Adventures around Southend-on-Seawith PlusBus

book trains

With the world’s longest pier and a kiss-me-quick reputation, Southend-on-Sea draws millions of visitors each year to its sandy beaches and cheerful seafront cafes. But did you know that wild saltmarshes, where you can spot rare wading birds from the well-signed coast path, are just a bus ride away? Or that you can hop on a bus past Priory Park to try out the gourmet seafood cafés in historic Leigh-on-Sea. Southend was awarded city status in 2022. See all sides of this new city with a PlusBus ticket; simply ask for PlusBus when you buy a train ticket for unlimited bus travel all day across a wide coastal area.

  • County: with PlusBus
  • Great for: beaches | bird watching | castle | coastal walking | family fun | seafood |
  • Refreshments: lots of fabulous restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • Please note: researched/updated in July 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 3. Go Wild around Great Wakering

    East of Southend, in marshes rich in history and wildlife, the villages of Little Wakering and Great Wakering are pleasantly far from the beaten track. Catch the bus out here and wander past salt marshes where curlews call and purple sea lavender carpets the sodden green and you’re not likely to meet another person for much of the day. Pack a picnic, some binoculars and take your time to explore this forgotten corner of Essex.

    • How do I get to Great Wakering by bus? Take bus 7 from Travel Centre (Stop K). After half an hour, it will stop outside the church in Great Wakering and you will see the signs for the England Coast Path nearby. Follow them down Common Road to reach the edge of Havengore Creek after a pleasant, mile of walking. Follow the signs across lovely Wakering Common to reach the edge of the wide wild marshes, where oystercatchers forage in the mudflats and skylarks are singing over the fields.
    • There may have been an ancient monastery connected with the peaceful Norman church and the village has a long and varied history. Neighbouring Foulness Island is closed to walkers and used for military training, but the England Coast Path runs past it with great views over the winding creeks.
    • If you need refreshments, Great Wakering has several pubs and cafes, including the delightful Nanny Egg’s tearoom and bakery with fresh rolls and homemade cake.