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Southend town guide

Southend on Sea is the nearest resort to London, but has declined since cheap Continental holidays became available for all in Britain. In its heyday it was the holiday resort for Londoners. Day-trippers would invade Southend-on-Sea in their coaches and trains. However it is now more a dormitory town for thousands of commuters from the Capital.

The most notable landmark is that of the 1.3-mile (2km) long pier which extends out into the Thames Estuary - it's the longest pleasure pier in the world. Southend on Sea is also famous for the Golden Mile of amusement arcades and attractions, including the Kursaal bowling alley and bar, and Peter Pan's Adventure Island.

The north and east of Southend on Sea is an area of fascinating salt marsh with much to delight the bird watchers. Southend on Sea and Burnham on Crouch are ideal centres for the sailing enthusiast. Many of the preserved Thames Barges are based in this area and can be seen in the Thames Estuary, providing a splendid spectacle for those on shore.

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