London's best kept secret
Based in Essex, this airport is far from the stiletto wearing, fake tan loving, drama filled TV show that made the county famous. Southend Airport gives an air of class and style to the start to any holiday. A modern main terminal building, train station and departure lounge area leave the site feeling clean and welcoming to any passenger.
Officially named London Southend Airport, it is the hidden gem of the capital’s flying world. Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick are some of the busiest airports in the world, so consider venturing further out of the city – you never know what you might find.
From Essex to anywhere
Flying to Europe’s most popular destinations is their specialty. Whether you want to enjoy a weekend of discovery in Barcelona, or fly to Amsterdam to catch a connection to adventure in Hong Kong, the world is at your feet here.
Over 900,000 passengers start their journey at Southend every year. This seems like a lot of people, but with neighbouring airports like Stansted airport receiving over 22million passengers yearly, Southend is a haven for peaceful travel.
Brand spanking new
The six gates of the departure lounge received a makeover not so long ago resulting in a really lovely, fresh atmosphere. Lakers Bar & Restaurant serves hungry passengers with hot and cold meals from breakfast through to dinner with a promise of service under 15 minutes – that means you speedy last minute travellers can still be fed and watered too.
Arnold & Forbes Café Kitchens are located both pre and post-security. Sandwiches, salad, soup and sushi are on the menu here. It’s a fab grab and go option, especially if you like to take something to nibble on through your flight.
For a brand new holiday handbag or getaway gifts, Tax & Duty Free retails products for 20% less than the high street price. Grab a bargain while you’re there, it’s ok to treat yourself, you’re on holiday. WHSmith and Moneycorp Travel Money are both handily placed in departures for those forgotten essentials – books, take off sweets and foreign currency can be found here.
Southend sets a standard when it comes to luxury relaxation. The Skylife Lounge gets you in the holiday mood before you’ve even boarded the flight. Snacks, tea, coffee, wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks are all included in the lounge entry price. Sit in the quiet zone and take a nap, charge your tablet so you have your own inflight entertainment at the ready, or simply enjoy life away from the busy departure halls, it’s easy to lose yourself here.
London Southend Airport is located 41 miles east of Central London. Your best route is using the M25 and exiting at Junction 29. Follow the signage for Southend and the airport should be clearly flagged with road signs when you get near to the centre of Southend.
At peak times there are up to eight trains an hour from Southend Airport Station to Central London. Travelling to Liverpool Street Station takes around 53 minutes, and it’s around 44 minutes to get to Stratford Station – for underground services change at either of these stations.
Direct buses – X30, 7, 8 and 9 –run to destinations including Central Southend, Chelmsford, Stansted, and the local South Essex area. Services use either the bus stop behind the taxi rank or the Holiday Inn Southend.
Andrews Airport Cars are a trusted taxi service endorsed by the airport itself. You can grab one on arrival to the taxi rank or pre-book online if you like to be organised or want to get away swiftly.
A few minutes’ walk from the airport terminal and train station is the Holiday Inn Southend. Twin, double, family, interconnecting and adapted rooms can be booked to fit anyone’s needs. You might’ve travelled far from home to catch a flight, or maybe you just want to have a longer lie in before boarding, either way, this is the best hotel for a speedy airport transfer.
In the area you’ll also find a Premier Inn and the Skylark Hotel – both in short distance from the airport. Whichever airport hotel you decide you start your journey with you will be close enough to be worry-free before you fly.
The Holiday Inn Southend boasts a beautiful rooftop restaurant with runway views. Cement the excitement of flying away to somewhere new while enjoying breakfast, dinner or Sunday Lunch at 1935 Rooftop Restaurant & Bar. You get the thrill of planes flying off to unknown destinations without the take-off noise ruining your conversation – the restaurant is completely soundproof to maximise the relaxation value. It’s truly spectacular.