Southend — London’s Coney Island

What do Londoners do in the summer? The moment the sun comes out we head outside and find the nearest patch of grass, bit of water, chair, box to lie on — anything will do so long as it’s outside and in the sun. The feeling is that the sunshine won’t last long, so you’d better make the most of it. 

And if you really want to treat yourself, you head to the seaside. There’s a choice of places for a day out within an easy train journey from London —Brighton, Margate, Whitstable, Mersea… and Southend. If you like your sun, sea, sand and ice cream mixed with roller coasters and a trip on a train down a 1-mile-long pier, you can’t beat Southend-on-Sea.

Last summer I posted some black and white photos of Southend. But I went back and tried something different — Southend as a multi-cultural, no-pretence, family and community idyll.

Mixed race family and dog on Southend seafront

Lighting up a cigarette in Southend-on-sea

Teenagers and young people on a roller coaster at Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea
Having fun in Southend-on-Sea, UK. From ‘Southend – London’s Coney Island’ series.

Grown ups behaving like children at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

Families picnicking in the evening sun in Southend

Posing for a photo on the beach at Southend

Two Indian women, fully covered, while behind them are half naked people on the beach

A group of African-Caribbean kids on Southend seafront

Elderly couple on mobility scooters watching the evening sun, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

One thought on “Southend — London’s Coney Island

  1. As a resident of Southend on Sea living nearby to the seafront, I can say that we’ve just had an exceptionally busy August and so far, an exceptionally busy September.

    It is great for businesses along the seafront. The only downside of tourists from other parts of the UK that visit us is that after they have gone we’re left with a rather unsightly mess on the beach where the tourists have not bothered to take their litter home with them.

    This is often complained about in the local press, but not areas where the tourists come from.

    By all means, come and visit Southend and have fun, but please take your litter back to the bins or where you came from.

    Thank You

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