Southend is the largest town in Essex, and is one of England's most famous seaside resorts.
Originally a tiny fishing settlement at the South end of the old village of Prittlewell, it became a fashionable watering place largely because of Princess Caroline, the Princess of Wales, who brought her daughter here to improve her health.
Southend famously has the longest pier in the world, which extends for a mile and a third straight out to sea and a mile and a quarter including the extension around the corner.
The Pier has its own railway, so it is possible to either walk or ride to the Pier Head.
There are seven miles of seafront, including the subsidiary resorts of Leigh, Chalkwell, Westcliff, Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness.
Southend is a major regional shopping centre, and has a collection of beautiful parks and gardens. The illuminations, a great attraction in the postwar period, have been reinstated in recent years.
The Kursaal was a major amusement park, and was actually the first theme park in the world.
Sir John Betjeman said that the Southend air is like wine.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Southend for groups.
Places in Southend
Adventure Island, Central Library, Central Museum, Civic Centre, Eastern Esplanade, Focal Point Gallery, Kursaal, Observation Tower, Palace Hotel, Porters, Prittlewell Square, Queen Victoria Statue, Royal Hotel, Royal Terrace, Sea Life Adventure, Seafront, Southend Central Station, Southend East Station, Southend Marine Activities Centre, Southend Pier, Southend Pier Museum, Southend Victoria Station, Victoria Circus