Living in Southend on Sea – A Guide to Life on the Essex Coast
1st February 2024

Living in Southend on Sea – A Guide to Life on the Essex Coast

Are you thinking of living in Southend on Sea?

Living by the sea can really improve your life in various different ways.

It is, therefore, no surprise that living in Southend on Sea has become an increasingly popular prospect for wantaway city workers.

This desire to move away from the busy cities has certainly grown since the pandemic and can still be seen as we move into 2024!

Known locally as just Southend, this seaside town is favoured across not only Essex but the whole of the UK.

Moving to a new area is never easy.

Before you begin your move, you should gather as much information about the region as possible.

If you’re thinking about living in Southend on Sea, this is the article for you!

We want to supply you with all of the best recommendations for individuals considering a move to the Essex coast.

We hope to give you a thorough overview of the region, including everything from housing pricing to the best schools in the area.

If you’re thinking about living in Southend on Sea, here’s our guide to life on the Essex coast.


Southend on Sea at Sunset
Southend on Sea at Sunset. Image credit: Unsplash

Southend on Sea, known locally as just Southend, is one of Essex’s biggest coastal towns.

The town sits to the north of the Thames estuary and is located around 20 miles from London.

Originally a part of the Prittlewell village, Southend was once home to fishermen and farmers.

Historically, the area was rather poor.

However, Southend burst into popularity with the huge growth in UK-based holidays.

This popularity was fuelled by the huge advances in rail networks throughout the 19th century.

Southend became very popular as more and more people were able to travel to seaside towns.

Princess Caroline of Brunswick’s visit to Southend further accelerated the seaside towns’ popularity.

Throughout the 19th century the Southend pier was built to further attract holidaymakers to the town!

Southend’s leisure pier is the longest in the world even to this day!

Despite the many attractions and over 7 miles of beaches, Southend’s popularity had dropped off by the 1960s.

The emergence of cheap package holidays overseas meant that many of the UK’s seaside towns suffered.

Like many areas, Southend reinvented itself.

Various new industries emerged in Southend.

The area has also become very popular with city workers looking for a more peaceful area to call home.

Whilst the town has certainly changed dramatically, Southend still attracts around 6 million tourists every year!

Living in Southend on Sea offers locals a wide variety of entertainment, leisure activities and excellent connections.

House Prices

House Prices Southend
House Prices Southend. Image credit: Depositphotos

Living in Southend on Sea is a great choice for a range of different buyers.

Southend’s world-renowned pier and beaches have made the town a household name across the UK, boosting its popularity with buyers.

According to Zoopla, the current average house price in January 2024 is £357,262.

Property prices in Southend represent excellent value when compared to the average across the whole of Essex.

As of December 2022, house prices in Essex are averaging at £406,512.

The current value also indicates great value when compared to various major areas of the UK including London.

Supplying locals with excellent transport links to both the capital and the wider Essex area, living in Southend on Sea is a great prospect!

So, if you are considering living in Southend on Sea what price should anticipate paying for different property types?

The typical price of a detached home in Southend is currently £655,634, with the average price of a semi-detached home currently £397,679.

If you are thinking of buying a terraced home, the average price in Southend is £316,454, with flats currently averaging at £195,501.

Be sure to check Zoopla’s website to keep up to date with the latest property prices if you are thinking of living in Southend on Sea.

Cost of Living

Southend on Sea is home to a range of different eating options.

Most major towns and cities in the UK offer a truly diverse range of restaurants and supermarkets.

We are sure you will enjoy some fish and chips on the beach!

It seems only right seeing as Southend is one of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations.

When moving to a new area, it is recommended that you get a good understanding of the prices you can expect to pay for food, especially when eating out.

Remember, with so many options prices tend to vary at different locations.

As a general summary, these are the prices you can expect to pay for food when living in Southend on Sea (statistics from Numbeo accurate as of December 2022.)

  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant-£20.00
  • Meal for 2 mid-range restaurant-£60.00
  • Fast food meal-£6.50
  • Cappuccino or latte-£3.10
  • 1 litre of milk-£1.23
  • Loaf of bread-£1.57
  • 1kg chicken-£5.92

There are also a number of popular websites and apps to help choose between the massive variety of takeaway and restaurant establishments.

The most popular choices include Just Eat, Deliveroo and TripAdvisor.

These sites may not be fully operational during the pandemic so be sure to check beforehand.

Southend on Sea also offers residents all of the popular big-name UK supermarket brands.

If you are not a huge lover of eating at restaurants, Southend ensures that cooking at home is very affordable!

In fact, the cost of groceries is currently a staggering 10.1% lower than those in London!

Generally, living costs in Southend on Sea are exceptional, particularly when contrasted with the capital.

Be sure to visit Numbeo for even more in-depth prices.

Here you can check the cost of various everyday items and compare them to other towns and cities in the UK and across the world!

Staying up to date with what you should expect to pay every month if you are thinking of living in Southend on Sea will go a long way to helping with your move.


Southend Restaurants
There are some excellent restaurants in Southend. Image credit: Depositphotos

Southend is a relatively small town with a population of just 319,000.

Whilst this may seem rather small, especially if you are moving from a larger city, the town is home to a variety of excellent restaurants.

Because the town caters to so many tourists, there is an almost endless choice of great eateries.

If you are considering living in Southend on Sea, you may need some help choosing where to eat!

TripAdvisor is an excellent website to help to find the best restaurants in the town!

They have compiled a list of excellent eateries, ranking all of the top places to eat out in Southend on Sea.

The top five restaurants in the town include:

  • Gold Coast Chinese Restaurant
  • Troya
  • Ricardo’s Kitchen Cucina Rustica
  • Zach Willsher
  • Il Mondo Southend

Working in Southend

Working in Southend
There are plenty of job opportunities in Southend. Image credit: Unsplash

Overall employment rates in Southend-on-Sea are about average for the UK.

As of the end of 2023, the unemployment rate in the region was 4.9%, slightly above the UK average of 3.7%

Of those living in Southend on Sea, around a fifth make the daily commute to London for work.

For those who do not commute, there are plenty of employment opportunities.

The major sectors in the area include sales and retail.

Living in Southend on Sea also offers opportunities in public administration, manufacturing, and the fast-increasing medical technology field.

Part-time jobs are particularly popular.

Due to the town’s flood of tourists throughout the summer months, there is always a multitude of part-time opportunities.

This is an interesting option for parents and students who are unable to work full-time.

Recent investment in the local London Southend Airport has also raised the demand for jobs in the airline industry.

Schools in Southend

Recently there has been a huge influx of London families moving into the Southend area.

This has driven up demand for places at grammar schools.

There are currently four grammar schools serving Southend with two being in particularly high demand.

Both Southend High School for Girls and Southend High School for Boys received the coveted ‘outstanding’ report from Ofsted.

When it comes to primary schools and schools in the area, there is a diverse range to choose from.

Both Bournes Green infants and junior schools have achieved the top ‘outstanding’ report from their latest Ofsted inspections.

Both are in the Thorpe Bay area, a popular suburban region located three miles east of the centre of Southend.

Several non-grammar secondary schools offer further education in Southend on Sea.

The biggest higher education institution is South Essex College.

Located in a recently completed building in the centre of town, the college provides education for students aged 16 to 18.

Southend’s chief higher education provider is the University of Essex.

Whilst the university has campuses across the county, there is also a campus in the town centre, which is extremely convenient for local students.

If you are thinking of living in Southend on Sea, it is a good idea to check out all of the local schools for yourself.

You can find an in-depth report on each school located in the town here.

Things to Do in Southend

Adventure Island Fun Park at Southend-on-Sea
Adventure Island Fun Park at Southend-on-Sea is an excellent attraction. Image credit: Unsplash

There is truly an abundance of things to do when living in Southend on Sea.

The town is home to a range of green spaces for residents to discover!

Gunners Park, Priory Park and Chalkwell Park are amongst the most popular green spaces to visit.

All offer incredible views of the surrounding countryside, providing stunning river walks and plenty of green space for children to enjoy.

Southend’s status as a tourist destination means there is plenty of man-made entertainment options to enjoy.

Adventure Island is one of the most popular attractions in the area.

This free-admission amusement park in Southend opened its doors in 1976 and remains popular with young families in the area.

The park features everything for everyone, including a fun mini-golf course, thrilling rides, and an amazing sea life aquarium.

If you enjoy shopping, living in Southend on Sea will appeal to you.

The town’s High Street stretches from the top of Pier Hill in the south to Victoria Circus in the north.

Southend now has two shopping centres: The Victoria and The Royal.

Residents have easy access to a number of shopping parks.


Ready to Start Living in Southend on Sea?

Goodmove truck

So now you know more about this famous Essex seaside town, are you thinking of moving to Southend on Sea?

Whether you are moving for the fantastic links to London, the 7 miles of stunning Essex beaches, or for a more peaceful style of life, Southend on Sea is sure to offer something for everyone.

Southend on Sea presents a host of wonderful areas and a variety of exceptional property types, there is undoubtedly a home for everyone.

GoodMove will make your move to Southend on Sea an easy and stress-free process.

We take great pride in ensuring your move runs smoothly and effortlessly, helping you to arrive at your new home immediately.

As well as our competitively priced removals package, we can also provide extra services such as short-term or long-term storage should you need it.

GoodMove cover all areas of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and our friendly estimators can call round at a convenient time for you and strategically plan your move to perfection.

During these unique times, GoodMove are also offering a new video survey service.

Using our new technology, we can gather all the information required to assist with your move, from the comfort of your home!

Video surveys will help you save valuable time and preserve the best safety levels.

To find out more about how we could get your dream move to Southend on Sea or any other location underway do not hesitate to call us on the number listed above.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or click on our live bot in the bottom right and a member of our customer services team will be in touch shortly.