The traditional Essex seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea is connected to London by two train lines. Due to its position as a commuter hub, train services to the town are frequent and numerous. Trains from London Liverpool Street terminate at Southend Victoria station, close to the main shopping area, while trains from London Fenchurch Street travel along the Thames estuary, calling at Southend Central and Southend East stations, a few minutes walk from the seafront. Southend bus station is very close to Central Station, offering services to all parts of the town. Abellio Greater Anglia operates the service from Liverpool Street, via Southend Airport, taking approximately one hour to reach Victoria station. This line also offers connections to East Anglia. C2C provides trains from Fenchurch Street, via Stratford, with journey times of just under an hour to Southend. Most trains on this route also serve the nearby seaside suburb stations at Leigh-on-Sea, Chalkwell and Westcliff.
Although its heyday as a seaside destination for Londoners may be over, Southend-on-Sea is enjoying something of a revival. Beaches have been cleaned up and the town's pier, celebrated as the world's longest, still attracts visitors. The seafront offers amusement arcades, a family fun park and numerous eating options, from traditional fish and chips, retro Italian cafes to trendy bistros. It isn't all about the seaside though. Priory Park is a popular green space around the medieval Prittlewell Priory. Southchurch Hall recreates the medieval, Tudor and Stuart eras in an evocative setting. A mile or two to the west, the old fishing quarter of Leigh-on-Sea retains a village charm and its seafood stalls attract gourmets and chefs alongside the tourists eagerly shopping for prawns, cockles and whelks.
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