Southend Airport might be small, but its location unlocks a treasure trove of diverse destinations within easy reach. Whether you crave coastal charm, historical intrigue, or urban buzz, there’s an adventure waiting just beyond the runway. So, buckle up and prepare to discover five top destinations guaranteed to ignite your wanderlust:
1. Seaside Escape: Southend-on-Sea
Just a stone’s throw from the airport, Southend-on-Sea embodies classic British seaside fun. Its golden sands stretch over 1.3 miles, perfect for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or trying your hand at water sports. Stroll along the iconic pier, a Victorian marvel teeming with amusements, arcades, and restaurants. Catch a glimpse of history at the Shoebury East Beach, where WWII defenses remain preserved. Don’t miss the vibrant Leigh-on-Sea, a foodie haven boasting fresh seafood and independent shops.
2. Historic Haven: Colchester
Journey back in time to Colchester near Southend, Britain’s oldest recorded town. Immerse yourself in Roman history at the Colchester Castle Museum, a Norman fortress built upon Roman foundations. Explore the remarkably preserved Roman Walls, remnants of a powerful fortification. Marvel at the majestic Colchester Cathedral, a stunning example of Norman architecture. Wander through the charming Dutch Quarter, a vibrant area with colorful houses and independent shops.
3. Natural Beauty: Dedham Vale
Escape the hustle and bustle by immersing yourself in the idyllic Dedham Vale near Southend, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Breathe in the fresh air as you walk or cycle through rolling hills, meadows, and ancient woodlands. Follow in the footsteps of renowned artists like John Constable, whose iconic landscapes were inspired by this picturesque countryside. Discover charming villages like Dedham and Castle Hedingham, where quaint cottages and historic buildings create a timeless atmosphere.
4. Cultural Gem: Chelmsford
Chelmsford, an Essex County town near Southend, offers a blend of history, culture, and contemporary cool. Delve into the rich past at the Chelmsford Cathedral, a Norman masterpiece, or at the Chelmsford Museum & Art Gallery, showcasing local history and art. Catch a performance at the Chelmsford Civic Theatre, known for its diverse program of plays, musicals, and concerts. For a modern twist, explore the Bond Street area with its independent shops, cafes, and bars.
5. European Adventure: EasyJet Destinations
With direct flights from Southend Airport, Europe is at your fingertips. Discover the romance of Paris, the artistic allure of Amsterdam, or the sunshine-soaked beaches of Alicante. Each destination offers unique experiences: climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, explore the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, or relax on the Mediterranean coast in Alicante.
Beyond the Top 5:
For the adventurous souls, exploring further afield unveils hidden gems like Southend’s neighboring villages with their unique character, the iconic Thames Estuary with its diverse wildlife, or the charming towns of Maldon and Saffron Walden steeped in history.
Planning Your Trip:
Southend Airport’s compact size translates to an effortless travel experience. Utilize public transport options like British car transfer and bacarhire for easy access to nearby destinations. Alternatively, rent a car for added flexibility if you plan to explore the wider region.
- Seasonality: Consider the time of year for your visit. While summer offers beach fun, autumn paints the landscapes with vibrant colors, and winter provides festive cheer in some destinations.
- Interests: Tailor your destination based on your preferences. Craving history? Head to Colchester. Seeking nature’s embrace? Dedham Vale awaits.
- Travel style: Consider your budget and preferred pace. Some destinations might require longer stays for deeper exploration.