Properties for sale in Southend-on-Sea

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Southend-on-Sea Area Guide

Southend Pier, Southend on Sea, Essex Image courtesy of Flickr user calflier001

Southend-on-Sea, usually called Southend, is a seaside resort town in Essex. It is a unitary authority that includes the towns of Chalkwell, Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea, North Shoebury, Prittlewell, Shoeburyness, Southchurch, Thorpe Bay and Westcliff-on-Sea.

Interestingly, Southend began as a suburb of Prittlewell, until in Georgian times it became a popular seaside resort. Its economy still relies heavily on tourism from London and surrounding areas of Essex, and since the 1960s, the council has been redeveloping the town centre, turning it into a retail and commerce centre.

Demographics

Southend has about 173,600 people, and it is has slightly more younger and older people than England does. Whilst 18.9% of England's population is aged 15 and younger, 19% of Southend's population is. Over 16% of England's population is aged 65 and over, compared to just under 18% of Southend's population.

Southend is not as ethnically diverse as England as a whole. Over 91% of the population of Southend describe their ethnic background as white and white British, and 87% of the population describes their background as white British alone. Comparatively, in England, over 85% of the population describes their background as white and white British, and almost 80% say they are white British. The next largest ethnic group describe themselves as Asian and Asian British. In Southend, over 3% of the population describe their background as Asian and Asian British, and in England, just under 8% of the population do so.

In terms of employment, Southend is doing slightly worse than England. The unemployment rate in Southend is 5%, compared to 4.4% in England.

Education

The primary schools are largely rated "good" by Ofsted, though there are a handful of "outstanding" schools. These include West Leigh Junior School in Leigh-on-Sea and Temple Sutton Primary School in Southend.

The ratings of the secondary schools include all the Ofsted scores. There are a fair many "outstanding" secondary schools, though they have all converted to academies. These schools include the Southend High School for Girls and the Westcliff High School for Boys Academy. Both of these schools have associated schools for the other gender, and those schools are rated "outstanding" as well.

The largest provider of further education in the town is South Essex College. It offers 30 courses matriculated by the University of Essex, which also has a campus nearby. The second campus of the East 15 Acting School is in the town as well.

Transport

Both the A127 and the A13 link the town with London. The A127 runs through Basildon and feeds into the A12 at Romford, whilst the A13 goes to Dagenham and into the City of London. Largely, two bus companies, Arriva Southend and First Essex Buses, serve Southend and its surrounding areas.

Southend is along two railway lines, the Liverpool Street Line and the London-Tilbury-Southend Line. The Liverpool Street Line is part of the Great Eastern Main Line, linking Southend Victoria station with Stratford and London Liverpool Street station and also stopping in Prittlewell station. As the name suggests, the London-Tilbury-Southend Line goes to London (at the Fenchurch Street railway station), Tilbury and Southend, and it also stops at Leigh-on-Sea, Chalkwell, Westcliff, Southend Central, Southend East, Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness stations.

London Southend Airport is actually in the district of Rochford, but it sits just outside the town borders. It offers flights by Aer Lingus, EasyJet and Thomson to destinations including Amsterdam, Dublin and Ibiza.

Amenities and Shopping

Most of Southend's amenities are in a concentrated area going from Southend Victoria station, down to and along the coastline.

Museums and galleries

The Central Museum and Planetarium explores this planet and the stars beyond, with archaeology, natural history, social history and astronomy exhibitions. The Southchurch Hall Museum shows visitors what life was like in the Tudor and Stuart eras. Museums dedicated to local history include the Leigh Heritage Centre, Prittlewell Priory, and the Southend Pier Museum.

Beecroft Art Gallery has more than 2000 paintings from artists including Constable and Edward Seago. The Focal Point Gallery features art photography, with regional, national and international photographers exhibiting there. Metal Southend at Chalkwell Hall is part of a group of residency spaces throughout the country. TAP, the Temporary Arts Project, is a space dedicated to allowing artists a place to experiment and then exhibit the results of those experiments once a month.

Theatres and venues

Cliffs Pavilion is the town's premier entertainment venue, putting on plays, concerts, ballet and comedy. Palace Theatre provides a mix of plays, music and comedy, and the Southend Pier Cultural Centre is a flexible venue that can put on theatre, exhibitions, private events and more.

The Plaza Centre is a concert hall to the east of the town centre, and the Southend Bandstand features jazz, brass bands and other music during the summer months. Chinnery's is a live music venue hosting local acts and larger touring bands alike. Churchill's Bar, Restaurant and Club can provide everything one needs for a night out. Element and Mayhem are nightclubs playing a range of music and club nights.

Festivals

Southend's festivals cover a broad range of topics and interests. The Southend Libraries Book Festival celebrates books and highlights the need for libraries in Essex. The Leigh-on-Sea Easter Event includes an Easter egg hunt, a parade and more activities. The Southend Cricket Festival has returned to the town after being moved to Chelmsford in 2012. The Leigh Folk Festival is the largest free folk festival in the UK, and in addition to featuring local and international folk bands, and it also has real ale, folk dancers, films and more. The Southend Pier Cultural Centre hosts several festivals including the Comedy Festival and the ShakesPIER Festival, which celebrates Shakespeare's plays.

There are also several sporting events which raise money for charity, such as the Southend Bikeathon which runs through the town. Cam to Coast is a 75-mile cycle ride from Cambridge to Southend. The Colourthon is a half marathon-length walk in which participants are urged to dress as brightly and imaginatively as possible, and runners can work on beating their personal best in the Southend Half Marathon. The 100 Mile Shoeburyness Team Cycle Challenge sees teams attempting to be the first to ride 100 miles on indoor exercise bikes.

Sport

Southend United is the town's league team, playing in Football League Two. Southend R.F.C. play in rugby union's National League 2 South, and Essex County Cricket Club play in the town once each season. Southend is also home to the Southend-on-Sea Athletic Club, which competes in track and field events.

Shopping

Southend's town centre has a high street lined with shops, like Monsoon, Moss Bros and Boots, and it also hosts farmers' markets twice a month. Near Southend Victoria station, the Victoria Shopping Centre has more than 40 independent shops and high street brands, and with its £24 million refurbishment, it is expecting more stores to move in shortly. The Royals Shopping Centre has more high street names amongst its 30 shops, including TK Maxx and Debenhams.

Outside the city centre, Leigh-on-Sea is packed with independent specialist shops selling antiques, books, clothes and much more. Hamlet Court Road in Westcliff-on-Sea is like two separate streets: generally, to the north are the shops selling daily necessities, but to the south are specialist shops including a gentlemen's outfitters and a sweets shop. In Thorpe Bay is Thorpe Bay Broadway, a traditional high street catering to the needs of residents with food shops, salons, DIY stores and a newsagents.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.