The local area

Not your average seaside town

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Students giving each other a piggy back on the beach
Welcome to sunny Southend-on-Sea - home to the world’s longest pleasure pier and seven miles of stunning coastline.

The Essex seaside town, Southend-on-Sea runs along the South East coast of England, connecting the Thames estuary to the North Sea.

Southend is renowned for its landmark pier – the longest of its kind in the world, its award-winning beaches, and its illuminated nightlife.

The town also has its own airport, and a train ride to London takes less than one hour.

 

Things to do in Southend

Our Southend Campus is based in the heart of this vibrant and modern seaside town. 

With over 300 places to eat, award-winning nightlife, a theme park, museums, sporting opportunities, and even an international airport, we think you’ll discover there’s much more besides the seaside in Southend.

Explore the local area

Theatres, museums, and galleries

  • Central Museum and Planetarium - Step back in time and explore the rich history and heritage of Southend-on-Sea through a wonderful collection of archaeology, natural and social history displays. The first floor of the museum is home to the only public planetarium in the South East of England outside London – the perfect location for an educational and exciting tour of the night sky. 
  • Focal Point Gallery - Pick up a paintbrush and a camera and indulge in an afternoon of inspirational contemporary visual arts, thematic performances, and film screenings at Focal Point Gallery in the Forum – you’ll be spoilt for choice!
  • Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre - Southend offers a thriving theatrical scene, with two main theatre venues: Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre. Immerse yourself in a huge selection of live entertainment performances including touring West End musicals, ballet, concerts, pantomimes, and comedy.
Clifftown Theatre, Southend)
Clifftown Theatre, Southend

Leisure and fun

  • Adventure Island - Thrillseekers are in for a scream at Southend’s very own theme park - Adventure Island. Scattered around the park on the pier are more than 50 rides, attractions, arcades, slideshows, stalls, gift shops and cafés to enjoy and the best bit is that admission is free – you only pay for a wristband if you want to play.
  • Escape Live - Looking for an adrenaline fuelled and exciting challenge? Why not see if you can escape the #1 Escape Room in Essex? Working in a group of up to six people, you are given the task to navigate through and evacuate a themed through finding clues and solving puzzles in under an hour. 
Southend is the perfect place for a fun study break with friends)
Southend is the perfect place for a fun study break with friends

Restaurants, bars, and nightlife

When the sun goes down, Southend most definitely lights up! Whether you fancy fish and chips on the beach as the sun goes down, a few quiet drinks at the bar or showing off your best dance moves at a club – Southend has got it all. The town will spoil you for choice with its vast offering of bars, clubs, restaurants, and seafront pubs and a great selection of live music, theatre, and comedy shows, making Southend’s nightlife like no other. 

When the sun goes down, Southend lights up)
When the sun goes down, Southend lights up

Countryside and natural beauty spots

  • Belfairs Wood, Park, and Nature Reserve - For a breath of fresh country air, more than 1,160 acres of historic green woodland await your arrival. Trail through the trees, observe wildlife from butterflies to dormice to horses, or have a go at a game of crazy golf, bowls, or tennis.
  • Priory Park - Whatever the weather, Priory Park is the perfect place to hang out and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you want to escape in the peace and quiet of a secluded secret garden, or want to dance the night away with live music at the bandstand, Priory Park is the place for you. There’s also tennis courts, ponds, a maze, and a museum, so you’ll probably find yourself coming back again and again.
Southend is surrounded by natural beauty spots)
Southend is surrounded by natural beauty spots

Coastlines, beaches, and water sports

  • Beaches - Southend’s sweeping coastline has seven award winning beaches to enjoy. Whether you’re strolling along the sand or dipping your toes in the water, make the most the views at one of the beaches in the warmest and driest places in the UK.
  • Beach club - Adventurous thrill seekers should head down to Thorpe Bay Beach Club - home to the Royal Yachting Association training centre and the only windsurfing instruction centre in the region. You can also make a splash along this stunning scenic coastline with a wide choice of water sports and activities including canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, powerboat driving, jet-skiing, and banana boat rides.
  • The pier - Take a leisurely stroll along Southend High Street towards the sea and you will soon enough find yourself drawn to the World’s longest pleasure pier, extending 1.3 miles into the Thames Estuary. There’s plenty to see and do to keep you busy while you’re there, making it the perfect location to take a well-deserved study break!
Enjoy Southend's beaches)
Enjoy Southend's beaches

Shopping

Southend has two large shopping centres at either end of its High Street, both offering a huge selection of independent boutiques and big brand retailers, as well as a variety of stores, bars, and restaurants along the surrounding side streets – so grab your student card and shop til you drop! This lively town centre also hosts regular market days offering the best local produce, handmade goods, and vintage treasures that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Shopping in Southend)
Shopping in Southend
University Square
Life by the sea

Our Southend Campus is based in the heart of this vibrant and modern seaside town.

See Southend Campus