Southend Pier is a major landmark in Southend-on-Sea. Extending 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary, it is the longest pleasure pier in the world. Sir John Betjeman once said that "the Pier is Southend, Southend is the Pier". The pier is a Grade II listed building.
In the early 19th century, Southend was growing as a seaside holiday resort. At the time, it was thought that spending time by the sea was good for one's health, and since it was close to the capital, many Londoners would come to Southend for this reason. However the coast at Southend consists of large mudflats, so the sea is never very deep even at full tide – between 13 and 20 feet – and recedes over one mile from the beach at low tide. Large boats were unable to stop at Southend near to the beach and no boats at all were able to stop at low tide. This meant that many potential visitors would go past Southend and on to Margate, or other resorts where docking facilities were better.
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Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
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