One rare sunny Sunday morning in April we felt like going on a spontaneous day trip. Southend-on-Sea come to our mind and as we’ve never been there we just decided to go.
We didn’t know anything about it, so once we arrived we realised that it has an exceptionally long pier!
According to Wikipedia Southend has the longest pleasure pier in the world, which is 1.34 miles (2.16km) long. The coast there consists of large mudflats, so the sea is never very deep even at full tide and recedes over a mile from the beach at low tide. Large boats were unable to stop at Southend near to the beach and no boats at all were able to stop at low tide. This meant that many potential visitors would go past Southend and on to Margate, or other resorts where docking facilities were better. To counter this trend local dignitaries pushed for a pier to be built. This would allow boats to reach Southend at all tides.
As the pier is so long there is even a small train providing transport to the pier head, where there is a Lifeboat station and the Royal Pavillion.
We decided to walk the 2km, which was the furthest I have ever walked out on sea. As you can imagine it was very windy out there, so I was glad to have my windproof jacket :)
Like so many English sea side resorts Southend-on-Sea also has a funfair, back on the mainland.
What I found most interesting though was the old gaming halls, which looked like time has been standing still here: