to Leigh-on-Sea for many years, but grew up near Belfairs Park. Leigh-on-Sea is one of the loveliest places that I know of and I like to keep up with what's happening there and in "The Woods".
    Written December 24, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • James A
    London, UK267 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    East beach has always been a nice space to escape to. It used to have BBQ stands but they've since got rid of those. The car park has been relaid. I'd suggest using one of the two machines as some of the apps charge an admin fee.
    There's a cafe and the odd food vendor nearby during summer. The beach is not as natural as it looks with hauled in sand but it's been presented well despite the fair bit of litter around.
    My visit recently unfortunately was a bit tainted by trying to find somewhere to sit which didn't have horrendous growth through the benches. See photos. As much as I like being at one with nature, the place needs a damn good strimming.
    There's a large open space for picnics and games further back, and some cool boats just out to sea. Bonus points for spotting the reggae boat.
    It also has a talking mental health bench which is... interesting.
    I'd happily return here to chill out when the council get some maintenance done.
    Written June 3, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • stevebillericay
    essex1,013 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    First visit, early march24 free spaces for 10/15 cars in cul de sac, also payment spaces at cafe, that unfortunately wasn’t open, so no public toilets that we could find.
    Actual ruins are small, couple of the original towers but the views are nice, wet footpath leads towards Leigh on sea, I would estimate a 30 min walk, would get busy in summertime as it’s a good walking area.
    Written March 6, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • JosBa
    Rochford, UK38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    By far my favourite place in Southend. I just love this park it’s so well kept and it’s just a loverly walk. You can see the staff that work there really care and want to make it the best it can be
    Written June 4, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • annmickwhitstable
    Kent, UK8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The beach was stony but very clean and very accessible, and was right opposite the premier inn where we stayed.
    Written July 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Patrick H
    Essex, UK6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We found Prittlewell Priory completely by accident,and we are so pleased that we did. Due to a long traffic delay we found ourselves stopped right beside the entrance and rather than sit in a queue of traffic we decided to turn in and explore.
    What a delightful discovery it was - it often said out of context but this place truly is, a hidden gem!
    Finding such a fantastic historic building located in such a peacefully beautiful setting was quite amazing. As were the team in the visitor centre, for whom nothing was too much trouble.They were happy, friendly and wonderful ambassadors for Southend Museum. Sarah gave us a tremendous in depth knowledgeable tour of the Priory which was topped off with a generously gifted victorian easter egg.
    We have passed this park for many years without ever noticing the entrance but now we've discovered it, to coin a phrase 'we will be back'.Definitely!
    Written March 22, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Fab&Co
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Went to see Legally Blonde. Great performances, sets, music. Congratulations Sally for putting on a fabulous show!

    Good large bar for drinks. Good selection and quick service. Some seating. Great location.

    A fun evening.
    Written June 1, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Neil P
    16 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very nice place to go on a sunny day and has a wildlife site for bird watching and good for walks to Hadleigh castle and around two tree island
    Written April 15, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The above attraction descriptions were created by AI, using information and phrases commonly found in reviews users submitted to Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor did not create and is not responsible for any of the above hotel descriptions. Please read full traveller reviews for more details and information. If you believe something in one of these AI-generated descriptions is inaccurate, please share your feedback.
Reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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