Southend-on-Sea Visit – Day 12

Today was our 12th day in London, and our plan for the day was an out-of-London day trip to the sea-side town of Southend-on-Sea. Today, being a Saturday, Mausi ji (my mom’s mausi) and Deepa (my mami) were both home, and so the whole household was going to go on this little trip.

Getting there

We got up around 11:30 am and ate a light breakfast consisting of some cereal & buttered toast, before running upstairs to get our act together. I took a quick shower; packed some spare clothes to be worn post I had gotten myself wet on the beach, and was downstairs ready to move by 12:30 pm. Well, the last of us reached downstairs only by 1:15, thus we left the house only by 1:45 pm. Which wasn’t exactly the ideal time to leave for a day at the beach, but wasn’t actually all that late if you live in a place where (in summers) it starts to get dark only by 9:15 pm.

Pebble Beach

Anyways, Mausi ji was going to drive us there. It was approximately one and a half hours drive from Hornchurch. Everyone generally chatted and ate up all the sandwiches and stuff that we had packed for a mini picnic at the beach, in the car itself. By the time we reached our destination, almost all of the food that we had packed had gotten finished.
Anyhow, we reached Southend-on-Sea around 3:00 pm. We parked the car right in front of the beach area and unloaded our picnic stuff – mats, chairs, hats, no food, etc. The beach here was not the sandy variety, but a lazy sit-around-and-relax type pebbly beach. As I happily ran to where the water should have been, I realised that the water, at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon, was nowhere close to the actual beach-beach, it was way, way, waaay-back in the sea; no contact with the water could possibly be made. Well, this really was a major setback – I had come to the beach to get wet, not to sit around and WATCH the water. And so, after about 15 minutes of pondering over what to do, we decided to go to this little amusement park next to the beach, and, more importantly, keep our fingers crossed and hope that the tide comes in and brings the water closer to the actual beach. Well, even tho’ the amusement park was right next to the beach, the beach itself was quite long. And thus, it was easily a 15 minute walk to the park. It was quite a beautiful walk tho’, along the beach, with the water in the distance and lovely sunshine – it was picture perfect.

Low tide…

Happidrome at the Amusement Park

It was a small amusement park. It basically had a small-ish roller coaster and a few other rides on one side, while the other side had quite a few stalls with games and little tents one of those crazy mirrors type places.

Amusement Park

I rode the little roller coaster twice, and then we proceeded towards the other side of the park. We hung around there for like an hour, playing those little games, clicking pictures of ourselves in wierd frames, eating stuff and generally sitting around. From that side of the park we spotted a little pier type built far in the water. Now, since we had nothing better to do then, we decided to take the 10 minute train ride to the little place. The train was a really slow chug-chug type of thing. I guess it was made that way so that people could take pictures of the whole scene, which was, once again, picture perfect.

Rail tracks on the beach

We could see the water shimmering white, much closer to the beach now. The beach had started looking a rich shade of yellow, and we could see those cute little typical English houses in the background, beyond the beach. Anyhow, we reached the little pier all excited, hoping for some coffee or food stalls. However, the pier was just that – a pier. It was a wooden structure, with a huge-ish area to walk about in and a few benches to sit on. The view was quite lovely, and there was something about standing in the middle of the water, with the wind in your face and the sun shining above. The water tide had come in quite a bit and I wanted to get back to the beach. The next train was due half an hour later, and so I decided to make the most of it. We spent the next half hour clicking pictures, sitting around and eating the last of our picnic basket goodies. There were people with fishing lines in the water, waiting patiently, and I wonder if they caught anything at all.

Chuk Chuk Gaadi…

The train came at 5:00 pm and we all hopped onto it, itching to get back to the beach and into the water. The train journey took us 10 minutes, and in that time mom and I clicked about 200 pictures.

The Pier

The moment the train stopped we all hopped out and ran to the beach. We set up our folding chairs and little mats a safe distance on the beach, and I went and sat in the water. I literally sat there in the water for the next half hour or so, generally, you know, getting wet. The tide was starting to come in nice and proper, and every now and then we would move our all our stuff back a little. The water nearly took my crocs away; thankfully someone noticed it and saved me the hassle of going home bare foot. We played a game of skimming the stones on the water, and I managed to get the stone to ‘bounce’ thrice before going in. We then decided to see who could throw stones farthest into the water. After we had thrown in nearly half the beach and gotten our arms got nice & tired, we stopped.

Gone, throwing stones

Well, I could have sat there for hours, but my clothes and my skin were completely soaked by now, and mom got really freaked out about me catching a cold. And so, I got out of the water around 6:30 pm and changed my clothes.
All that fun had made us quite hungry, and so we decided to have some fish-and-chips before heading home. We found a little diner across the road, and proceeded to sit out on the benches and eat. Soon a biker’s gang came there, which created a lot of excitement. We wanted to click pictures of all their bikes, and managed to get some shots discreetly.

Walking on water

After some time it started getting windy and cold. We were all really tired by then and thus decided to go home. We all piled into the car for the ride home, which was much shorter and quieter than the trip to the beach. We reached home around 7:00 pm, and I, as usual, plonked myself on the couch for another long run of re-runs, ending Day 12 in London.


  • Naman says:

    Hey Shubaham
    As always I fab. narration and equally good pictures.Enjoyed reading! :)

  • nice narration and pics ……………..

  • Vibha says:

    Hey Shubham, Sounds like you had a lot of fun. Pebbly beaches can be a little more painful than the sandy beaches especially when you’ve been in water for some time. But I find them prettier than the sandy beaches.

    The train looks cool. Looking forward to Day 13.


  • Nandan says:

    After reading this log with a lot of thought, I think the reason behind no water at the beach-beach was because of all the food which you guys had in the car itself. But at the end of it, I think with half the pebbles gone, we are now going to have water closer to the shore, for times to come. You know that crow-water-matka kind of story.


  • D.L.Narayan says:

    @ Shubham: Wow ! It is amazing how you come up with such gems as “unloaded our picnic stuff mats, chairs, hats, no food, etc.” How does one unload no food? Maybe the same way the Emperor in the fable donned his invisible clothes?

    • Shubham Sarcar says:

      Thanks Sir, glad to know you are liking the posts, I look forward to your comments every week:).

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