Surprise Visit To Southend Pier

The Mr planned a surprise trip to Southend Pier last week which I had absolutely no clue about until we got to Southend. The Mr took us up to the viewing platform and pointed out the pier letting us know that’s where we were going!

Southend Pier

I’ve visited Southend a fair few times over the years, I took the girls last summer for a day on the beach and fun in the arcades. I’ve wanted to go on the Pier since I was a child. As it was my first time I was as excited as the girls. I caught some lovely shots for #MySundayPhoto too!

Southend Pier Railway

Sir John Bejeman

Southend Pier has it’s own railway so you can either walk the length of the pier or take the train, the Mr had also planned for us to take the train. We love trains and the girls are still so impressed you can take a train to the end of the pier.

Enjoying Southend Pier Railway

Although a little nervous to begin with Eva really enjoyed the train journey and looking out all around us, it’s definitely different looking back at land whilst being on a train! Izzy was a little unsure too but still enjoyed it. She loved watching out the doors whilst holding her daddy’s hand.

Looking out the train

The railway is 1.25 miles long, the Pier itself is 1.34 miles although there is a sign at 1.33 miles marking the end of the pier which of course the girls had to get a picture next to!

End of the Pier

End of Southend Pier

RNLI

At the end of the pier there are a few huts selling treats and drinks. One hut has a load of old posters from over the years. There is also a small lifeboat museum at the end of the pier which the girls enjoyed looking around.

Southend Pier lifeboats

Eva stood and read about the uniform & equipment the lifeguards need to wear. It was quite informative for such a tiny little place. It was interesting looking at the lifeboats and reading the information leaflets about them.

RNLI kit

The RNLI do an absolutely amazing job, their lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved 558 lives in 2016! They can only do this with support, whilst this isn’t a sponsored or affiliated post in anyway, if you would like to donate to their page to help support them then please do, you can find their page here.

Treats on the Pier

Before heading back to the Pier Railway to go back to land we stopped for a drink. The Mr had a beer on the Pier whilst the girls had ice cream! He had a pint of Wallasea Wench, brewed in Great Wakering in Essex.

The Mr is enjoying a #beeronthepier

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We headed back to the Railway but missed our train by a minute or so. We stopped at one of the small huts for a stick of rock each. A seaside tradition! I picked up this yummy cream egg flavoured one!

Cream Egg rock from Southend Pier

Heading back to land

The Southend Pier railway really is beautiful, I could watch the trains for hours! I managed to get a few lovely shots of the railway. I’m no professional but I do love taking photo’s like one below, as the train was pulling in to take us back to land.

Approaching train

Arcades

We headed to the arcades afterwards. After all you can’t go to the seaside without spending £1/2 on the 2p machines! Both girls managed to win themselves prizes to take home, Emoji key rings for Eva & Paw patrol erasers for Izzy made a lovely end to the day.

Arcades

It was a fantastic surprise day out and we all loved our visit to the world’s longest pier. The railway was absolutely brilliant too and I can’t wait to go back again!

Have you ever visited Southend and the Pier before? Did you know it is the longest pier in the world?

Monday Stumble Linky

Rochester Dickens Festival 2017

We spent Sunday at the Rochester Dickens Festival with Martyn & the boys, enjoying the sunshine, actors, music, food & scenery. It was the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway so there was plenty going on in Rochester & surrounding areas for the entire weekend.

Rochester Dickens Festival

Rochester Dickens Festival

After attending the Medway English Festival with Martyn and the boys we were looking forward to joining them again for a lovely day out. With a nice early start we managed to get to Rochester just before everything started, giving us plenty of time to have a slow wander around.

Actors

We came across some brilliant actors over the course of the day but the first Fagin we bumped into Izzy absolutely loved! She couldn’t wait to get in a picture with him, sitting on his knee. He was wandering around looking for the owner of the lost pants in his hand.

We found another Fagin a little while later too and all the kids jumped in for a picture this time! Both actors were fantastic and really interacted with the kids which was brilliant. It was nice to see the girls enjoying the characters too although Eva was a little worried about the clock face guy!

There were so many different Dickens characters wandering around and people who simply dressed up and joined in too. It made the day quite fun having different characters chatting to us & the girls really seemed to enjoy it. Eva was a little unsure about a few costumes but still enjoyed herself.

Performances

Dancing

We stopped to watch the dancing which was absolutely fantastic and Izzy especially loved it, joining in with her own little dance too. Moving on we came across these actors singing ‘Beer Beer Beer’ an ode to Charlie Mops the inventor of beer!

charlie mops beer beer beer

Everyone joined in with the chorus which was quite fun even though it was a small group as it was still fairly early in the day. It was interesting to see so many different characters up to different things. We’re definitely interested in going to the Rochester Dickens Festival again next year so we can catch more of them!

Grand Parade

Next we watched the parade with bagpipes playing & a range of characters, I loved this purple dress! I had to get a video of it all as there were some fab costumes. Most of the Actors were really amusing & played the role so well! I had to take a few videos of the parade as it was so fun, here’s one video, you can find the rest on my YouTube channel.

After the parade the boys got stopped by bobbies on stilts! ‘They went that way officer.. honest!’. These guys were hilarious chatting away and asking who the ring leader was haha!

That way officer

 

Food & Drink

After the parade we headed up to the castle, stopping for doughnuts & ice cream. Another vintage ice cream van was selling ice cream, although a little pricey! We then headed up to the castle grounds where tons of stalls were dotted around full of goodies!

 

Cupcakes & cookies

The girls decided they wanted gingerbread men to take home from Cupcakes & cookies which the girls said were delicious! Unfortunately they got a little bashed up in my bag but the girls enjoyed them anyway.

Treats To Take Home

We also popped by Sudzz again to get Eva another super exploding pink bath bomb and some soaps for both girls. Sudzz bath bombs are amazingly explosive & Eva LOVES them! The cute heart soaps are all different scents too.

 

Simply True Jewellery were there too, so we took them all to get another £1 lucky dip. The boys got skull necklaces again but different to their last 2. Eva got a clear heart necklace & Izzy a star necklace. For £1 I’m still can’t get over the quality of the necklaces! At this rate I’ll be ordering a jewellery box just for Jewellery we buy from Simply True Jewellery!

Stopping off for lunch the kids had a picnic whilst Martyn, the Mr & I had chips & burgers from Scoff & Sip.

Having lined our stomachs the Mr was of course on the Goody Ales again. Although Goody Ales themselves weren’t there the beer stall had beers from several breweries.

Goody Ales

Martyn & I headed over to the Kent Cider Company for a delicious Strawberry cider. I’ll definitely be after a bottle to take home next time! Very tasty & certainly packs a punch. I’ve recently lost my love of cider but I think I may have found it again in the strawberry cider.

Kent cider co

 

With the day almost over we had a little look around the castle grounds before dropping the boys off. It was a lovely day all round although quite pricey for rides & treats. Luckily there was enough going on that the kids didn’t moan too much about going on rides.

 

Have you ever been to the Rochester Dickens Festival before or is it something you’d be interested in?