Southend Pier

East Anglia

Welcome to the world's longest pier – a staggering 1.341 miles long, to be precise – built in 1830 and a magnet for boat crashes, storms and fires, the last of which ravaged its tip in 2005. Today, a peaceful if windy stroll to the restored Pier Head reveals a cafe, a sun deck, a gift shop, an exhibition space and an active lifeboat station. Hopping on the Pier Railway (one-way adult/child £4.50/2.25) saves the long slog back.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby East Anglia attractions

1. Pier Museum

0.01 MILES

Southend's seaside heyday springs to life in this charming museum, where a Victorian toast-rack pier tram sits beside sepia photos and a functioning…

2. Old Leigh

2.92 MILES

Cobbled streets, cockle sheds, art galleries and craft shops define atmospheric Old Leigh. It's a long stroll west along Southend's seafront, or a short…

3. Chatham Historic Dockyard

12.28 MILES

On the riverfront in Chatham, this historic dockyard, a candidate for Unesco heritage status, occupies a third of what was once the Royal Navy’s main dock…

4. Whitstable Museum & Gallery

18.07 MILES

This modest community museum has glass cases examining Whitstable’s oyster industry, the Crab & Winkle Railway which once ran from Canterbury, and the…

5. Leeds Castle

19.99 MILES

Leeds Castle, an immense moated pile just east of Maidstone,  is often considered the world’s most romantic castle. It's certainly one of the most visited…

6. West Gate Towers

23.34 MILES

The city’s only remaining medieval gateway (1380) houses a museum that focuses on the building’s use as a prison. The views from the top are pretty good,…

7. Greyfriars Chapel

23.49 MILES

You’ll find Greyfriars Chapel in serene riverside gardens behind Eastbridge Hospital. The first monastery built in England by Franciscan monks in 1267,…

8. Eastbridge Hospital

23.5 MILES

A ‘place of hospitality’ for pilgrims, soldiers and the elderly since 1180, Eastbridge Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr is the last of many such buildings…