Gunners' Park to East Beach, Shoebury
Southend-on-SeaType of walk
Flat, Beach, ParkWhat's here
Free Parking, Off Lead Areas, On Lead Areas, Pathed Routes, Picnic Areas, Water On Route, Toilets, Refreshments AvailableAbout this walk
This entire area of the coast was once the property of the Ministry of Defence, but has slowly been turned over to the council, who have stuck housing on most of it. One pocket of it was kept back as a nature reserve, Gunners' Park, a nice patch of greenery which joins the East Beach promenade. You can easily access the coast path from here, but there are dog restrictions on the beach. Your dog can only go on the beach from 1st October to the 30th of April.
The centre point of the reserve is a large lake, with plenty of benches to sit on, and leftover brick buildings from the days of the military to sniff at. We've always found other dogs to say hello to, and my dog loves racing around the lake, dipping her toes in to the water and running through the long grass. You can look across the coast to Kent, into Southend at the famous pier, or head down the coast to Shoeburyness, which makes a longer walk of about three miles there and back. The path to Shoeburyness is concrete, so perfectly fine for pushchairs and wheelchairs, but you will be walking along roads at times, so you'll need a lead for those bits. There's even a play field for more off-lead time along the route.
There are toilet facilities once you head along the coast path, and there's usually a static caravan selling hot food and drinks if the coastal breeze is a bit brisk.
There is plenty of parking around, with a couple of official (free) car parks, although they're not massive. Plenty of car parking around the local streets, as long as you park considerately.
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How to get there
3 Magazine Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS3 9QN, UK
Postcode SS3 9HQ takes you to the Harvester Restaurant on Ness Road. Follow this round the corner until you see New Barge Pier Road, and turn in there. I've struggled a bit to find the most accurate car park postcode if you're relying on sat nav, as the estates are still being built, and postcodes don't seem to be available for the most logical choices.
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