Toddler Trips #8 – Southend-on-Sea

“Oh I just wish I could wake up at the seaside” I said to my husband on the last weekend of June. It was the week the heatwave was forecast. My husband said, ” Well, why don’t you? Just book a hotel” And that’s how it came to be the first mini-holiday for me and my boy on our own! I chose Southend as I know it so well, and easy for walking with a toddler, so we didn’t need to bring his buggy. We just brought a little trolley bag and his toy pushchair. Luckily I had taught Tyler how to stop at roads and cross safely, so it wasn’t so heart-stopping walking!Toddler-Trips-Southend
The day before I splashed out a seaview room at the Park Inn on the seafront, and booked my train ticket. And we set off on Monday on lots of little train journeys. We got to Liverpool Street and got settled on the train to Southend. As it’s the first stop, we got to choose where to sit, and ate our lunch here while we waited for it to depart.


Here is what we did:

1) Check into the hotel
The journey from London takes an hour, and we arrived at Southend Victoria station at 2.30pm. Out of the station there are escalators and a lift immediately to your left. This takes you straight into the Victoria Shopping Centre, and good place to do a nappy change etc – they have the cleanest, brightest baby change ever, top tip 🙂 We then walked through the High Street, stocking up on food at the Morrisons Local, and checked in at the Park Inn which is right at the end of the shops, after the Royals Shopping Centre. And to my surprise, not only did we get a seaview room, but a balcony too! It was shared with the neighbours, but still, what a bonus. Tyler was so so happy, running out shouting ‘seaside!’ Here is the view, it looked over Adventure Island and the seaside 🙂

Southend-on-Sea Seaside, Essex, UK

2) Three Shells Beach
To get to the seafront, we stepped out of the hotel and there is a lift to the left that goes directly down to the seafront. It’s very slow, but really handy. The beach I recommend going to is Three Shells Beach, to the right of Adventure Island, which you’ll see as you come out of the lift. It’s a sandy beach, and has a seapool and a playground in the sand!

Southend-on-Sea Seaside, Essex, UK

I said to Tyler “Do you want to put your feet in the water?” He goes, ‘YES!’ and ran into the mini seapool with all his clothes on before I could stop him. It’s a shallow pool, and I’d never seen him so happy running in the water and splashing with the other kids. Suddenly he wasn’t shy anymore – amazing.

Southend-on-Sea Seaside, Essex, UKAfterwards he played in the playground which is by the entrance, before we walked back to the hotel so I could shower him. Sand is great, but oh so messy! How does it get everywhere, even under his toenails?!
This is the walkway from the lift, and that building is our hotel, the Park Inn. We were on the third floor with the balcony.
Southend-on-Sea Seaside, Essex, UK

It was so nice going to sleep that night, I kept the curtains open so I could watch the sunset, and Tyler fell asleep really excited – one minute he was laughing away, the next he was asleep! And then the next morning, I awoke seeing the seaside – ahhh. Check out at the Park Inn is at 12pm, which I was very pleased about – no rush to pack, I took my time!

3) Shopping at the Royals Shopping Centre
We left there at 11am, and headed for the seafront when I realised my sunglasses had snapped. So we nipped into Primark which was just behind the hotel and had an impromptu shopping trip. All the big High Street brands are in Southend if you fancy a spot of shopping.

4) Southend Pier Train
As it was now midday, I didn’t want to be out in the sun, plus Tyler was bugging me to go on a train. So we went on the Southend Pier train. The pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world (1.3 miles), so there’s a train that takes you to the end and back for £4.30. It’s a cute little trip, and you can get out at the end and walk around. We stayed in the train though. The views are lovely.

Southend Pier Train

5) Southend Pier Museum
As you get out of the train on the return journey, there’s a hidden museum underneath called the Southend Pier Museum. You’re not allowed to take photos, but it’s basically got vintage train carriages inside which the boy loved, plus lots of history, photos, bits and bobs. It was here I saw a photo of our hotel in the exact same angle as my photo above, and it turns out that it was a naval hospital in the olden days!

6) Adventure Island
We walked through Adventure Island which you see as you come out of the pier. It’s got roller coasters and rides and you have to buy a wristband to take part. We went to the Jungle Cafe hoping for lunch, but it was shut! So we had some of our snacks on their picnic tables. Tyler had to sit at a table that had a view of the roller coaster (or train as he called it).

Southend-on-Sea Seaside, Essex, UK

7) The Pebbly Beach
This beach has no official name that I know of. It’s to the left of Adventure Island and is pebbly, which I wanted as I couldn’t deal with sand in feet again! The boy played with his cars and I just chilled out before we set off back to the train station.

Southend-on-Sea Seaside, Essex, UK

It was so much fun, we are planning to go again this week! I love Southend seaside, it’s perfect for going with little ones and so easy to get to from London. Totally recommend it.

Sabrina x

Next week’s Toddler Trips post will be about Paignton in Devon.

Other Toddler Trips:
Bude – Salisbury – Dawlish – St Ives – PenzanceLand’s End – Yeovil

A Cornish Mum
You Baby Me Mummy
Summer Days
Mami 2 Five
Packing my Suitcase

43 responses to “Toddler Trips #8 – Southend-on-Sea

  1. You can’t beat a bit of Southend Sabrina! I’m in South Woodford so it is only a 45 minute journey for us and it always makes for a great day out – young or old. We too did an overnighter back in the half term for my daughters birthday with the family and were blessed with fabulous weather. Whilst on the whole it could certainly do with a bit of a makeover and is a bit grotty in places (which is a shame), we always come away having had the most fab time. I also love the staff at Adventure Island – they really go the extra mile for the kids. Three cheers for Southend! Nicky #PicknMix


    • Oh wow, that’s great you live closer, I’m jealous! I love the fact that everything’s so close together there, the station, shops and seaside – really handy with a toddler. Haha, I guess it is a bit grotty, but I like that it’s not so shiny and perfect, and that there’s more locals there than tourists. It feels like home! Yeah, three cheers for Southend! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw, lovely post… I live in Southend… born and raised here… I’m only a 15 minute walk from the pier… I love Southend too 🙂 #Weekendbloghop


  3. What a lovely day out. Seeing this makes me quite homesick for the UK, can’t beat a bit of British seaside. The train ride on the pier sounds great, what a very long pier!


  4. What a lovely little mini break and Tyler looks like he had a fab time! You should come to Poole on a little mini holiday and me and Elliot can show you the sights! xx


    • Oh yes it was great, and I love seeing how happy Tyler was there 🙂 Oh yes, we should do Poole some time, that would be great going round with a local! xx


    • Me too, it’s so exciting when it’s not planned, no expectations. Yeah sand it gets everywhere, it was in my bag too! Oh well, worth it though to be at the seaside 🙂 xx


  5. Sounds like you had a lovely mini break with Tyler! Great choice of hotel with the view as well, and how handy is that walkway?! Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix hon,

    Stevie x


    • It was soooo nice, and lovely to see Tyler being so happy. The hotel was in a perfect location, so convenient, and I wish all seasides had a walkway like that! xx


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  7. Ah sounds fab – and getting some you and Tyler time away from home – makes me want to jump in the car or on the train now (Hubbys’s travelling all week!) if only I could get some time off of work…!!!


  8. Heey Sabrina!! What a great getaway for the two of you. Beach is always a great idea… you are lucky to have near London… the closes beach to Munich is in Croatia, which is at least 6 hours away… or in the north of Italy. Looks like a beautiful place 😀

    Thank you for linking up with #MondayEscapes


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  14. Oh I love the sound of your trip, what an amazing couple of days away. I live in Brighton so we are very close to the sea anyway (10 minute walk away) but do love visiting other seaside towns. I’ve never been to Southend and love the train on the pier, one is definitely needed in Brighton! What a fantastic view from your hotel and the town/beach sounds like it’s great for kids. My little boy (nearly three) also pushed his toy buggy everywhere! He’s moved on to pushing his actual buggy now! Thanks for linking up to #MyFavouriteTrip Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures 🙂 Polly x


    • You’re so lucky to live in Brighton, I’d love to live by the seaside! Though you must visit Southend, you’re boy would love it! It’s so kid-friendly 🙂 Tyler’s moved on from his toy pushchair now, getting too tall – wah! Xx


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