A Wander Down The World’s Longest Pier
Spring has sprung in the UK and the public’s mind has turned to sitting on beaches and having barbecues. Personally, beaches don’t really do it for me and I’ve never really understood what the big deal is with cooking outside, but it’s hard to argue with the more comfortable temperatures and the bright blue cloudless skies.
Luckily, the above average weather conditions have coincided with a week off work, so I’ve been looking for ways to occupy my time. A few weeks ago, I was planning to go abroad (perhaps Berlin or Switzerland), but time ticked by without any decisions being made and consequently, prices went up. Europe doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did. I’ve conquered much of Western Europe and while Eastern Europe beckons, it doesn’t have quite as much gravitation pull on my wallet than Asia does. I’m planning on revisiting Asia later in the year, so I’ve decided to ditch the idea of a short European break this week and save my money to splurge on rice and bubble tea later.
As part of my time occupying activities, yesterday I visited Southend-On-Sea. The town is like any other British seaside resort though it is trying to modernise. The seafront is actually rather nice, though it’s still blotted by amusement arcades, terrible cafes and shops selling sticks of rock, novelities and “fancy goods”.
The big draw for visitors to Southend (or Saaaff-end as residents call it) is the pier. At 1.34 miles (2.16 km), it is officially the world’s longest pleasure pier. It’s so long, a train runs its full length to ferry passengers from one end to the other (though it was closed on our visit). Again, Southend Borough Council are trying hard to smarten the pier up and make it more of a destination. Construction is underway on a multi-purpose cultural centre at the pier’s head which will include accommodation and cafes. Before that opens, there’s very little to encourage people to make to trip to the end other than to enjoy the ambiance and to tell people you did it.
So, here I am telling you I did it and here’s a photo to prove it. There are more photos on my Flickr stream if you’re interested.