There has been a church on this site for well over 1000 years and the church at Prittlewell is mentioned in the Doomsday Survey of 1086.Over the years, various additions were made to the church and in the 15th century the magnificent tower was built together with a porch and an eastern wall that now forms part of the Jesus Chapel. Since then the structure of the church remains unaltered save for the addition of the vestries in modern times. When the town of Southend-on-Sea was established at the 'Southe Ende' of Prittlewell village, the church of St. Mary the Virgin became the mother church of Southend. Whilst Prittlewell has remained modest in size over the past 100 years, Southend, has increased dramatically and merged with Shoeburyness, Westcliff and Leigh on Sea. An honour roll for servicemen of the area who died in the two world wars is on display in the church porch
For years it was very popular to be married by Rev Ireland at St Mary's, especially as WWII was coming to an end and the menfolk started returning to the Borough
This area is known to both visitors to Southend and locals alike.
Sadly it is a mere shadow of its former self when on its four acres, it had numerous outdoor rides and all the fun of the fair. Currently it does have a certain amount of entertainment within the building but is really unrecognizable to those of us who were brought up in the Borough just after WWII.
The pier at Southend on Sea has a long and checkered history going back to 1830 when the first pier of a wooden construction was completed. As trips to the seaside became popular it was not possible to reach Southend by boat as the area is fairly flat, so a long pier was necessary for boats to be able to tie up. Over the years the pier has been extended in length, rebuilt and caught fire a number of times. At this present time it is the longest pleasure pier in the world at 1.34 miles. As the pier is so long there is a half hourly train service covering the length of the pier. There are a number of different combinations of tickets available, details are available on the website. Because of its long history there is also a museum to visit which covers its history. Because the museum is not open every day it is best the check its website. http://www.southendpiermuseum.co.uk/
Visited whilst on weekends opening,
A interestingly located park, right next to the seafront at the end of the city centre road.
Free entry, and park has a range of rides and games for everyone.
You can pay for rides individually(£1.60 per ticket) 1 ticket for kids rides and 2 tickets for adult/intense rides. Or a wrist band (£22 per adult/£14 for child)
Good grouping of rides and plenty of on-site food choices.
There are two rides which aren't covered by the wristband - Dodgems and Go-karts, the go-karts seems a little slow, but a typical oval design.
Worth a visit here, and my favorite rides are the Tidal Wave Blue(Water ride) and Ramba Zamba.
3 Arcades on site.
2.90 a 9 hole crazy golf or the both 9 hole courses for 4.50,
They have done well to fit it in the small area next to the fair, but its was a great day when I visited, sun in the sky and not a cloud in sight.
Some interesting adventuring theming with jeeps, aircraft and little waterfalls,
Still the courses themselves didn't really go too far in terms of imagination.
A quick diversion and for the price not too bad.
For those who have a keen eye for exceptional works of art,the Beecroft Gallery in Westcliff and the Focal Point Gallery at Southend Central Museum keep the town's visitor in the picture all year around.
The Beecroft has a varied collection ranging from 17th Century Dutch paintings to contemporary works,while at Focal Point the very best of photographic,video and digital art is on display.
Elsewhere,within the artistic community of Leigh-on-Sea,there are many more smaller,independent galleries that are well worth a look.Amongst them are the Paris-Art Gallery.which hosted prominent local and nationally renowned artist in recent times.The Estuary Gallery and the Lynn Tait Gallery.
Beecroft Gallery open from 10.00am-13.oopm 14.oopm-17.oopm
tuesdays to saturdays.They are closed sundays,mondays and bank holidays.
Westcliff Casino is one of the largest casinos in Great Britain. Situated along the mouth of The Thames Estuary, the casino offers its patrons every gaming facility allowed under British Casino legislation.
The Westcliff Casino is the complete entertainment venue and one of Essex premier social destinations with two restaurants, two bars, full gaming facilities and a regular live entertainment programme including prize draws and party nights.
The Kursaal in Southend claimed to be the world's oldest theme park. As it opened in 1901, it predates Coney Island - just.
Sadly the theme park became gradually more decrepit over the years and was finally shut about 25 years ago.
Thankfully in 1998, the landmark building was restored to some at least of it's former glory and is now filled with an assortment of shops, food place, slot machines, a casino and a bowling alley.
It's a scenic & pretty 1 mile walk from Cliff's Pavilion to Southend Central station, past Royal Hotel.
You'll see the sea no doubt, but also pass pedestrianised zones with a wide boulevard, and lovely gardens off the water.
Many benches are to be found along the way, in case you want to sit down admiring the natural scene.
There are some lovely houses (each one unique) lining the road, and even pretty terraces, each of which can boast commanding views over the sea.
Great funfair right on the sea front for kids, teens and bigger kids alike! Great shopping with a good variety of shops and loads of cafes and restaurants on the high street. The longest pier in the world runs a train to take you the mile and a quarter out to sea and the history of the pier is quite interesting - and it goes without saying what a great job the RNLI do.
Celebrated its 23rd year in 2008,the two-day Westcliff Casino Southend Airshow remains one of the most anticipated events in the region.Helded over the May Bank Holiday weekend(sunday 29th-Monday 30th May)the event attracts and incredible half a million people annually and is one of Europe's largest FREE airshows.
Set against the backdrop of the Thames Estuary,the spectacular aerial displays are best viewed from the clifftop gardens,one of the beaches or along Western Esplanade.
A much-celebrated venue for enthralling drama,stand-up comedy and intimate musical performances,the Palace Theatre has brought the magic of the stage to Southend for over 90 years.
Opened in 1912,the theatre was a modern structure for its time,boasting clear and uninterrupted views for the audience.In the years since,the theatre has explored a variety of artistic directions and hosted some of the best repertory theatre on offer.
Situated in a prime position on Southend's famous cliffs,the Cliffs Pavilion is the region's favorite touring venue and concert hall,with a capacity of 1630 and stand-up capacity of 2000 which includes designated areas for wheelchair users.
The venue's reputation as a leading entertaintment complex is perfectly demonstrated by the long list of top performers who have graced the main auditorium's stage over the years,including Paul McCartney,BB King,Johnny Cash..
Touring West End musicals such as Blood Brothers,Jesus Christ Superstar and Buddy have all chosen the Cliff for its superb facilities,while the auditorium has also played host to various classical music and international ballet performances.
Top-class entertaintment continues in the Maritime Room,which houses the Jazz Bar Club and programmes of alternative comedy.Elsewhere the Cliffs' Foyer Bar offers fantastic views across the Estuary,which can be enjoyed at any time of day over a drink or snack..
We caught a train along the pier to the end of the longest pier in the world. It costs £3 each. It was a really good experience. Once the train gets to the other end which takes about 10 minutes theres a short walk to the end of the pier where there is a cafe and an RNLI station and gift shop.
Situated at the mouth of the Thames Estuary,Southend's prized foreshore supports a wealth of habitats and wildlife and is an internationally import site for migrating birds.
Its wildlife is best viewed from one of the many vantage points along the seafont,where telescopes and information points will help you discover more.For equally spectacular views,take a trip on one of the pleasure boats departing from the Pier Head to complete the perfect picture of the famous foreshore..