Two open top bus routes combine for an action packed day out of thrills, spills and sumptuous Southend scenery. Here’s a fab itinerary on the 68 and 99, breezing along the Thames Estuary towards the Essex coastline.


Board the 68 open top bus at Southend Pier, Pier Hill Lift.

The adventure begins as the bus whisks you eastwards along the Essex estuary toward lovely Leigh-on-Sea!


Alight the bus at Leigh on Sea, Marine Parade.

Soak up the classic coastal Essex ambience in this delightful town, enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the many great pubs and some authentic cockles and mussels from the shellfish stands or some of the country’s best fish and chips. Take a wander round the old town with its cobbled streets.


Hop back on the 68 bus at Leigh on Sea, Marine Parade.


Alight at Westcliff Palmeira Arches

Westcliff Beach offers lovely walks and is superbly positioned for the world-famous Rossi ice cream emporium. You will also find the famous Archway Cafes, where you can grab a delicious snack or meal – al fresco in good weather – and carefree watch the world go by. A short uphill walk from the coastline you can find the Cliffs Pavilion, home to outstanding entertainment all year round.


Back on board the bus at Westcliff Palmeira Arches.


Alight at Southend Pier, Pier Hill Lift

Enjoy an ice cream break from the famous Rossi's parlour, then cross the road and take a trip down the Pier on the famous 1.25 mile long narrow gauge railway and maybe stop for a lovely coffee at the end, taking in the stunning view, before returning back to land and the Pier Hill Lift, for the next stage in this gripping adventure!


Onto the 99 bus Southend Pier, Pier Hill Lift.


Alight at Thorpe Bay

Enjoy a blissful, leisurely walk down Thorpe Bay esplanade and stop for a break in the delightful gardens for a retreat from the Southend hustle and bustle! Maybe treat yourself to a delicious or classic afternoon tea at the Roislin Hotel, enjoying the panoramic views out to sea. We have given you enough time not to have to rush!


Back on board the bus at Thorpe Bay


Disembark the bus at Shoeburyness East Beach.

Take in the sea air with a stroll along the wonderful beach, maybe a paddle or build a sandcastle. Gunner Park which is nearby is great for a walk round and with its close proximity it attracts an array of wildlife, including delightful cygnets!


Hop back on the 99 bus at Shoeburyness East Beach.


Alight the bus at Southend Adventure Island.

With over 40 rides to enjoy, from rumbustious rollercoasters to classic ghost trains, dodgems and helter skelter, there is something for everyone! Yikes, “The Screatre”, “Rage” and “Axis” rides aren’t for the faint hearted but this fun filled attraction is a thrilling climax to a fantastic open top double act and an awesome evening out! If you've not time to go on all the rides, then there's plenty of fab bed and breakfasts and hotels to stay in and come back the following day for more fun - and maybe another double-header on these fantastic open top bus routes!

Places to visit if you are staying longer in Southend

Get close up and personal with the meerkats and penguins and explore the subterranean world at the Sealife Centre.

The pretty Southchurch Park is anchored by Southchurch Hall, a medieval moated manor house that dates back to the 14th century. Today, it functions as a museum, where folk can explore period rooms, beautifully manicured gardens, and exhibitions detailing local history, including Henry VII’s visit!

It’s retail heaven at the two shopping centres – The Royals and Victoria. Independent shops and boutique chains abound at these magnets for shopaholics!

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