Discovering London Southend Airport: A Hidden Gem

Welcome to our exploration of London Southend Airport, a lesser-known yet fascinating airport serving the Greater London area. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the airport’s intriguing history, the airlines that call it home, and the unique aspects that set it apart from other airports in the region.

A Glimpse into the History of London Southend Airport

Officially known as London Southend Airport (IATA: SEN, ICAO: EGMC), this facility has a rich history that spans over a century. Let’s examine some key moments in the development of the airport:

  1. Origins: Established in 1914, the airport served as a base for the Royal Flying Corps during World War I.
  2. Between the Wars: After World War I, the airport briefly returned to civilian use before becoming a Royal Air Force (RAF) station during World War II.
  3. Post-War Period: Following World War II, the airport gradually transitioned back to civilian operations, accommodating a mix of scheduled flights, charter services, and flying schools.
  4. Modern Times: Over the years, the airport has continued to expand and evolve, with recent investments in runway extension and terminal improvements aimed at enhancing its appeal to both airlines and passengers.

Airlines Serving London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport is home to a select group of airlines that offer flights to various destinations across Europe. Some of the key airlines operating from the airport include:

  • easyJet: This low-cost carrier connects London Southend Airport to a range of European destinations, providing passengers with affordable travel options.
  • Ryanair: Europe’s largest low-cost airline, Ryanair offers flights from London Southend Airport to a variety of destinations, including popular holiday spots in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
  • Wizz Air: With a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, Wizz Air operates several routes from London Southend Airport, offering passengers the chance to explore lesser-known yet captivating destinations.

What Sets London Southend Airport Apart?

The airport has a number of unique features that distinguish it from other airports in the Greater London area. Here are some aspects that make it stand out:

  • Convenience: The airport’s relatively small size and lower passenger volume often translate to shorter queues and quicker boarding times, providing a more relaxed travel experience.
  • Accessibility: Located about 40 miles east of central London, the airport is easily accessible via train, with the Southend Airport railway station just a short walk from the terminal building.
  • Award-Winning: London Southend Airport has been recognised for its excellent customer service, winning multiple awards in recent years, including the “Best Airport in London” title in the Airport Operators Association awards.

Lounge Options at London Southend Airport

The airport features a single lounge that offers passengers a calm and comfortable space to unwind before their flight. Here’s what you can expect from the lounge:

  • SkyLife Lounge: Accessible to all passengers for a fee, the SkyLife Lounge provides a peaceful environment with comfortable seating, complimentary refreshments, and a selection of newspapers and magazines. This lounge is perfect for travellers seeking a quiet retreat before their journey.

Terminal and Accommodation Options at London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport has one passenger terminal that handles all flights. The terminal offers a variety of services and amenities, including dining options, shops, and car rental services. Here are some hotels located close to the airport:

  1. Holiday Inn Southend: This modern hotel is situated just a short distance from the airport and offers comfortable accommodation, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness centre.
  2. Southend Airport Travelodge: A budget-friendly option, this hotel is located within walking distance of the airport and provides basic yet comfortable rooms and an on-site restaurant.
  3. Premier Inn Southend Airport: Also within easy reach of the airport, this hotel features spacious rooms, free Wi-Fi, and an on-site restaurant, making it a convenient choice for travellers.

What To See And Where To Eat In the Southend Area

In the Southend Airport area, visitors will find a myriad of attractions to explore and enjoy. One of the most prominent landmarks nearby is the Southend Pier, the world’s longest pleasure pier. Stretching 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary, the pier offers a picturesque stroll or a relaxing train ride to the end, where you’ll find the RNLI Lifeboat Station and the Pier Museum.

The area is also home to Adventure Island, a thrilling amusement park with rides and attractions suitable for the whole family. For those seeking a more serene experience, the Southend Cliff Gardens provide breathtaking views and beautifully landscaped grounds.

The Southend Airport area boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. For delectable seafood, be sure to visit The Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular restaurant offering fresh catches daily. Alternatively, indulge in authentic Indian cuisine at the renowned Gandhi’s restaurant. Those with a penchant for traditional British fare should not miss The Old Walnut Tree, a charming pub with a menu featuring classics like fish and chips and bangers and mash.

Nightlife in the Southend Airport area is vibrant and varied, with a range of pubs, clubs, and bars to suit all preferences. The Railway Hotel, a local favorite, is an excellent choice for live music and a friendly atmosphere. If you’re in search of a lively night out, head to The Talk, a nightclub that hosts an array of themed nights and DJ events.

For a more relaxed evening, The Mawson’s Micro Pub offers a cozy environment with an extensive selection of craft beers and ciders. No matter your interests, the Southend Airport area promises a memorable experience for all visitors.

London Southend Airport
View from the Holiday Inn
Photo by Elizabeth Jamieson on Unsplash

Discover More About London Southend Airport

To learn more about London Southend Airport, including flight schedules, airport services, and transportation options, be sure to visit their official website at Here, you’ll find airport maps and guides, as well as helpful information for planning your journey.

Share Your Experience at London Southend Airport

We hope this in-depth exploration of London Southend Airport has piqued your interest and provided you with valuable insights into this hidden gem. If you found this blog post engaging and informative, please share it with your fellow aviation enthusiasts and travellers to help others uncover the unique aspects of this lesser-known airport.

The next time you’re flying through London Southend Airport, take a moment to appreciate its distinctive features, convenient location, and award-winning customer service. And don’t hesitate to share your own experiences in the comments below – we’d love to hear your stories!

Safe travels, and we look forward to seeing you in the skies above London Southend Airport!

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