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Southend Pier & Pleasure Beach

Southend Pier & Pleasure Beach

Southend Pier & Pleasure Beach

With seven glorious miles of seafront, the longest pleasure pier in the world, it's no wonder Southend-on-Sea leaves visitors smiling time after time

With seven glorious miles of seafront, the longest pleasure pier in the world, it's no wonder Southend-on-Sea leaves visitors smiling time after time.

 

Here you'll find all the traditional seaside pleasures as well as exhilarating theme park thrills, top shopping and a feast of seafood, choose from more than 300 great places to eat.

 

The first (wooden) Southend Pier was opened in 1830, lengthened in 1845 and 1846, but in 1885 it was decided to replace if with a new iron pier. Work began in 1887 and the pier was opened in 1889. It was extended in 1898 when a new pier head was added. In 1908 and upper deck was added and the Prince George extension was completed in 1929. A tramway was built along the railway, and new modern streamlined cars were built in the 1930s. The pier head was badly damaged by fire in 1976, and the railway closed in 1978. At one point it looked as if the pier would be closed altogether, but a transfer to private ownership prevented this, and a new railway was opened in 1986, using two small diesel trains. In the same year, the breech was breached by a ship, but the gap was bridged. A subsequent fire destroyed the entertainment complex at the pier entrance, and in October 2005 the pier head railway station and shops were destroyed by a fire which started in the public house. The pier reopened fully in August 2006. On a more positive note, a stylish new RNLI lifeboat station was built at the pier head and an impressive new entrance in the style of the lifeboat station was opened more recently.