Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Emails from Derek and Anne Flynn, Nick from Frankfurt, Emma and more...

Emails and Reviews sent online, 24th April 2013 

The staff were very friendly and and couldn't do more to assist us.The buffet breakfast was delicious and filled us up for the day. The bed was one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept in. Would definitely stay here again if visiting Southend. Emma Philpott, stayed 18-21st April 2013

* * * *

'Would like to say a BIG thank you to all the staff at Ilfracombe hotel. We stayed there this weekend and had a lovely time, room was gorgeous. food was outstanding, staff were so helpful and friendly. Would recommend you to anyone. We will definitely stay there again. Excellent.'' stayed on 19-21st April 2013 Derek and Anne Flynn'

* * * * 

''Our Home from Home'' - Nick, Frankfurt, Germany, Trip
We returned to the Ilfracombe again after a break of 2 years and stayed in a self-catering apartment. (Roman style) As usual the service was very friendly and accommodating and the appt. was clean and spacious. There are TVs in all rooms now, so our daughter was delighted.
I can recommend this as a very reasonable option to families who prefer to cater themselves and want the privacy and space of their own apartment. The location is great and the staff too. This has become our home from home when visiting the UK.

Room Tip: Top floor apartment is the best if self-catering.

* * * *

''Hidden gem in Southend-on-Sea'' - staceyjade, Brighton, Trip
We've recently stayed at the Ifracombe House hotel for a weekend. We found their details on the Southend on Sea information website and for the price thought it was very reasonable for a bed and breakfast.
Now that we've been and stayed, we have to say its definitely value for money!! The staff were ever so friendly and couldn't do enough for us to make sure we were happy throughout our stay.
Set in a lovely area, a few minutes walk to the seafront and has a car park, bar and restaurant.
The breakfast was buffet style but had more than enough to chose from.
Our room was not very big but more than adequate.
Would definitely recommend this little gem to family and friends. Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple

* * * *

''Well run by family Team'' -MeMonster, Manchester, Trip
We have used it a couple of times now for family visits and it is comfortable, clean, with a good location close to the centre and has a small convenient car park. The fabric of the building and rooms are nothing special but everything works fine. What makes it is the service, dedication and attention to guests' needs by owner, Bertie and his family. I personally would trade the satellite subscription channels (available in bedrooms and in the excellent hotel bar) for a lower price -- I was amazed by how much Bertie told me he has to pay for these. We will certainly stay again. Stayed February 2013, travelled with family

* * * *

''Good Value'' -Sylrog99 Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom, Trip
Just stayed at this hotel for one night, & the proprietors couldn't have done more to make us feel at home. The room was spacious, clean & comfortable & their food was great. The prices of their food & drinks were very reasonable so we didn't feel at all "ripped off". We'd definitely stay again.

Room Tip: no.6 has a 4 poster bed!

* * * *

"Very Comfortable and would stay again"

Staff were very friendly, the room comfortable and clean, very convenient location. The fact that this Hotel did meals at a reasonable price was a bonus as I was travelling alone and didn't want to go out for a meal. Mrs Florence Ann Scullard
Cumbria, United Kingdom

* * * *


friendly staff, clean room in nice quiet area and a short walk to most attractions and train stations. Would recommend and stay again. David Richards
Shropshire, United Kingdom

* * * *

"very clean.cheerful staff &helpful"

Highly recommended.nice room.quiet environment. staff were very helpful and diligent. will use it again in future. Mr Chelfat
London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 2013 Guest Reviews

Barbara Popov, Bradbury (AU)
+ We had a great time the staff accommodation food and service was First Class!!!!

- There was nothing we did not like all was perfect!!

Colin Lynn, Norbury (GB)
+ "Close to town centre/hotel was clean & comfortable staff very friendly, 10 out of 10, definitely will be returning"
- Walking down to the prom can be a bit dicey if you are not too able bodied
Graham Bonner, Aylesbury (GB)
+ "Good value for money."
- Car park very limited but appears also to be space in the street.
Tony Grieve, Birmingham (GB)
+ "Wonderful Staff, Very Welcoming & Very Accomodating."
- Nothing
Roger Daley, Bishops Stortford (GB)
+ "A very friendly hotel, proprietors couldn't do enough for us. The food was very good so we didn't have to go & look for a restaurant. The drink & food prices were very reasonable. It was only 5/10 minutes walk along to the theatre, as this was our reason for staying it was really convenient as parking would have been difficult at the theatre. We would stay again"
- Nothing
William Wakeling
Colchester, United Kingdom, 15 April 2013

"Very comfortable with good accommodation"

We have stayed at this hotel four or five times and have always been well look after in clean and comfortable rooms. The room we were in on this visit had been newly decorated and carpeted.

Geoffrey Thompson
Stevenage, United Kingdom
11 April 2013

"Very enjoyable in every way"

Everything was very good. If we intend to visit the area again The Ilfracombe will be our first choice hotel.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Apartments Review

'Just returned from another stay in the Ilfracombe Hotel Apartments and we will definately be returning again.  As some others have said, some of the decor a little dated but who really cares when you've got a spacious and comfy appt, great location, good food and excellent customer service.  (Thank you girls for sorting out our little group's accommodation issues!)
We will be back!'
'Paula H & Friends'
Date of stay: Feb 9 2013

Hotel Guest Reviews

David Russell
Gaertringen, Germany
14 May 2012
Rated as 4 out of 5

"Pleasant and comfortable"

Clean and comfortable and good location for our needs.             

Brian Hall
Attleborough, United Kingdom
03 May 2012
Rated as 4 out of 5

"Overnight stay whilst visiting theatre"

Helpful and friendly staff. Good service. Lovely breakfast. All guest areas very nicely decorated.
Shame about the wet and windy weather. 


David Dinnie
Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, United Kingdom
23 April 2012
Rated as 4 out of 5

"Enjoyable despite the weather."

Our room was on the ground floor and had the additional bonus of a kitchen area with fridge and microwave. The buffet breakfast was very good, staff very pleasant and helpful. Accomodation was comfortable, in a quiet location but within walking distance of the local amenities. The hotel is within 10-15 minutes walking distance of Southend town centre and the train staions. The Cliffs Pavilion and sea front are only a few minutes walk.   


Patrick Proctor
London Select County, United Kingdom
21 April 2012
Rated as 5 out of 5

"excellent service and food-kids loved it all as us"

This is the second time we have stayed there with 2 young kids.
They love it all and find the owner and staff very helpful and friendly.
Our family room was excellent value for money.
Thanks to all.   


Amanda Payne
Hereford, United Kingdom
20 April 2012
Rated as 5 out of 5


always clean and tidy. The shower in bedroom was a bit poor .The breakfast was lovely all freshly cooked and my grand daughter loved it. will go again this will be 4th time me or my family have used it .             

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Aer Lingus Regional Dublin to Southend route launch

Bono, Ronan Keating and Colin Farrell* celebrate new Aer Lingus Regional Dublin route launch

Leading Irish showbiz celebrities*, music from traditional ceilidh band Wraggle Taggle, Black Velvet cocktails and a huge plane shaped cake were all part of celebrations marking the launch of a new link between Essex and Ireland.
Daily flights to and from London Southend Airport and Dublin with Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, started on Thursday 10 May 2012.
Travellers will also be able to take advantage of connecting Aer Lingus transatlantic flights via Dublin to New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando. Not only that, passengers on these flights can also take advantage of the unique US Customs and Immigrations pre-clearance facilities at Dublin Airport, allowing them to arrive in the USA as domestic passengers.
With direct morning, mid-afternoon and evening flights between London Southend Airport and Dublin, Aer Lingus Regional is offering a new competitive choice for both the day return business passenger and the longer-stay leisure passenger. Passengers flying out from London Southend will wait for a maximum of four-minutes for security, whilst those arriving with just hand luggage can expect to travel from plane to train within 15 minutes of their aircraft doors opening. The new railway station is less than 100 paces from the terminal and has up to eight services per hour to and from London – the airport is the only one in the UK with a direct mainline rail connection with the Olympic Games at Stratford.

10 May is also the official opening of a new Aer Lingus Regional base at London Southend Airport. A total of fifteen Aer Lingus Regional staff - including pilots and cabin crew – are now permanently located at London Southend.

Flights from London Southend to Dublin start from £25.99 one way including taxes and are available for booking on

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thank You

I would like to thank all at the Ifracombe for a comfortable and enjoyable stay, the staff were so friendly and made us feel at home. We only spent one night there on the 28th August 2010 but it was like a home from home. The rooms we had were comfortable and clean , we ate both in the evening and the breakfast in the morning and it was all lovely. We would definitely come again and we will recommend you to all our friends.

Once again thankyou. Joanne, Elaine, Marion, Debbie, Sinead, Leanne and Carol.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ilfracombe House New Photo Album

This is the latest photo album from the recent changes made to the hotel rooms, some of them with new carpets, new beds, different type of linen, and the new little but cosy restaurant.We're all ready to go for the busy Summer season.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cliffs Pavilions Theatre - Main Events for 2010

date event
Mon 22 - Sat 27 Mar 2010 Riverdance - The Farewell Tour
Sun 28 - Tue 30 Mar 2010 Derren Brown: Enigma
Sat 3 Apr 2010 The Soldiers
Wed 7 - Sun 11 Apr 2010 Snow White on Ice
Mon 12 Apr 2010 James
Wed 14 Apr 2010 Joan Armatrading
Sat 17 Apr 2010 That'll be the Day
Sun 18 Apr 2010 Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Thu 22 Apr 2010 Debbie Reynolds - Alive and Fabulous
Wed 28 Apr 2010 Most Haunted Live on Stage
Sat 1 May 2010 An Evening with Bradley Walsh
Fri 7 May 2010 Lee Mack - 'Going Out'
Sun 9 May 2010 Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Mon 31 May 2010 - Sat 5 Jun 2010 Blood Brothers
Fri 11 Jun 2010 Buddy Holly - A Legend Reborn
Sat 19 Jun 2010 Aled Jones
Sat 26 Jun 2010 Magic of Motown - 'The Reach Out' Tour
Fri 9 Jul 2010 Joe Longthorne
Sat 10 Jul 2010 They Will Rock You
Sat 23 Oct 2010 John Bishop: Live
Thu 28 Oct 2010 Vampires Rock
Sun 7 Nov 2010 The Armstrong and Miller Show Live
Sat 11 Dec 2010 - Sun 9 Jan 2011 Peter Pan

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Secretary of State approves Southend Airport expansion

The development of Southend Airport has been given the seal of approval by Secretary of State John Denham. The future of the airport was thrown into question by government intervention in January, in which Mr Denham reviewed the situation personally.
Cllr Anna Waite, who is responsible for transport and planning, told BBC News: “I am extremely pleased the Secretary of State has vindicated the careful consideration given to this application by the development control committee.“It took a great deal of time and effort to produce the balanced report presented to the committee which reflected the views expressed by the various interested parties.“The airport expansion will bring not only travel opportunities but much needed jobs.”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Reviews

"Great Hotel"

Ilfracombe House Hotel

Review from: Mrs_DH  
Mar 9, 2010 | Trip type: Couples New

This Hotel was a really good find. The rooms are comfy, the Staff are really friendly and the food is very nice. We had a nice dinner before going to see a show at the Cliffs Pavilion, which is just a short 5-7 minute walk away.

The car park is pretty small and is situated at the back of the Hotel. We park the car on the street and did not have any problems.

The Hot and Cold breakfast in the morning is buffet style and was really tasty. I would definitely visit the Hotel again.

  • Date of stay March 2010
  • Visit was for Leisure
  • Traveled with With Spouse/Partner
  • Age group 35_49

    Latest Online Guest Reviews

    First class comfortable accommodation
    Review from: JFALCO, HORNCHURCH
    Dec 9, 2009 | Trip type: Friends getaway

    This was our 6th time back to this hotel. Rooms are very roomy and comfortable, very friendly staff who make you feel very welcome and first class breakfast in the morning. Mrs J Falco

    • Date of stay December 2009
    • Visit was for Leisure
    • Traveled with With Friends
    • Member since December 09, 2009
    ``An Unexpected Delight`` Ilfracombe House Hotel
    Review from: PennyLondon  
    Feb 17, 2010 | Trip type: Couples

    The staff were very friendly and approachable in this hotel and nothing was too much trouble. The room took us by surprise as it was much nicer than we had hoped. We had a four poster bed in our large, luxury double room and quality furnishings. The bathroom too was always spotless. It was a very big and very comfortable room with lots of light from the large windows.
    It was the perfect location for us as it was just a short distance to Southend town centre and to the beachfront and it was also only about 6 - 7 mins walk to Cliffs Pavilion.
    I liked the hot and cold buffet breakfasts in the mornings and I also loved the glamorous chandeliers hanging from the ceilings! It is obvious that care that has been taken to make this hotel a real pleasure for guests.


    Ilfracombe House Hotel

    Save Review
    Review from: BurnleyBlue   1 contribution
    Mar 8, 2010 | Trip type: Family

    The rooms is ace, Foods is fantastic and delicious. Staff is so nice and friendly.
    Would love to come back again.

    • Date of stay March 2010
    • Visit was for Leisure
    • Traveled with Family with Young Children

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Festival of Fireworks at Southend Seafront

    The skies over the seafront dazzle, shimmer and explode with colour every Saturday night at this time of year as a fabulous array of fireworks are launched from a barge at sea just off Jubilee Beach about 100m east of the Pier.

    The fireworks are just a part of the season of "Seafront Spectaculars" and follow the "Battle of the Bands" events each week where local bands battle it out to scoop top prizes.

    You can also win prizes for the top scorers at Kursaal Ten Pin bowling so you can make it a fun night out for all the family.


    Free entry

    Event details

    Dates and Times
    Sat 10 Oct 2009 20:00
    Sat 17 Oct 2009 20:00
    Sat 24 Oct 2009 20:00
    Sat 31 Oct 2009 20:00
    Sat 7 Nov 2009 20:00

    Christmas Spectacular & Lights Switch-On, Saturday 14th November

    Whether you want fantastic family fun or sensational seasonal shopping, there's something for you in Southend-on-Sea this Christmas. Here you'll find all the highlights and dates when events are taking place so you can plan ahead and make the most of the festive season.

    We hope you enjoy celebrating the festive season with us and wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND BEST WISHES FOR 2010!

    Christmas Lights Switch-On
    Saturday 14th November 

    Southend-on-Sea Town Centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland, with a day full of festive fun and entertainment for all the family - everything you need to get your Christmas off to a cracking start!

    This very special day will give you the chance to enjoy a festive experience like no other, with a very special parade featuring Santa and his REAL reindeer, music courtesy of BBC Essex and Heart FM and a whole host of seasonal sensations, including street entertainment, mouth-watering market stalls and, of course, the ever popular Christmas lights switch-on and a truly spectacular fireworks display!

    9:00am - 8:00pm, Christmas Market

    8:30am - 5:30pm Christmas Farmers and Craft Market

    All day BBC Essex broadcasting at the top of Pier Hill

    1:00pm - 1:30pm, The Royals Christmas Toy Parade

    1:45pm - 6:00pm, Don't forget to visit Santa at the Royals Shopping Centre

    12pm - 2:00pm, Christmas Spectacular Stage

    2:00pm - 4:00pm at the Heart Stage

    4:00pm - 5:00pm, Heart FM Roadshow hosted by Martin & Su

    5:00pm - Christmas Lights Switch On -from the Heart Stage

    5:30pm - Spectacular Seafront Fireworks Finale

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Ilfracombe House Hotel on 'The Mail on Sunday' Newspaper

    In search of Southend's seaside for a British family holiday

    By John Nichol Mail on Sunday
    Last updated at 5:09 PM on 09th August 2009
    Back in the olden days, children used to spend summer holidays enjoying simple pleasures - playing games in the street, riding bikes and, if they were lucky, going to the beach.
    And because my childhood home was a few miles from the North East seaside town of Tynemouth, that's exactly what I did. Day after idyllic day, my mates and I would cycle the four miles to the coast and disappear for hours on end playing on the sand and fishing in rock pools.
    There were no mobile phones, no one worried about the busy roads and the term 'stranger-danger' hadn't even been coined. And as long as you took a packet of sandwiches and a bottle of squash, it was largely free. It was innocent, timeless fun. And, most importantly, it was home-grown.
    John Nichol and his daughter on the beach
    Pleasure beach: John Nichol and his daughter Sophie make sandcastles at Southend-on-Sea
    on a school skiing trip, and I'd reached the heady age of 20 before my first 'trip to the sun' to experience the dubious delights of a beach holiday in Corfu.
    In stark contrast, the youth of today think it normal to jet all over the world to exotic locations in search of sun, sea and sand. Indeed, my four-year-old daughter, Sophie, has already frolicked on the beaches of the Cayman Islands, cruised - in considerable luxury - the French canal system and sailed around Honduras and Belize.
    Obviously, then, she is immune to my endless lectures on vacation frugality and tired of the 'we used to live in a cardboard box' stories of Geordie life in the Seventies. But she has inherited my love of the old-fashioned British beach holiday and delights in visits to her grandmother's home in the North East.
    It is entirely normal to see three generations of the Nichol clan, wrapped up in waterproofs, hats and scarves, leaning into the wind to build sandcastles and dipping toes into the icy seas of Tynemouth beach in midwinter.
    Sadly, because we live in Hertfordshire, visits north are sporadic. So, in an effort to fulfil Sophie's desire for sand between her toes, I consulted my road map to find a suitable venue for a weekend break at the coast. I was confronted by the initially unpalatable fact that our nearest seaside resort was Southend.
    My mind filled with stereotypical images of barely clothed bottle-blonde ladettes, tottering around in white, six-inch stilettos, pursued by dribbling youths displaying their dubious driving skills in souped-up Ford Escorts.
    Indeed, one travel guide damns Southend thus: ' Pugnacious and brash . . . unless you're after tacky arcades, flash amusement rides or sleazy nightspots, there's not much to do.'
    Not a resounding recommendation, then. But I cast my inhibitions aside and the Nichol family duly decamped from commuter suburbia to make the hour's drive to the Essex coast.
    Adventure Island rides
    Beyond the beach: Adventure Island has rides to keep the whole family happy

    Arriving on the outskirts of Southend, it seemed my worst nightmares would be realised. Run-down shops and polystyrene kebab cartons littered the streets, and a worrying array of white-socked teenagers, bedecked in market-stall nylon tracksuits, occupied the pavements.
    But my initial fears ( possibly prejudices?) were cast aside as we drove along the seafront to squeals of delight from the young back-seat passenger.
    Yes, there were fish and chip shops every few yards. Yes, the amusement arcades rubbed shoulders with shops selling candy floss, rock and myriad cheap tat. Yes, OAPs dozed in deckchairs with hankies on their heads.
    But that's the whole point, isn't it? This is the very essence of a family holiday by the sea - it's what makes Britain so great.
    Southend-on-Sea gained popularity as a seaside resort after that good-time lover of excess, the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), took his wife Caroline there to enjoy the healthy climate.
    The idea was that the sickly Caroline should bathe in the waters in an effort to improve her health. But, not least because the Princess was renowned for some 'personal hygiene issues', George used to abandon her in Southend while he indulged himself in more upmarket Brighton.
    Today, Southend is Essex's largest town and the population of some 175,500 host nearly three million visitors each year.
    Accommodation varies greatly in quality and price. An internet search found basic family rooms as expensive as £250 per night.
    But then I discovered a gem. The Ilfracombe House Hotel, a five-minute saunter from the beach, offers twobedroom self-catering apartments from just £75 a night. And that included a sumptuous English breakfast for all three of us. OK, it may not have been five-star luxury but it had a well-equipped kitchen and the lounge and both bedrooms had TVs and DVD players. It was clean, comfortable and perfect for our family.
    Popular: The beach has been a popular British holiday spot since King George IV took his wife there
    The beach was our main focus of entertainment. The sun blazed down as we gambolled in the sand. I say sand but perhaps Southend's biggest drawback is that most of the beaches are covered in sand-coloured gravel.
    Still, the squeals of delight seemed to suggest that this didn't affect Sophie one iota as she built countless sandcastles and transported bucket after bucket of seawater to fill ever-leaking moats.
    Once the sun went down, we relocated to Adventure Island and its multitude of, in my opinion, terrifying rides. But Sophie gets her courage from her mother's side of the family and she enjoyed stomach-churning rollercoasters, dodgems and waltzers.
    We spent most of the weekend in the open but there were enough covered activities, such as Sealife Adventure or Kids Kingdom, to cater for rainy days.
    It was an exhausting few days but the Nichol family loved it. We enjoyed old-fashioned seaside pleasures: sunhats, sand in our socks, melting ice creams drizzled in red goo and fish and chips laced with vinegar, washed down with fluorescent fizzy drinks.
    Despite my initial reservations, Southend provided a magical family holiday.
    We will certainly go back.

    Medic: Saving Lives - From Dunkirk To Afghanistan, by John Nichol and Tony Rennell, will be published by Penguin in October, priced £20.

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Leigh Folk Festival at Leigh-on-Sea

    Leigh Folk Festival at Leigh-on-Sea

    Sat 27, Sun 28 Jun 2009

    One of the largest free festivals of music, song and dance in the County with more than 500 performers. Includes traditional and contemporary, Folk, Cajun, Country & Western, Blues, Jive, Flamenco, Appalachian –plus storytelling, poetry and various workshops.

    The artists confirmed include Kelli Ali, Francesca Bassenger, Clare Blackman, Eric Bogle & John Munro, Phil Burdett & Band, Tom Burgess, Fancy Dress Party, Faustus, Rachel Harrington, Isnaj Dui & Roshi Nahesi, Shona Kipling & Damien OKane, The Kittiwakes, The Owl Service, The Severed Limb, The Smoke Fairies, Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer, Nancy Wallace, Trevor Watts & Peter Knight, Wills Fargo, and The Woodlarks.


    Tel: 01702 715111

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Adventure Island Southend will be very busy this summer.

    'You only pay if you play' and with over 60 rides and attractions, there's something for the whole family to enjoy. With four roller coasters including 'Rage' with it's 75ft drop and 360 degree band roll, the only coaster of it's kind in England, plus unique rides 'Ramba Zamba' and 'The Archelon'. There are also sixteen rides for tiny tots and a themed Jungle Jive Cafe and Pizzas of Eight Restaurant. Open every day from Easter until early September and every weekend and school half term holiday from Sept to March including special Friday and Saturday 'Light Fantastic' nights during September and October.
    Island Cafe and Jungle Jive Cafe. Plus kiosks and parlours serving everything from hot dogs to ice cream, candy floss and fudge.

    Don your capes and eye masks for Rage, Adventure Island's newest exciting ride! With a 23 metre vertical lift that becomes a vertical drop, vertical loop, overhead turns and 360 degree barrell roll with forces topping a huge 4.5G it's set to attract the bravest of thrill seeking super heroes.

    Adventure Island Southend


    Free entry
    You pay only for the rides and attractions you use.

    Opening Hours

    Open daily from April to September plus school half terms, Easter Bank Holiday and all weekend during the winter months unless they fall on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

    Open from 11.00am until between 5.00pm and 11.00pm depending on the time of year and weather. Check website or phone for details. Special discounts for group bookings.

    To book your hotel accommodation at Ilfracombe House Hotel go online: or call 01702 351000.

    Adventure Island Contact details

    Tel: 01702 443400

    Adventure Island Southend

    Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1EE

    By Road:
    From the A12 take the A130 then the A127 to Southend. Fom M25 either junction 29 or 30 eastbound to Southend on Sea.

    By Public Transport:
    From Southend Central station it is 5 minutes' walk to Adventure Island Southend. Southend Victoria Station is a 10 minute walk.