Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
There's really nowhere quite like Southend-on-Sea and it sure does pack a lot into such a small seaside resort with seven miles of award-winning beaches, the longest pier in the world, over eighty parks and open spaces, forty playgrounds, six nature and fourteen conservation areas – one things for certain if you take a seaside coach holiday here, you won't be bored!
Those looking for a spot of culture will find an abundance of it here in Southend on Sea from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing at the Concert In The Park to other classical concerts taking place at the marvellous Cliffs Pavilion. You needn't travel as far as New Orleans to hear some traditional jazz being played, head to the small clubs in Southend's town that will provide an intimate experience for all to enjoy. This popular seaside resort is also a great place to visit on coach tours if you love the Art World so follow the Leigh On Sea Art Trail or experience the local performance art projects in Chalkwell Park. For something a little more genteel, you can visit one of Southend's many libraries where on some occasions they will put on book readings which is something a little novel. And if you happen to be on a coach holiday in Southend on Sea during the summer months, you should visit Priory Park where the Bandstand is the perfect venue for summertime concerts in the open-air.
As the sun goes down, the entertainment doesn't stop there as Southend-on-Sea has one of the most vibrant nightlife in the UK with wonderful amusements upon the Pier to the variety of bars, clubs and restaurants within the main town. See the stars of the music world or enjoy top class musical theatre at the Cliffs Pavilion then laugh till your sides split as your favourite comedian takes to the stage in the Comedy Club. If you prefer not to be holed up indoors than Southend on Sea is for you where you can explore the ancient woodlands of Belfairs Park or take in the beautiful displays of flowers at Belton Hills Reserve, Southchurch Park and Priory Park. One visit just won't be enough and you'll probably find yourself immediately planning your next Southend on Sea coach holiday as soon as you return home!
Tours start from only £229.95 per person and each package to Southend-on-Sea includes: return coach travel, accommodation in a quality hotel (except self-drive), meals and excursions depending on the duration of the tour.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Southend on Sea, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about Southend on Sea, you can visit the Official Tourism Website at visitsouthend.co.uk
So it's tiny but Southend on Sea has a variety of places to visit as well as things to see and do, hopefully this little lot will inspire:
Belfairs Wood, Park & Nature Reserve
Made up of around 209 acres, Belfairs Park has lots of facilities and activities to suit all the family. These include; two bowling greens, a children's play area, a golf course, football pitches and tennis courts. In addition to this, there is pitch and putt, riding stables, woodland gardens, a nature reserve and a restaurant.
One of the town's most iconic landmarks just happens to be the longest pleasure pier in the world. Southend Pier is a must-see when visiting the area. As the pier is a massive 1.34miles in length, a railway runs the length of pier providing transport for passengers taking them from the shore to the pier head. At the far end of the pier, you will find the Lifeboat Station and a café to sit and watch the world go by.
Located on Southend seafront, this is the perfect attraction for all the family. Hold on tight through the loops and twists of the rollercoasters, experience the ultimate ghost ride 'Over the Hill' with new high tech graphics. There are even rides for the little ones with 'Jumping Jolly Roger' and 'The Kiddle Coaster'. With free admission to the park, you pay as you play promising a great day out for everyone – even the one who has to look after the bags!
Sea Life Adventure
Throughout this themed aquarium, you will discover many species of marine creatures that you can find locally in the Thames Estuary. Take a look at a selection of rays, crabs and starfish as well as a large selection of other creatures found further afield. The aquarium has lionfish, clown fish and even a Porcupine Puffer fish, visit the nursery area to see the youngest residents.