68 Southend Pier to Leigh-on-Sea

Southend’s Open Top Bus

Experience the captivating Southend Open top bus tour, offering breathtaking coastal views, the world's longest Pier, thrilling seaside attractions, rural charm, and a lively Essex seaside town, all within a 56-minute round trip that shouldn't be missed.


£5, adult and £3 for children age 5-15 for a day return. £6.50 and £4 for an all day ticket and £18 for a family

Travel Type:


No. of Attractions:

6 places to visit

View journey Attractions
Journey Duration:

56 minutes

Route Frequency:

Buses run on Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays Sat 20th April - Sun 14th July from buses run every day Fri 29th March - Sun 14th April Sat 7th - Sun 15th September Sat 25th May - Sun 2nd June school summer holidays Sat 20th July - Sun 1st September

Starting point:

Southern Pier, Adventure Island, Westbound

How to get here

Journey fact:

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Leigh-on-Sea had a reputation as a hotbed for smuggling activities. Its strategic location, nestled along the Thames Estuary, made it an ideal spot for smugglers to land illicit goods and distribute them inland. The narrow, winding streets and hidden alleys provided perfect cover for their operations.

Journey Overview

The world’s longest Pier, Essex palm trees, seaside thrills and spills, rural charm and eye-catching coastal views – all in the space of a 56-minute round trip!

The Southend Open top bus tour offers an array of captivating scenery as it winds its way through famous Southend-on-Sea. Embarking from the world’s largest Pier, the journey commences with a lovely view of the expansive coastline and the shimmering waters of the Thames Estuary. Adventure Island, located at the pier, adds a colourful and vibrant touch to the scene, with its assortment of thrilling rides and attractions.

As the bus departs, it passes palm trees on the promenade and ventures through Westcliff, revealing panoramic vistas of the sea. The view from here showcases the beauty of the coastal landscape, with rolling waves crashing against the shore and stretches of sandy and shingle beaches extending into the distance. Enjoy the refreshing breeze as the open top bus weaves its way on this invigorating journey.

Continuing along the route, Chalkwell unfolds its charm, offering a serene and idyllic ambiance. The scenery here features a mix of green spaces, including peaceful gardens and open parks, all complemented by the tranquil beachfront. It’s a perfect spot to relish the coastal beauty and bask in the soothing atmosphere.

Leigh-on-Sea, a picturesque fishing village, presents a captivating view of quaint cottages, traditional fishing boats bobbing in the water, and the historic Old Leigh, where The Ship pub stands proudly. The scene exudes a timeless charm, transporting visitors back to an era of maritime heritage and seaside nostalgia.

As the bus approaches Leigh-on-Sea station, the landscape transitions to a mix of coastal architecture and charming streets, offering glimpses of local life and the warmth of a tight-knit community.

The journey culminates at Marine Parade, a bustling hub of activity. The view here is alive with the energy of the promenade, lined with vibrant arcades, cafés, and ice cream parlours. The beach becomes a vibrant canvas, adorned at busy times with families, sunbathers, and the occasional sandcastle artist, all against the backdrop of the sea.

Finally, the bus returns to Southend, where customers can feast their eyes in the opposite direction on the quite often lively but also tranquil scenery and back to this eclectic Essex seaside town with its rich history and vibrant modernity. It’s a trip not to be missed!

A Fab Day Out!

Before boarding the bus, be sure to check out Adventure Island, a thrilling amusement park featuring exhilarating rides and attractions for all ages. Hop on the open-top bus and prepare for a memorable journey.

Explore Southend Pier’s cultural gems, such as the Pier Museum, where you can delve into the fascinating history of this iconic structure. Treat yourself to delicious food and drinks at the various cafes and restaurants along the pier. For a unique experience, hop on the Pier Train, which takes you to the pierhead and offers unrivalled views.  The Pier measures a staggering 1.34 miles in length!

As the bus departs, it ventures through Westcliff, a district renowned for its beautiful coastal views. The route then leads to Chalkwell, a serene location known for its picturesque beachfront and perfectly manicured, tranquil gardens. Stroll along the promenade and soak up the peaceful ambiance.

Next on the itinerary is Leigh-on-Sea, a captivating fishing village with a rich maritime heritage. Make a stop at The Ship for Old Leigh, a historic pub that dates back to the 17th century. Sample traditional fish and chips while immersing yourself in the timeless charm of the area.

Continuing the journey, the bus passes by Leigh-on-Sea station, before Marine Parade beckons with its lively atmosphere and a range of seaside attractions, including arcades, beachfront cafés, and ice cream parlours. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, bask in the sun, or dip your toes in the refreshing waters.

The bus returns to Southend and there’s an opportunity to visit the Southend Cliff Gardens for picturesque views or indulge in retail therapy at the bustling high street and shopping centres. Don’t miss cultural gems like the Beecroft Art Gallery and the Cliffs Pavilion for live performances or maybe if there’s a match on, maybe cheer on Southend United in football’s National League!

Gateway to the 68

By train on c2c from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central.

First Bus run the X30 service from Stansted Airport and Chelmsford to Southend. Local buses also run across Essex to Southend. Essex | First Bus

How to get here...

Visit the megabus website and view megabus services that will transport you to this exceptional scenic journey.

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National Rail Enquiries logo

Visit the National Rail Enquiries website to discover train routes that will lead you to this magnificent scenic adventure.

Visit National Rail

Plan your route to this Great Scenic Journey

Take your scenic journey to the next level by embarking on this delightful walk, carefully curated by the expert team at Go Jauntly, the leading walking app provider.

Southend City Heritage Trail



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