General Information and points of interest
Westcliff on Sea is located between Southend and Chalkwell and is officially a suburb of Southend on Sea. It is situated on the north bank of the Thames Estuary in Essex, approximately 35 miles east of London.
Westcliff Beach offers lovely walks, and is also superbly positioned for the world famous Rossi ice cream emporium set in its famous Art Deco headquarters. There are also the Archway Cafes, where you can have an al fresco meal in good weather and are a popular destination for breakfast.
The Southend Cliff Gardens stretch from the Cliffs Pavilion to the sea and along to the famous Southend Pier: A blend of formal and informal gardens with beautiful views across the Thames Estuary. The Cliff Gardens are a short walk to Southend Town Centre, the Pier, Cliffs Pavilion theatre and Adventure Island and are a popular spot for people to sit and watch the world go by.
The Crow Stone obelisk is a well known landmark in the area. It stands in the mud of the foreshore between Westcliff and Chalkwell and marks the easterly jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority along the River Thames. The present boundary stone was installed in 1837, replacing a smaller stone erected in 1755. The older stone was removed to Priory Park in Southend where it remains today.
The Cliffs Pavilion on Station Road is a popular local entertainment venue with 1600 seats, offering a wide variety of entertainment, ranging from Christmas pantomimes to comedy and live music. From July 1991 to December 1992, the building was closed for redevelopment, with the funding of Southend Borough Council. The stairs were rebuilt, a new Foyer Bar created and a balcony added to the auditorium. Since re-opening, annual audience figures increased from approximately 200,000 to about 340,000. Sir Paul McCartney performed one of his six "secret" shows at the Pavilion during his 1991 Unplugged Summer Tour and more recently, One Direction also played this popular venue as part of the warm-up for their Up All Night Tour in 2011.
The Palace theatre is located on London Road and has had many names over the years. It was originally built in 1912 when it was known as the Palace of Varieties and seated up to 1500 people, compared to 600 today. Between the two World Wars the theatre mainly presented touring ballet and repertory companies which included many famous stars for the day: Ivor Novello, John Clements, Ruth Draper, Lillian Braithwaite, Sybil Thorndike, and Sir Henry Irving. Throughout the Second World War the theatre managed to generate an atmosphere of business as usual, and the building survived the air raids without serious damage. Today it has merged with the Cliffs Pavilion and is under the guidance of Southend Theatres.