Arriving at London Fenchurch Street train station gave the children a real sense of excitement. It was the starting point of our little trip to the coast. The speedy c2c train being the mode of transport that would take us from London’s centre all the way to all things seaside related in just under an hour.
The trend for coastal breaks seems to have made a welcome return. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of fairground rides or maybe the fresh seafood from little seaside huts where you can buy cockles doused in vinegar or maybe it’s just the joy of getting your hands on hot fresh doughnuts or sticks of pink cloud like candy floss.
Either way, on our speedy journey I was telling my children stories of my youth. Of the penny arcade games. The sticks of rock that were delicious and would last ages, while slowly turning my mouth blue. The feeling of the cold waves from the British water lapping around my feet.
The train stop in Southend was a mere 10 minute walk to the water’s edge, where in front of us rose towers of brightly coloured excitement. Adventure Island is a childhood kingdom.
The sound of joyous screaming and excited chatter filled our ears as we walked into the fairground. Free to enter we walked around and just took in the scene in front of us.
The vintage looking rides backed on to the more modern arcade games which course included many of the old-time favourites too.
We got ourselves involved immediately and got wristbands which gave us unlimited fun on the rides.
Adventure Island is huge. In fact it almost seems never-ending. An entire day can be spent going from ride to ride. Or you can split up your time by coming and going as you please. It’s not an enclosed park where you’re forced to stay on site for the entire experience. It even goes on late into the night, so if you get a room at the Park Inn by Radisson Palace (if you fancy an overnight stay), you can watch the rides all lit up in the night sky or be part of the thrill yourself. It’s beautiful to see.
As we continued our walk down Marine Parade we stopped off to get some seafood.
Fairground rides certainly build up an appetite. And getting seafood is quite possibly my favourite part of any seaside experience. We sat by the seafood hut and ate our precious purchases. Peeled prawns and cockles.
For me that’s as British as it gets.
But with the children eager to explore more we headed to Sealife Adventure. An aquarium that was fascinating to visit and gave us loads to talk about and discuss.
There were sting rays that danced in front of us, no doubt thinking we had food to offer them and my favourites- the penguins and turtles.
As always the walk through tunnel tank was my favourite part to explore. We scoured the water trying to spot Nemo and Dory, all the while catching glimpses of the sharks as they menacingly swum overhead.
With a full day nearly done, we decided to end our afternoon by picnicking on the beach with some fish and chips.
We found some gorgeous little beach huts and set ourselves up on one of the porches, while the seagulls overhead kept a watchful eye for any discarded left overs.
The children loved throwing the chips up into the sky and watching the gulls swoop down at great speed. I on the other hand cowered in fear. Birds are not my strong suit.
Exhausted we headed back to our room for the night. The Park Inn.
Although the c2c train is quick into London we wanted to stretch our day out for as long as possible and make a little holiday of it. The great British seaside is back in vogue, and we wanted to spend as much time as we could there!
For Adventure Island check the rides first before you purchase tickets to see which ticket tier you should buy. For quite a few of the rides your child may need an adult to go on with them- the adult goes on for free. So unless you’ll be going on some adult rides alone you may as well just purchase the children’s tickets.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.