The airport at Southend on Sea is the most recently opened around London. So recently that when I got there I found something looking like a coach station surrounded by a construction site. Fortunately, as a reader reports in the comment, the situation has improved since and now Southend is a fully functional airport!
I didn’t find much reliable information on internet on how to get to Southend on Sea airport or, most importantly, how to get back to London from there. In fact, when I used that airport going to Berlin, I was scheduledto land at 11pm on my way back, just 5 minutes before the last train, and when I asked some of the staff how to get back, the answer was a shrug and a pitiful smirk.
I guess in the future a better airport transfer service will be organised but, until then, I recommend some advance planning, especially before buying the plane ticket.
London – Southend Airport by:
Reaching Southend on Sea airport by train couldn’t be easier: you can take it from Liverpool Street Station or from Stratford (it works out a bit cheaper from here) and get off just across the road to the airport. Make sure you take the train to the airport and not Southend Victoria, as that is the town station.
The ride takes 1 hour and costs £15.80 (off-peak) and the first train reaches the airport at 6.30am. The last train to London leaves Southend Airport station at 23.05.
For the full updated timetables click here.
There are no bus or coach services between Southend Airport and London. There is a local bus network connecting the airport to Southend-on-Sea and other towns of the region, click here for more details.
Landing 5 minutes before the last train I was faced with a taxi ride as my only option. I checked the fares and found several solutions for at least £70. In this case a night in a nearby hotel might be a cheaper alternative but maybe it’s even cheaper to get a flight that, even if more expensive, lands in a better connected airport.
Since the train service doesn’t match the flights times, both at night and early in the morning, I surely considered a night in the lounge waiting for the first train. However the airport closes 45 minutes after the last scheduled flight and opens at 4.00. The train station closes after the last departure (23.05) and opens 15 minutes before the first morning train.
Important: as mentioned, I got there in the first weeks of opening so I’m expecting, and hoping, it to improve both in terms of facilities and connections. If you use this airport and notice it got actually better please let us know!