Things to do near London Southend Airport

With its single main terminal, London Southend Airport provides a speedy arrivals experience for travellers coming in via its array of European routes with airlines like easyJet. Situated 40 miles to the east of central London, the airport has great links to the capital, meaning you could be climbing St Paul’s Cathedral or visiting the Tower of London within hours of landing in Britain.

Your travel options

Once you’ve landed at Southend Airport, the quickest and easiest route into London is via train to London Liverpool Street station. Most trains will stop at Stratford on the way, providing 2 options to connect to the main Underground and Overground networks. You can get in to the capital in under an hour, with trains taking around 44 minutes to get to Stratford and 53 minutes to get to Liverpool Street.

What you can do

Having arrived in London from Southend Airport, you’ll be ideally situated for discovering most of the capital’s top attractions, museums and things to do. When you reach the main terminal, simply use a contactless payment card, top up an Oyster card or purchase a travel card to use the underground network and discover the best of what London has to offer.

1. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral, London, England

The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral forms a key part of London’s skyline and its upper galleries provide exceptional views of the capital. The masterpiece of Britain’s most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, the magnificent cathedral can be toured using multimedia guides or with an expert guide. To enjoy the scenery, climb 257 steps to the internal Whispering Gallery, before another 119 take you to the Stone Gallery and a further 152 to the Golden Gallery.

St Paul’s Cathedral

2. Tower Bridge

Be engrossed in the spectacular architecture and engineering of one of London’s most iconic sights – the incredible Tower Bridge. Enjoy stunning panoramic views from the walkways and step on the glass floor to gaze down on life in the capital below. A visit to the bridge can transport you back to the Victorian era, as you can gaze over the impressive engine rooms, beautifully maintained from a time when coal power helped to raise the bridge’s vast decks.

Tower Bridge

3. Tower of London

Visit the capital’s iconic Tower of London and take in 1,000 years of history at the World Heritage Site. Having served as a fortress, palace and infamous prison throughout its time, the Tower is still home to the Crown Jewels and remains steeped in tradition. Explore during a Yeoman Warder tour, meet the famed ravens and get hands-on in the armoury.

Tower of London

4. ArcellorMital Orbit

Found in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the ArcellorMital Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture and houses the world’s longest tunnel slide! Enjoy breath-taking views of the capital as you slide your way down 178 metres, taking in 12 twists and turns along the way, or just climb to the top to admire the scenery of the former Olympic site.

ArcellorMital Orbit

5. Tate Modern and Tate Britain

The home of modern and contemporary art, the Tate Modern is crammed full of masterpieces from some of the world’s best known artists, as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions. Meanwhile, Tate Britain tells the story of British art from 1500 to the present day, and includes the Turner Collection and a specialist exhibition on Van Gogh and Britain which runs until mid-August 2019. Combined, the collection features more than 78,000 artworks by 4,000 artists from different artistic movements, styles and techniques.

Tate Modern

6. Covent Garden and the London Transport Museum

Renowned for its beauty shops and high-end fashion, Covent Garden is also home to an abundance of award-winning restaurants and theatres. You’ll also find the London Transport Museum among the cobbled streets, which explores the key role that transport has played in shaping the London that we know today.

London Transport Museum

7. Brick Lane

Home to an array of authentic curry houses, as well as galleries, vintage clothing shops and stylish boutiques, Brick Lane is popular with people of all ages. The Old Truman Brewery hosts regular market sessions and festivals, where pop-up stalls sell everything from clothes and jewellery to handbags and art. The area is especially famous for its eclectic mix of eye-catching street art, which includes Banksy among its contributors.

Brick Lane

8. Nearer to the airport

Southend-on-Sea is a traditional seaside resort on the Thames Estuary and you’ll find an array of traditional attractions along the seafront, including miniature golf and arcade machines. Southend Pier, which stretches 1.3 miles out into the estuary, is the longest pleasure pier in the world and Adventure Island is home to fairground rides and waterslides. Other attractions include the Sea life Adventure centre and the ruins of Hadleigh Castle, a royal castle darting back to 1215.

27 Mar 2020(last updated)