Among the longest in the world, this iron pier protrudes far into the Thames Estuary and is a favorite among local fishermen.
As the jewel in Southend-on-Sea’s crown, this landmark pier has been attracting visitors to the coast for more than a century. Protruding more than 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) into the Thames Estuary, the pier features a train service to take you to its end. Soak up the fresh sea air, meet local fishermen and take in the panoramic views of the estuary and town. With the pier’s award-winning entrance complex housing the Southend-on-Sea Visitor Information Centre, the pier is the perfect place to start your stay in the town.
Board the train from the entrance complex and in just a few minutes you’ll arrive at the pier’s tip. Admire the modern architecture of White Arkitekter’s Royal Pavilion, a multi-purpose venue opened in 2012. A year-round program sees comedians, musicians, performers and international artists featured in the 185-person capacity hall and the surrounding artist studios. Sit down for a coffee or a light meal in the pavilion’s café and enjoy the sweeping views across the water. On a sunny day the views from the rooftop terrace are some of the best in town.
Meander along the pier, back towards town to enjoy the slow pace of the coast. Listen to sea birds, smell the salt water and watch fishermen casting off at the edge. Rent or buy fishing gear from one of Southend’s tackle shops, along with a license and pier fishing pass and try your own luck. The pier is known for its flounder, bass and mackerel. Before leaving the pier, drop by the Southend Pier Museum to discover over 150 years of photographs, stories and videos.
The Southend Pier is located at the end of the Southend Main Street and can be reached on foot from most parts of town. Metered parking is available at the entrance complex. The pier is closed Christmas Day and an admission fee applies.