I am no stranger to travelling for the purpose of visiting specific cafes. So when I have found a cute restaurant in Southend on Sea on Saturday evening, Sunday trip to the seaside was a no brainer.
Southend On Sea is a resort seaside town in Essex, Southeast England. It is just an hour train ride away from London which makes it for the perfect last minute getaway from the city.
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If you are looking for a break from London with not too early start, then Southend on Sea is a perfect choice.
Places I have visited:
Thorpe Bay Beach Huts
Bobby Jo's Restaurant
How to get to Southend On Sea
I have booked a return train ticket with c2c on their website a day before. Please note that your online pre-booked train tickets will be ready for collection 2 hours after the purchase was made.
There are regular connections between London Fenchurch Street and Southend Central with multiple stops along the way. The train journey from start to finish takes around one hour one way.
See the end of this post for a total cost breakdown.
1. Thorpe Bay Beach Huts
How to get there
I have arrived at Southend Central train station around midday and have taken Arriva bus number 9 to Leitrim Avenue bus stop. The bus route follows the coast so you will be able to see the huts from the bus.
You can also take Arriva bus number 7 to Caulfield Road bus stop and then walk for about 12 minutes to reach the huts
My first stop was Uncle Toms Cabin where I have treated myself to a scoop of candy floss and birthday cake ice cream.
The huts stretch from Uncle Toms Cabin (crossing of Thorpe Esplanade and Waterford Road) to the crossing of Thorpe Bay Lawn Tennis Club (Crossing of Thorpe Esplanade and The Broadway) which is approximately 1 mile / 1.6 km / 20 minute walk.
There are so many (566) huts and each has its own charm. They have front and back entrance. Some of the beach huts are so close to the water that the front entrance that faces the sea cannot be used during the high tide.
The walk from Thorpe Bay Beach to Southend Beach takes approximately 50 minutes.
2. Bobby Jo's Diner
Aka the restaurant I have seen on Instagram and have decided to visit the town because of it. :D
This American style diner is located opposite of Sea Life Adventure and short walk away from Southend Pier.
They serve American style food and the interior is themed as the milkshake places you see on American movies.
I have ordered Miami Frappe, which I believe was made of coffee and vanilla ice cream, and grilled chicken burger (GF) with cheese and sweet potato fries.
They do vegan and gluten-free dishes and most of their milkshakes can be made vegan with soy milk.
Check out my Instagram Southend highlights for a video of the place.
3. Southend Pier
Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world. It is over 2 kilometres long and you can walk or take a train to the end of it.
Trains from the beach leave every full and half hour whilst trains from the pier leave every 15 past and 15 to an hour.
To be honest, there's not much to do there. You have a few painted huts, cafes, a museum, and a mini golf and that's about it.
I would advise taking the train to the end of the pier (train ride takes around 8 minutes and it's quite an interesting experience) and then walk back to the shore.
It was 5 PM on Sunday when I have returned to the main street and all the shops and most of the restaurants were just closing. I have taken 17:19 train back to London and arrived home just after six.
Visit to the Southend on Sea and Thorpe Bay Beach huts is perfect for you if you are looking for a relaxing day out of London by the sea. Stroll along the seafront, take hundreds of photos of the cute and colourful beach huts for your Instagram, dine in one of many cute restaurants you can find along the seafront, and visit the longest pier in the world. If you get caught in the rain, just dip into one of the numerous arcades situated by the main road.
Train Ticket: £12.90 - online purchase
Bus Ticket to Thorpe Bay Beach: £2.50 - you can pay with cash & card
2 scoops of ice cream: £3.50 - cash payments for purchases under £5
Bobby Jo's: £17.90 - card payment
Southend Pier return train: £5.35 - card payment
TfL to train station return: £3.60 - contactless
Total cost: £45.75
Discover more day trips from London by train here.
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