SOUTHEND has been named as one of the top places for a staycation in the UK... thanks to its outstanding beaches! 

The town has been named third in research carried out by Holidu, a search engine for holiday rentals, behind the more inland Chichester and Ely.

The town is ranked higher than resort areas such as Bournemouth, Poole and Brighton. 

The ratings are based on important summer factors such as the average number of hours of sun, average temperature, number of parks, lakes, beaches, swimming pools and, criucially, ice cream shops. 

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In its review, the research states: "Heading to the beach now for the first of our coastal destinations, sunny Southend can be found on the Thames Estuary in Essex.

"[It] boasts plenty to do, with an amusement park equipped with fairground rides and water slides, an aquarium, the Southend Pier and of course its many beaches.

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"The Southend Pier is actually the longest pleasure pier in the world!

"With an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius during the summer months, Southend will not disappoint!" 

Here's how the town ranks

● Average sun hours: 9.22/10
● Average temperature: 9.26/10
● Beaches: 10/10
● Parks: 3.44/10
● Lakes: 0/10
● Pools: 1.39/10
● Ice-cream: 2.58/10