There's more to do in Southend than the beach this summer

Southend Standard column:

As Alice Cooper once famously sang, “school’s out for summer” – words of joy to many youngsters, but I imagine some parents reading this are beginning to wonder how they’re going to keep their children occupied over the next six weeks. In fact, a recent nationwide poll suggested as many as 72 per cent of mums and dads in Britain struggle with ideas over the summer break. But if you’ are currently scratching your head, you don’t have to stray far.

Southend welcomes over seven million visitors a year and is home to a third of the cleanest beaches in the East of England. Our coastline stretches seven miles and you’ll find plenty of toilets, cafes and restaurants right the way from Leigh-on-Sea down to Shoeburyness – not forgetting the longest pleasure pier in the world, Adventure Island and other brilliant attractions along the way too.

If the beach isn’t your thing, there’s more to do than just be beside the seaside. Every Saturday afternoon throughout August, the big screen at The Forum in the town centre will turn into an outdoor cinema, showing films including Jumanji, Fantastic Beasts and Hook – all for free. The open top bus has returned for the summer too, running an hourly service daily between the Kursaal and Leigh-on-Sea train station.

For those with budding archaeologists, objects from the famous Prittlewell Princely burial collection are on permanent display at Southend Central Museum or for a colourful, enjoyable evening don’t forget to support the annual Southend Carnival which takes place on Saturday 17th August.

Sometimes we can take for granted just how lucky we are to live in Southend – so this summer, if you’re taking time off with the children or grandchildren, why not explore this great town and discover a part you may never have known even existed. For more information about things to do, go to

Whatever you get up to, I wish all readers a pleasant and relaxing summer.