Doing more for less

A few weeks ago, with a whole Sunday to fill, Liv and I took decided to go to the seaside. I was in need of some TLC, and in true best friend style she rallied around me, arranged a girly sleepover, got in some wine and tried to keep me busy.

As this was slightly earlier in the year, the weather wasn’t quite in the full swing of summer and although we had what seemed like an endless amount of possibilities on our doorstep, we couldn’t decide where we wanted to go to.

We both work in London and spend most of our time there, much to Liv’s dismay as she is an outdoorsy girl through and through, and would much rather spend her time outside in the fresh air with her dog than cooped up in the city. There’s a guaranteed bottomless brunch at least once a month, and a festival or 5 throughout the summer. These are of course, all fabulous for ticking activities off our bucket lists but are not very kind on our bank balances. A Saturday brunch followed by drinks in a bar in central London can easily set me back £100 in one day. We wanted to do something that would be fun but also cost effective.

Brighton seemed like an obvious choice as it’s not too far away in the car and has lots of activities to keep us occupied. However, the Brighton marathon was also on that Sunday, and parking can be tricky at the best of times. We racked our brains for where else to go, and decided our safest best would be Southend.

I hadn’t been to Southend in years, despite it being about an hour away. Like all seaside towns, parking is going to set you back (yawn), but if you have no qualms with parting £5 for a parking space for 4 hours directly on the seafront then I would recommend a visit. As we live South of the river, we also needed to pay £5 to cross the QE2 bridge (another yawn) but as we didn’t have much choice in the matter, we thought it best to pay it rather than end up with a fine.

We walked along the pier (which is supposedly the longest in the world at just under a mile and half). It cost £2 to enter the pier, and there is a train that runs along it if you don’t fancy the walk, however this is slightly more expensive. We were both quite happy to walk, as Liv is a super fit gym bunny and quite frankly at that point in my life I could really have done with the exercise (I have since returned to the gym 3 times a week, check me out). It wasn’t particularly sunny, however it was nice and dry and I managed to get some lovely scenery snaps on my camera.

Then next tricky choice of the day was whether to reward ourselves with some chips or treat ourselves to an ice cream. Chippies seem like the more filling option, so we tucked into them whilst sitting on the beach, trying to fend of flocks of seagulls.

All in all the entire day probably cost us around £40, if you take into consideration petrol money, parking and treats. It was a nice opportunity to spend some quality time together without breaking the bank, and enjoy some time outside.

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