Southend has been named as one of the best places to visit for a winter staycation this year ... but that “depends on the weather and tourists from London.”

The seaside town was voted third in the list of seaside towns to go for a staycation, but Southend’s businesses are still gearing up for a turbulent time ahead.

Gary Lowen, owner of the Gleneagles Guesthouse told the Echo a lot of custom in the winter period depends on the weather.

The guesthouse, on Clifftown Road, is preparing for a tough winter, with larger family gatherings currently banned at Christmas as per Government guidelines and uncertainties surrounding New Years Eve.

Mr Lowen said: “The theatres are closed and the casino’s aren’t operating at their full capacity so that’s difficult.

“We’re lucky in that we have the tea rooms to generate our business. We’re full at the weekends at the moment.

“We’re open for Christmas bookings but we usually only see around 50 per cent capacity anyway. 

“It will most likely be less than that this year

“We could sell out five times over on New Years Eve but we just don’t know what’s going to happen.

“A lot of Londoners will be coming down to get some sea air. That will be the key to a staycation this winter.”

The guesthouse is offering blankets and hot water bottles for those who wish to sit on the terrace during their staycation.

Southend was pipped by Great Yarmouth and Bournemouth in the seaside location list.

Tony Clish, UK Director for Park Holidays, added: “ Following the doom and gloom at the start of the year, it’s great to see the increase in uptake when it comes to domestic getaways in 2020, with families, friends, couples and solo-travellers exploring the beauty that’s on our doorstep – even as the colder months creep in.

“Luckily, the British coastline is gorgeous all year round and there’s plenty on offer.”