Your guide to

Southend-On-Sea, UK

Southend-on-Sea commonly referred to as Southend is a coastal city and unitary authority area with borough status in southeastern Essex, England.

Southend-on-Sea is a resort town on the Thames Estuary in Essex, southeast England. The long Southend Pier is serviced by a small train and has a museum at its shore end. Nearby, Adventure Island is an amusement park with fairground rides and water slides. The Cliff Lift, a century-old funicular, clings to the hillside and offers coastal views. Sea Life Adventure aquarium is home to otters, clownfish and turtles.

Apartment in Southend-On-Sea

Our Recommendations
conservation centre

Longest canopy walkway in Africa

Take a trip to the wildside at the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos to spot monkeys, bird fish and, if you’re lucky, a crocodile or snake!

The centre boasts the longest canopy walkway in Africa and the natural setting is a peaceful contrast to the rest of one of the World's busiest cities.


Shop in an open air market

Who doesn't love an open-air market on your travels? Lagos is filled with markets selling everything from textiles to household goods and computers (there’s even a famous “Computer Village” stacked with microchips). Probably the most popular market for tourists, and definitely the most accessible, is the Lekki Crafts Market. It's well worth a visit. For a more local experience, check out the huge Balogun Market on Lagos Island.

Moist Beach Club

Chill out at Moist Beach Club

Lagos has everything a big city offers but also the beach.The newly opened Moist Beach Club is the hottest place to be in town. Offering azure blue swimming pool just steps from the ocean, with plenty of seating in the open-air deck, and summer vibes all year round. It's the place the young and beautiful of Lagos get together, kick back, relax, and leave the hubbub of the city behind.

Terra Kulture

Check out Terra Kulture

For the those seeking art and culture in Lagos, look no further than Terra Culture, an arts, cultural, and educational center that hosts plays, art exhibitions, and book readings. If there are no performances on the day of your visit, you can still while away the hours browsing the art gallery and bookstore. With an attached restaurant, it's also a great place to try some traditional and very delicious Nigerian food.

London Eye

London Eye

Climb aboard one of the 32 glass capsules of the London Eye for unforgettable views of some of London's most famous landmarks. Take in amazing 360-degree views as the capsule slowly rotates over the river Thames. From £29.50.

Emirates cable car

Emirates Airline Cable Car

Glide high above the Thames with the Emirates Air Line cable car, which provides stunning views of the city, departing every 30 seconds from the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. See the sights by day or admire the city as it twinkles at night on a flight which lasts five to 10 minutes, depending on the time of day. Prices from £5.00.

Tower of London

Tower of London

Take a tour with one of the Yeoman Warders around the Tower of London, one of the world's most famous buildings. Discover its 900-year history as a royal palace, prison and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house and zoo! Gaze up at the White Tower, tiptoe through a medieval king's bedchamber and marvel at the Crown Jewels. From £28.90.

LondonTransport Museum

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum hosts exhibitions connecting transport with the social and cultural history of London. Inside you'll find more than 80 vehicles spanning 200 years of London's history, including a red Routemaster bus and the world 's first Underground steam train. There are some great posters and artwork too! From £18.50.

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Canterbury Cathedral

Founded in 597 AD, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Cathedrals in the UK. From its impressive 72 meters high structure to its beautiful stained glass windows, the Cathedral has a history of welcoming visitors dating back to the days of medieval pilgrimage.

As well as providing a current place of worship, the Cathedral hosts public events throughout the year and provides learning recourses to visitors and schools to ensure the Cathedrals’ rich history is known, explored, enjoyed and shared.

Located in the heart of Canterbury, the Cathedral is easy to visit alongside enjoying Canterbury’s other scenic and retail offerings.

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Viking Coastal Trail

How better to explore Kent’s rich and visual history than via a scenic cycling trail?  The Viking Coastal Trail is suitable for all abilities and runs in a circular loop on the Isle of Thanet, exploring Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. With dramatic landscapes, rugged coastlines and beautiful beaches, you’ll see the scenery that inspired the artists and writers of the Roman, Saint and Saxon eras.

No bike? No problem. There are plenty of places along to route to hire bikes and start your journey.

For history fans, or anyone seeking a scenic cycle adventure, this is a must-do trail. And by breaking it up into smaller chunks, you can make for several beautiful days out.

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The White Cliffs of Dover

We all know the famous 1942 song sung by Vera Lynn, when the chalky white cliffs provided a beacon of hope to those away fighting and everyone at home awaiting their return. Decades on, the White Cliffs of Dover remain iconic to the UK and a landmark well worth visiting during your stay in Kent.

Managed by the National Trust, you can walk the cliff tops and bask in the expansive views of the English Channel, and on a sunny day, you may even catch a glimpse of France. Accompany your walk with a visit to Fan By Deep Shelter and step into a time capsule from the Second World War, or take a tour of the Victorian lighthouse that provided 142 years of safe passage for vessels from 1846 to 1988.

Gunners Park

Gunners Park and Shoebury Ranges Nature Reserve

Address: New Barge Road, Shoebury, Southend-on-Sea, SS3 9FW (5 minutes drive away from Victoria House)

This nature reserve is accessible to everybody and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and go for a coastal walk while discovering different animals around every bend.

Because of its proximity to the Thames Estuary, this nature preserve is an excellent place for migrating birds on the way to and from the UK, including ring ouzel, spotted flycatchers, wheatears, whinchats, and even yellow-browed warblers. Gog's Berth will be lined with waders, and a grey seal may occasionally appear on the seawall.

Due to its SSSI and Coastguard Station Grounds Local Wildlife Site, this location includes the Shoebury Old Ranges site. A range of habitats is available to walk through, ranging from coastal grassland to remnant sand dunes and historical military structures. Sandwich click beetles, bulbous meadow grasses, and cuckoo wasps, among other species, have thrived here thanks to the mosaic of habitats.  The historic buildings are also used by wildlife – in the summer months look out for barn swallows zipping in and out of the gaps to feed their young nesting inside.

Beach Huts at Shoebury common

Shoebury Common Beach

Address: Southend-on-Sea SS3 9HG, (5 minutes drive away from Victoria House)

Shoebury Common Beach, is in Essex, England, on the eastern side of the Thames Estuary.

The Common is a 2021 blue flag beach that has been recognised for its water quality, beach cleanliness, and safe pedestrian areas. There is also ramped disabled access to a wooden platform.

Shoebury Common is a great place for spending time with the family or friends. The common is also a great place for walks beside the Thames Estuary, taking in the sights of the ships and boats coming in and out of the Port of London. You can also explore the Common by car, taking in the beautiful scenery and finding a parking spot.

© Copyright Trevor Harris and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Thorpe Bay Beach

Thorpe Bay Beach

Address: 212 Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 3AD (10 mins. away from Victoria House)

The Blue Flag award for cleanliness and safe pedestrian access at Thorpe Bay beach was attained in 2021. The magnificent views of the Thames estuary can be seen from this shore. It's a superb place to unwind or take a refreshing walk.

Take a seat at one of the nearby cafes or restaurants while taking in the picturesque beach huts, or grab a bite to eat as you stroll. Wheelchair and pushchair access is available straight onto the beach, making it a terrific day out at the shore. 

© Copyright Andrew Areoff and licensed for reuse under

Adventure Island

Adventure Island

Address: Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1EE (15 mins away from Victoria House)

Bringing awesome sights, thrills and frights to revellers of all ages - it is Southend's number one free entry theme park, Adventure Island!

Here you can enjoy a host of fantastic activities, from thrilling water slides to family friendly attractions, all with no entry fee! Adventure Island is Southend’s favourite fun destination for families. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day with your kids!



Heritage Open Days - Hidden History

10th September to 11th September at Mote Park, Maidstone
Come and see archaeology in action as we continue our quest to find out more about the original Mote House in the park.

Wessex Archaeology will be on site with more fascinating artefacts to handle and there will be maps, images of the old house and survey results to look at too.

Hops 'n Harvest Beer Festival

10th - 11th September at Kent Life, Lock Lane, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3AU

There are plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained at Kent’s Hops 'n Harvest Festival in 2022. Visitors can participate in the traditional hand-picking of hops, as well as meet historical characters from Kent’s past. You can sample up to 50 locally brewed ales and ciders while listening to the excellent live music programme.

You can also observe some interesting Kent Life activities, such as animal encounters and tractor rides. In addition to popular Kent acts, there will also be some bright young stars performing live and local music.

Maidstone Community Mela

11th September, 12PM - 6PM, Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent

The Mela will once again boast an artistic programme made of culturally diverse, Kent based acts who will be showcasing their unique art forms. There will be plenty of food stalls offering flavours from around the world as well as a prosecco bar. Come and celebrate the diversity of the borough, meet partner agencies, and some well deserved festivities.


Revival in the Park

17th September, Mote Park, Maidstone

The biggest 90’s and 00’s heritage festival, celebrating a whole host of dance music genres, as well as Pop icons, featuring the likes of Chico, Baby D, Phats & Small, DJ Hype, Slipmatt and more!

For tickets, visit: 



24th September, Mote Park, Maidstone

The UK's Smash Hit Touring Soul Spectacular, Soultasia, comes storming into Kent!

Soultasia is a lifetime celebration of Soul & Disco featuring four decades of absolute legendary performers!

Performers include:

  • Jocelyn Brown Full Live Show
  • Odyssey
  • Kenny Thomas
  • Jaki Graham
  • Loose Ends
  • Phil Fearon & Galaxy
  • Harry Cambridge As Luther Vandross

Visit their website to buy tickets - 

Walking Festival

Heart of Kent Walking Festival

30th September to 2nd October, Maidstone, Kent

Get your walking boots ready and discover the beautiful county of Kent with this series of history hikes and walks around some of Kent's most picturesque places!

First walking event will start at The Medway, Friars and Neolithic Burial Sites History Hike - Heart of Kent Walking Festival 2022 on 30th September.

Book your walks at 

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

With over 900 years of history to uncover at Leeds Castle, discover the lives of our seven historic queens, get to know Lady Olive Baillie and her 1930 country house retreat, and pay a visit to our unique Dog Collar Museum.

There’s something for every history enthusiast! With so much to learn and discover, will you squeeze it all onto a day or will you opt to stay the weekend? Once you decide, the rest is easy.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury, in Kent, has been the seat of the spiritual head of the Church of England for nearly five centuries. Canterbury's other important monuments are the modest Church of St Martin, the oldest church in England; the ruins of the Abbey of St Augustine, a reminder of the saint's evangelizing role in the Heptarchy from 597; and Christ Church Cathedral, a breathtaking mixture of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic, where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170.

Mote Park

Mote Park

The iconic award-winning Mote Park is a huge 450acre Parkland/Woodland garden in Maidstone, Kent.From dino golf, a climbing wall, water sports, the walled garden and even a waterfall! The great thing about Mote Park is that all the activities are open to both adults and children. Outside of the year-round activities, there are also a number of organised events that take place throughout the year. 

Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum

Maidstone Museum is a free museum in Kent offering exhibitions, collections, workshops, and more.

Maidstone Museum is a local authority-run museum located in Maidstone, Kent, England, featuring internationally important collections including fine art, natural history, and human history. The museum is one of three operated by Maidstone Borough Council

Hazlitt Theatre

Hazlitt Theatre

The Hazlitt Theatre is a traditional proscenium arch and intimate auditorium. Named after William Hazlitt, the famous essayist, who was born in Maidstone in 1778. It opened in 1955.

The Hazlitt Theatre presents a wide-ranging blend of entertainment. With two performance spaces, The Hazlitt Theatre and Exchange Studio aim to offer something for everyone.

The Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone offers one of the liveliest and most diverse programmes of arts and performance in the south east.

Kent Life

Kent Life

The 28-acre site that constitutes Kent Life has evolved through the years from the historic Sandling Farm, an area that formed part of the wider Allington Castle estate in the mid 16th century – stretching some 461 acres – and was owned by Thomas Wyatt

Kent Life, as it is now known, is one of the few remaining places in Britain where hops are grown, harvested, dried and packed in its magnificent Oast house, by hand, using only time honored, traditional techniques. Kent Life is an English open-air museum located at Sandling, next to Allington Locks, on the east bank of the River Medway.


Cobtree Manor Park

Cobtree Manor Park has over 50 acres of parkland displaying a diverse and maturing collection of trees and shrubs. Standing on the site of the old Maidstone Zoo, the park features a themed play area, along with a sculpture trail, plenty of space for picnics, and a café serving hot and cold food and drinks. 

Cobtree Manor Park is a landscape of diverse character: part open country park, part woodland and part parkland garden, all set on a gently sloping hillside with views of the North Downs.

Rochester Castle and Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest in England an has been a place of worship and prayer for centuries.  Just across the road from the cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the country.

Rochester Castle has a chequered history, having been subject to siege three times and partly demolished by King John in 1215.

Chatham Dockyard

The Historic Dockyard

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a maritime museum of the site of the former royal/naval dockyard in South East England. For many years, this dockyard is one Britain's most important centre of warship building and repair, allowing the Royal Navy to dominate the seas of Europe and beyond.

Today it is the world’s most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail.


Guildhall Museum

Discover the history of Medway from its pre-historic times up to present day by visiting Guildhall Musuem in Rochester. Learn about the life and times of Charles Dickens and witness the life conditions of Napoleonic prisoners and a whole wide range of domestic artefacts from Darenth Roman villa.

You will definitely appreciate the rich history of Medway here!

Upnor Castle

Upnor Castle

Set in tranquil grounds adjoining a riverside village, this rare example of an Elizabethan artillery fort was begun in 1559 and redeveloped in 1599-1601, to protect warships moored at Chatham dockyards. Despite a brave attempt, it entirely failed to do so in 1667, when the Dutch sailed past it to burn or capture the English fleet at anchor.

Capstone Park

Capstone Farm and Country Park

Capstone Farm Country Park is one of Medway's finest green spaces, offering wonderful opportunities for walking, running, cycling and much more.

Capstone covers 114 hectares of former farmland on the North Downs and boasts a variety of habitats including ancient woodlands, old orchards, a freshwater lake, meadow and hedgerows.


Dickens' Swiss Chalet

In the gardens of Eastgate House you can see the Swiss Chalet, where the great author Charles Dickens worked on some of his best known novels.

It was given to Dickens as a present from an actor friend called Charles Fechter.  It arrived at Higham Railway Station on Christmas Eve 1864, packed in 58 boxes!


Easter Celebrations in Kent: Fun-filled Events for All Ages

From the 3rd of April until the 14th of April 2023, Kent will be abuzz with Easter celebrations, offering a plethora of events and activities for all ages.

One of the most exciting Easter events in Kent is the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which takes place at various locations throughout the county. Families can embark on a fun-filled adventure as they search for hidden eggs, each containing a special surprise. 

For those seeking a more traditional Easter celebration, Kent's many churches and cathedrals offer a range of services and events. Canterbury Cathedral, one of the most famous landmarks in Kent, holds a series of Easter services, including a candlelit procession on Maundy Thursday and a traditional Easter Sunday service.


Kent Spring Marathon and Half Marathon at Charing, near Ashford

16 April 2023

The Kent Spring Marathon and Half Marathon is a popular annual event that takes place in the charming village of Charing, located near Ashford in the southeast of England. The marathon and half marathon courses wind through the picturesque Kent countryside, featuring stunning views of rolling hills, green fields, and quaint villages.

The event attracts a diverse range of participants, from seasoned runners looking to set a personal best to beginners seeking to challenge themselves in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. 

The Kent Spring Marathon and Half Marathon is a perfect opportunity to get fit, enjoy the beauty of the Kent countryside, and connect with fellow runners in a fun and challenging environment. Whether you're an experienced runner or just starting out, this event is sure to be a memorable experience that you'll cherish for years to come.


St George’s Day

23 April 2023

St. George's Day is a yearly celebration of the patron saint of England, which takes place on April 23rd. It is a day when people across England come together to commemorate the life and legacy of St. George, a legendary figure who is said to have slain a dragon and saved a princess.

The day is marked by a variety of activities, including parades, concerts, and traditional English food and drink. It is also a time when people proudly display the St. George's Cross flag, a symbol of England that features a red cross on a white background.

St. George's Day is a day to celebrate all things English and to remember the country's rich cultural heritage. It is a time for people to come together and show their pride in being English, and to honor the bravery and courage of St. George, who has become an enduring symbol of the nation. 


King Charles III’s Coronation House Party

Sunday, May 7th, 2023

Come and celebrate the coronation of King Charles III by attending our House Party on Sunday, May 7th, 2023. As a residential guest, you'll be welcomed with a refreshing Pimms drink in the garden before indulging in a delectable afternoon tea buffet at the Maiden's Tower, featuring an array of tasty finger sandwiches, scones, and tempting cakes and pastries. Afterward, retire to your guest room to prepare for the rest of the festivities. If the weather permits, all guests will gather on Castle Island to participate in lawn games, including classic garden games as well as new ones like throwing hats on the hat stand and croquet. This is also an excellent opportunity to socialize with other guests.


Maidstone Cocktail Week

1st-14th May 2023

Maidstone Cocktail Week is an annual event in Maidstone, Kent that celebrates the art of cocktail making. During the week-long event, participating bars and restaurants in the town offer a range of special cocktails, created specifically for the occasion. Visitors can purchase a wristband, which entitles them to discounts on cocktails at the participating venues, as well as entry to a range of events and masterclasses. Maidstone Cocktail Week also includes a number of competitions, with bartenders showcasing their skills and competing to be crowned the town's best mixologist. The event is popular with both locals and visitors, and provides a fun and festive atmosphere in the town for cocktail lovers to enjoy.

Soul Town Festival at Mote Park, Maidstone

Soul Town Festival at Mote Park, Maidstone

27 May 2023

Soul music fans, get ready for an unforgettable experience at the Soul Town Festival at Mote Park in Maidstone this May 2023! This highly-anticipated event will bring together some of the biggest names in soul music for an electrifying day of live performances, delicious food, and vibrant atmosphere. From classic hits to modern favorites, the festival's lineup promises to be an eclectic mix of legendary artists and up-and-coming stars, guaranteed to get you on your feet and dancing all day long. With acres of beautiful parkland to explore and a fantastic selection of food and drink vendors, Soul Town Festival at Mote Park is the perfect way to spend a summer day with friends and family, celebrating the timeless sounds of soul music in a stunning setting. Don't miss out on the party of the year - get your tickets now and join the fun at Soul Town Festival!