It's pretty remarkable that Southend-on-Sea has a population of only around 180,000 and yet is served by three railway stations! Add to that its own airport plus a busy bus network and it's easy to see why it's so well connected.
Getting around Southend
The recent development of London Southend Airport means this favourite stretch of the Essex coastline is more accessible than ever before. Operators include easyJet, Flybe and Loganair, offering direct flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prague, as well as domestic services connecting Southend to Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin.
Alongside on-site duty-free shopping, the airport also has a selection of eating and drinking options. These include the likes of Lakers Bar & Restaurant with its deliciously varied menu, and Arnold & Forbes Café Kitchen, which is the perfect spot for some pre- or post-flight refreshment.
Getting to and from the airport is easy. If you need to hire a car, then you’ll find a dedicated Europcar car rental centre at the airport. Alternatively, reliable local taxi services from Andrews Taxis are available to book at their office in the terminal. The airport is also well connected to Southend via the C30 coach service and bus routes 7, 8 and 9. One of the fastest and easiest ways to arrive for your flight though is by train. At peak times, up to eight services arrive every hour at the purpose-built station, which is just a two-minute walk from the terminal. And if you prefer to get a good night’s rest before or after your journey, you can always book into our Southend Airport hotel.
Southend Victoria Station
The historic Southend Victoria Train Station dates back to 1889 and is one the two main stations for the town. It's currently served by Greater Anglia, which runs trains to and from Liverpool Street via Prittlewell, which is the closest station to the Roots Hall football stadium, home of Southend United.
The town's other main station is Southend Central, which is on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line. It's even older than Southend Victoria, having first opened in 1856 and is currently operated by c2c. Westbound trains from Southend Central connect passengers with Fenchurch Street, meaning Southend has a choice of two different London stations to travel to and from. The London, Tilbury and Southend line also serves Basildon and Barking.
Originally, trains terminated here but the line was later extended east to Shoeburyness, and the first stop on this section is Southend East Railway Station. An estimated 20 percent of the working population of Southend-on-Sea commutes to London every day so be warned, the trains can be busy at peak times!
Our Thorpe Bay hotel is just over a mile from Southend Thorpe Bay Railway Station, while the town's two main stations are both less than two miles from our Eastern Esplanade hotel.
For good measure, Southend boasts two smaller train lines. These include the famous railway which saves weary legs the trouble of walking the length of the famous Southend Pier, and Southend Cliff Railway, a funicular which offers a popular ride in the summer for tourists wanting an easy way of climbing the cliffs from the walkway below to gain a better view of the estuary.
As well as being the station for trains to Stratford and Liverpool Street, Southend Victoria Station has a busy bus interchange served by Arriva routes taking passengers around Southend-on-Sea and beyond. Most bus services also stop at Southend Victoria Interchange and there are services to the nearby towns, such as Hadleigh, Rayleigh and Rochford, as well as shopping locations and leisure attractions.
All buses also run to Southend Travel Centre, which is very near the Royals Shopping Centre and also not far from Southend Central station for trains to Fenchurch Street. From the travel centre, you're within easy walking distance of the seafront, Southend Pier, Adventure Island and the high street shops, with the Victoria Shopping Centre and Odeon cinema at the far end of the High Street.