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Southend is England’s top resort… for dodging rain

Southend is England’s top resort… for dodging rain: Essex town is driest with just eight wet days a month (while Bournemouth gets the most rainfall)

  • Surprising figures show the driest seaside town in England is Southend-on-Sea 
  • The resort with the highest amount of rainfall is Bournemouth on Dorset coast 
  • Experts think the Essex town could became an ‘even bigger hotspot’ for tourists

No matter how good the weather forecast may be in Britain, the prospect of the heavens opening is never far away.

But if you want to maximise your chances of avoiding rain, it seems that your best bet is to head for Southend-on-Sea.

Figures show it is the driest seaside town in England – and you’ll be less likely to need waterproofs than in many of our more favoured holiday hotspots. 

The Essex town – home to the longest holiday pier in the world – has just 1.65in of rainfall and just eight wet days a month, according to experts

There was 2.75in of rainfall in Bournemouth on the Dorset coast, which has ten wet days a month

There was 2.75in of rainfall in Bournemouth on the Dorset coast, which has ten wet days a month

The Essex town – home to the longest holiday pier in the world – has just 1.65in of rainfall and just eight wet days a month, according to experts.

That compares with 2.75in of rainfall in Bournemouth on the Dorset coast, which has ten wet days a month. Meanwhile, two popular East Sussex reports – Hastings and Eastbourne – typically get 2.44in and 2.6in, respectively. Only Walton-on-the-Naze, also on the Essex coast, comes close to Southend with just 1.77in of rain and nine wet days.

Researchers analysed rainfall figures from the Met Office from 1981 to 2010 to find the average annual rainfall for 42 UK towns and cities with a population over 100,000. 

The total number of days of annual rainfall for each place was then divided by 12 to come up with the number of wet days per month.

Southend became a thriving holiday destination following the opening of its famous pier in 1830, which stretches out more than 1.3 miles into the Thames Estuary. 

Researchers analysed rainfall figures from the Met Office from 1981 to 2010 to find the average annual rainfall for 42 UK towns and cities with a population over 100,000

Researchers analysed rainfall figures from the Met Office from 1981 to 2010 to find the average annual rainfall for 42 UK towns and cities with a population over 100,000

Given the town’s proximity to the capital, it was particularly popular among Londoners taking a day trip. 

But as Southend later declined as a holiday destination, much of the town was redeveloped as a commercial centre.

London Southend Airport on the outskirts of the town was voted Britain’s best airport for three consecutive years running until 2015. But now with foreign travel in doubt thanks to Covid, perhaps holidaymakers will soon be visiting Southend again for its own charms.

Martin Smith, of ShowersToYou.co.uk, which carried out the research, said: ‘Weather can be a massive deciding factor when it comes to an array of things from relocating to taking trips and holidays.

‘It is clear that those living in Southend have the best of both worlds – a beach right on their doorstep as well as the title of driest seaside town in Britain.

‘They have the lowest amount of rain each month as well as the lowest number of wet days, unlike those living in Cardiff, who have the unfortunate honour of having the title of Britain’s wettest city.

‘We wouldn’t be surprised if Southend-on-Sea becomes an even bigger hotspot for holidays and trips.’

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